Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Other views of security

Barry Rubin suggests that the best way to improve airport security is to train a small cadre of people to identify people for secondary screening - a variety of the 'outer ring' security described in my previous entry.

As he points out, upgrading TSA personnel to perform sensitive screening would be very expensive, given the number of flights and the number of people to be screened. But "a relatively small number of agents at each airport (including selected at-risk airports abroad) who survey passengers and make some choices for secondary screening ... wouldn't be a panacea but might improve the overall protection."

Moreover, Rubin argues that the real security threat is from homegrown terrorists, like the Fort Hood shooter. It's local law enforcement officials who need to learn more about identifying suspicious behavior, since they're more likely to be the ones actually involved.

Both he and former UN ambassador John Bolton view the huge Washington bureaucracy that deals with security as part of the problem, not part of the solution. Bolton is certainly right that the 'group think' engendered by such arrangements produces garbage, not useful intelligence.

No comments: