Global Cooperation

Any security professional knows that when securing a place of business or a home, extending the rings of security outward from the target is the most effective approach.  It provides critical distance and time in addition to a potential opportunity for intelligence gathering.  The sooner we can identify a threat before it arrives at a target, the more room we have to deal with it.  No one would argue with that.

In a similar fashion, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been expanding its reach outside the U.S., now employing over 2,000 persons to over 70 countries.  A recent article in the New York Times described the efforts (link to full article below).

Similar to the security ring effect, the impetus is that many threats start well outside of the U.S.  Rather than wait for the problem to arrive, better to nip it in the bud, wherever that bud might be.  The article cites examples of U.S. agents tipping off Ecuadorian authorities of a drug running plane’s arrival with the result of an arrest of seven criminals and seizure of 800 pounds of cocaine.

In other cases, the presence of the DHS is less welcome. Some countries feel that the U.S. is butting in where it’s not wanted.  German lawmakers have complained about the Immigration Advisory Program which allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to recommend that an airline not allow a given passenger to board a plane destined for U.S. soil.

Others grumble that posting ICE agents overseas costs quadruple what it does to employ them domestically.  Unions protest that such overseas staffing contributes to shortages of DHS personnel at U.S. ports of entry.

Yet crimes like human trafficking, drug running, illegal arms transport and the movement of terrorist agents are today utterly global in all respects.  One would think it a good idea that countries work together both in terms of intelligence gathering and take down activities.  That the U.S. is at the forefront doesn’t make it a bad idea.  Such international cooperation could be a significant force multiplier for threat mitigation of threats wherever they are.

Link here to read full article.


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