Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dubai Ports World Isn't A Major Threat To Our Security, but our own government failure is

People always feel safer controlling access to their own assets. This "feeling" is not a valid argument to block Dubai Ports Worldwide from operating major US ports. The possible maritime threats to the US are (1) Delivery of a WMD (2) Delivery of terrorists (3) Attack on a major shipping channel (4) Shut down of the global shipping industry due to security concerns (costing billions per day). Truth is, the likelihood of these threats does not change whether a US or a foreign company manages our ports.

So what is the true concern? Repeated failure to act by our government despite constant warnings from people like Steve Flynn. To date, over 70% of cargo entering the US is not inspected by US law enforcement. That means that a terrorist, regardless of whether Dubai Ports Worldwide is in the picture, has a 7 in 10 chance of smuggling something undetected into the US. Success of an infrastructure attack to shut down a major ship channel is probably just as high. The list of concerns goes on. Unfortunately the list of concrete steps our government has taken towards resolving these threats is short and underfunded. Given the expenditures we have made as a nation on dubious homeland security initiatives, it's amazing how little we have done to protect and harden the maritime system and infrastructure that provides many of the goods you use on a daily basis.

Port security deserves the mindshare it is now being given,but it is being directed at the wrong target in the form of Dubai Ports.

No comments: