This report from the GAO examines the systems used by the Transportation Security Administration to screen all checked baggage for explosive devices or traces. The report finds that the TSA did not follow sound contracting practices in administering contracts for explosive screening. As a result, the TSA does not have reasonable assurance that contractors are performing as required and that full payment is justified based on meeting mean downtime requirements.
Henry Farrell, a political science assistant professor at The George Washington University, says the European Court of Justice's recent ruling against an agreement with the United States to share airline passenger data is merely "an internal EU dust-up." He says the deal is likely to be renegotiated with the same terms but stronger legal footing.
President Bush proposes sending 6,000 National Guard troops to the border with Mexico as part of a major speech on immigration reform. Critics say the move is a politically motivated attempt to boost the president's sagging ratings.
In the aftermath of the Dubai ports deal, President Bush's approval rating has hit a new low and his image for honesty and effectiveness has been damaged. Yet the public uncharacteristically has good things to say about the role that Congress played in this high-profile Washington controversy.
Dubai Ports World has agreed to divest itself of its U.S. ports holdings that were the focal point of a firestorm in Congress over the last two weeks. Though the move should calm immediate fears, the larger questions of port security and foreign control of U.S. infrastructure are likely to linger.
Administration officials have not done a good job explaining why Americans should worry about U.S. port security and what needs to be done to secure the maritime domain. Now that the Administration has Americans’ attention on this issue, it needs toaddress the heart of the matter.
Critics of the Dubai Ports World deal are focusing on the wrong ports. The place of maximum danger to the United States is at the port of embarkation, where cargo is loaded on its way to our shores, not where the cargo is offloaded. By then it will be too late.
The issue of "protecting" vital infrastructure from foreign control—an issue that arose in 2005 during an unsuccessful bid by a Chinese company to purchase an American oil firm—is again in the news. This time, the infrastructure in question is six major U.S. shipping terminals that have been acquired, with U.S. approvel, by a UAE firm. The political backlash at state and city levels is quickly building.
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The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.