I'm sure that this sits better elsewhere, but hopefully it can have a short run here first.
I can heartily recommend "The Week" magazine which I subscribe to, but it can also sometimes be picked up in the F lounge at LHR T5! In the 8 December edition they report on an article in Businessweek which they summarise thus:
"Want to save American lives? Then stop wasting billions on airport security, says Charles Kenny. Set up in the aftermath of 9/11 to replace the patchwork of private security companies that used to handle US airport security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has ballooned in size and now commands a budget of around $8Bn. The result is "too many officers" with not enough to do, and a proliferation of intrusive searches that have turned US air travel into an ordeal. This level of scrutiny simply isn't justified. In recent years, in which more Americans have died in bathtub accidents than through terrorism, the TSA hasn't apprehended a single terrorist. But "all this spending on airline security is worse than wasteful". It has led many passengers to ditch flying in favour of driving, which is statistically far more dangerous. A Cornell University study concluded that the switch to road travel has caused 242 additional traffic fatalities per month. So "a lot more people died on the roads as an indirect result of 9/11 than died from being on the planes that terrible day". Time to put our fear of terrorism in rational perspective and stop chasing people away from airports."
I'm afraid that I can sort of see their point - my view is that intelligence operations will lead to foiling terrorist plots whilst intrusive security is more likely to just annoy regular travellers. Thoughts?
"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move" Robert Louis Stevenson
<snip> intelligence operations will lead to foiling terrorist plots whilst intrusive security is more likely to just annoy regular travellers. Thoughts?
This I wholeheartedly agree with - it seems than many threats have been foiled by good old fashioned intelligence etc. The obvious metal detector type scanners should remain but all this shoes, liquids, laptops, and other shenanigans may well be OTT...
my view is that intelligence operations will lead to foiling terrorist plots whilst intrusive security is more likely to just annoy regular travellers. Thoughts?
Let me see....
Did the intelligence services manage to foil 9/11 ?
Did the intelligence services manage to foil 7/7 ?
The point is LondonAndy, that its all part of a layered security model.... rather than solely relying on one aspect (e.g. intelligence operations), you introduce other aspects (such as airport security, or the "sealed" flight deck policy) so that if the bad-guys manage to bypass one layer there are other layers in place that will at either defeat them or sufficiently slow them down.
That said. I was recently in TLV for the first time, and was surprised at how low-key the physical security aspect was given the risk-level of the location. However I believe this down to the fact that the Israelis engage in pax profiling at a deeper level than most "western" countries would be happy with either due to privacy/human rights point of view or other reasons. But in TLV it means that by the time you've reached the xray/metal detector stage, the Israelis have already analysed you to death and considered you low(ish) risk.
Personally I prefer erring on the physical security side as long as it doesn't go OTT, rather than assuming everyone is guilty until sufficient profile has been built up on them to deem them innocent.
Last time I was in the US, I also found the TSA to be helpful and friendly. They didn't even give me a hard time when I forgot to take my laptop out of my bag. The agent was understood it was a unintentional mistake and treated me as such (i.e. very pleasant manner, even smiled and wished me a pleasant day once he'd run the laptop through the xray).
Last edited by Short Final; Dec 16, 12 at 10:02 am..
I still don't understand the 100ml rule. But that's another debate
why don't the rail services also require security? Surely blowing up a train is just as much a statement as blowing up a plane? Of course you can't fly a train into a building, but access to the cockpit is now better controlled.
I wonder whether the (extra) security is to make people feel better, than actually achieving anything. Keep the metal detectors, but lets be realistic about the rest.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the intelligence v. searching argument, the artivcle's ultimately just an attempt to remove an inconvenience by going nuclear in a very sensitive debate, that most people aren't qualified to enter with the necessary facts available to them. The fact that someone would go to that length emotively to avoid standing in a queue, I find saddening.
You dont have to blindly assume everything you get told is right and is not up for debate, but to storm into a debate like that, makes me think the protagonist really couldnt give a monkeys if a few people get killed, as long as the chances are it wont be him, as long he doesnt have to take his shoes off.
Our cat has been 100% successful in keeping elephants out of the garden.
Think on ... What is this all achieving?
maybe you just haven't been told by the cat how many elephants he has kept out. Or not been told by the elephants themselves about how they have rethought their plans about getting into your garden, due to the cat.