US preaches new security creed

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Janet Napolitano (right) has been busy flying around the world drumming up support for the US’ new air cargo and aviation security demands.

In Brussels she met with European Commission (EC) vice-president and transport commissioner Siim Kallas to discuss international collaboration on the issue. She echoed Kallas’ opinion that full 100 per cent screening of cargo is impractical.

“We do not believe 100 per cent screening is the best way to have a secure trade system,” she said. “What in fact is a better way is an intelligence-risk based approach.”

However, she did not agree with Europe’s recent ideas of creating a blacklist of non-secure airports.

“I don’t believe [it] is the best way to go or a likely way to go. The minute you start establishing categories, the terrorists figure out a way around them.”

Instead, Napolitano said that the DHS will station “hundreds” of security officers in other countries to provide “assistance and training to partner countries” to bring them up to international security standards.

In addition, she revealed the US plans to push for the supply of “advance information” about the contents of cargo, something that the EC at least recognises will meet with stiff resistance from the industry. Napolitano and the DHS believe that a model similar to the existing sensitive chemical programme, Project Global Shield, will be a working model for future security measures.

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