We’ve all done it: Squeeze a balloon in one spot, and the contents migrate to a different part of the balloon. This analogy has been used in the context of Latin America to describe what happens in the drug trade when tighter security is applied to one area of production or trafficking, and, in doing so, the trade migrates elsewhere. Unfortunately, as recent events remind us, the same can be said for securing transportation infrastructure against terrorist attacks – but in at least one area of this problem, it may not have to be that way.
Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, it has become considerably harder for terrorists to get on planes in order to bring them down. Some of that undoubtedly has to do with good intelligence leading to apprehension of individuals before they arrive at the airport, and some of that is also attributable to the presence of airline security at key airports. Though the performance of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States over the past decade certainly leaves a lot to be desired, and in some cases has been downright outrageous, one would be hard-pressed to argue that a TSA-type presence has had nothing to do with the lack of a repeat of a 9/11-style attack—even if there is room to debate whether TSA’s functions could be carried out more effectively by private industry.
The full article can be read at at Homeland Security Today