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Posts Tagged ‘US War on Terror’

30th December 2009

This author recently came across another blog post in which the blog’s author was discussing the role of the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). The TSA is an agency under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security tasked with providing security to the aviation sector. The following is a direct quote from the Transportation Safety Administration website regarding the Administration’s mission and tactics:

“We use layers of security to ensure the security of the traveling public and the Nation’s transportation system. Because of their visibility to the public, we are most associated with the airport checkpoints that our Transportation Security Officers operate. These checkpoints, however, constitute only one security layer of the many in place to protect aviation. Others include intelligence gathering and analysis, checking passenger manifests against watch lists, random canine team searches at airports, federal air marshals, federal flight deck officers and more security measures both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system.  A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt.”

Most Americans agree that security is a major issue and should be dealt with in a serious and professional manner. However some argue that the TSA is not effectively dealing with terrorism and security issues plaguing the United States. To quote the aforementioned blog post:

“The TSA isn’t saving lives. We, the passengers, are saving our own. Since its inception, the TSA has been structured in such a way as to prevent specific terror scenarios, attempting to disrupt a handful of insanely specific tactics, while continuing to disenfranchise and demoralize the citizens who are actually doing the work that a billion-dollar government agency—an agency that received an additional $128 million just this year for new checkpoint explosive screening technology—has failed to do.”

There is little doubt that no government agency can foresee and forestall any and all terror plots, but the effectiveness of the TSA brings up many questions regarding the efficient use of taxpayer funds in prosecuting the “War on Terror.” In many ways, these fundamental questions must continually be asked, if for no other reason than, to provide an opportunity for Americans Citizens and policymakers to periodically reassess the anti-terrorism measures being undertaken by the US government. The debate over the TSA is only just beginning, but hopefully a communal discourse on these issues will provide benefits to all Americans in the form of a safer and more efficient aviation environment.

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