05 July 2006

Protecting the Ports

Eternal truth of bureaucracy: it's more important, MUCH more important to be seen doing something than it is to ensure what you're doing is effective.
Quoth the mavens (yes, the emphasis is added):
SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 27, 2006 — A new study of U.S. seaport security delivers a message that leaders and citizens may not want to hear: Because there is no foolproof way to protect America’s ports from a terrorist attack, current policies and programs need to focus much more on recovery and economic restoration. In a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), a team of economists and maritime security experts looks at an array of security issues to provide one of the most comprehensive examinations of port security to date.

Bottom line:
Measures would include continuing a “layered” defense whereby there are several tracking, screening, and inspection points for shipping containers as they flow from the foreign country’s factory gate, through the maritime domain, to U.S. shores; using multiple technologies such as radiation detectors and container tracking devices; steering government development of new technologies toward areas that the private sector has no incentive to pursue; strengthening emergency response at the nation’s ports; strengthening terrorism insurance markets; and reevaluating the level of overall port security funding and staffing for public entities that focus on port security, such as the U.S. Coast Guard.

The title is a link to the full article. Don't like that, use this: http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=698

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