Counter-Terrorism: Politically Incorrect Airport Security

Archives

December 24, 2005: One of the most terrifying aftereffects of the war on terror has been the many new security procedures imposed on air travelers. Most of them have no impact on airline security. Not being able to carry a pocket knife or knitting needles has not stopped more hijacking attempts. What happened on Flight 93 (the one that crashed, when passengers realized what was happening and attacked the hijackers), has, as have stronger cockpit doors. Other measures, that address real vulnerabilities, have not been implemented. This is largely because real security improvements are not as visible, and thus are less valuable, in a PR sense, to politicians who pass these laws. For example, a glaring weakness in airports is background checks and security measures applied to airport personnel. It’s widely known that drug gangs regularly exploit this to get airport workers to help them smuggle drugs on airplanes. Some security experts (the ones who are ignored a lot), keep pointing out that bombs could just as easily be placed on aircraft using the same methods. Another weakness is baggage control. This includes simple things like making sure passengers always fly when their baggage does, and explosive screening for all luggage (checked as well as carry-on.) The biggest flaw is the reluctance to adopt the profiling techniques pioneered by Israel (and now being adopted by Russia). As long as politics and PR play such a large role in counter-terrorism, expect measures that play better than they perform will be favored.

 


Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close