“Over 90 percent of the nation’s $5.3 billion annual investment in the Transportation Security Administration goes to aviation,” said the authors of the 9/11 Commission report, warning of investment skewed to “fight the last war. The current efforts do not yet reflect a forward-looking strategic plan systematically analyzing assets, risks, costs and benefits.”
“We think of the individual in very high terms in our [national] psyche, so we look at protecting people,” said John Hensley, former assistant commissioner for enforcement and operations at Customs and Border Protection. Hensley, a vice president at San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., said many people still think “seaport security is ‘only’ protecting cargo.’’ “
Despite chronic underfunding, local, state and federal authorities are taking steps to manage the risks, with the help of a variety of emerging technologies.
Federal officials say the only practical way to approach port security is to build a layered defense, starting as close to a container’s point of origin as possible and subjecting it to numerous checks as it approaches and then enters the country.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Excellent read from Government Computer News on Port insecurity