Friday, February 24, 2006

The Real Flaw in Port Security

The real flaw in port security is not Dubai. It's something totally different.
An article in the WashPost concludes:

Much more serious, in the view of Petersen and other experts, are gaps in security that have nothing to do with the Dubai takeover.

"We've spent barely $700 million in federal grants to U.S. ports for security, compared with almost $20 billion for aviation security," Petersen said. "And most important, we are doing an abysmal job in assisting ports in the developing world in improving security to even minimal acceptable standards."

Since 2001, Washington has arranged for customs officials to work in 42 foreign ports with rights to inspect containers before they head for U.S. shores; Dubai was the first in its region. But that covers only 80 percent of the containers entering the United States.

"If you're an al-Qaeda operative, you're going to send a bomb from a developing country where you know those safeguards don't exist," Petersen said. "That's the key flaw. We should be investing now in the countries that pose a real threat to our national security, with more security grants. But many of these ports don't even have adequate fencing or lighting."


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