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Aviation and airport security

America is Not Israel, but Terrorism is Terrorism

On the eve of the 2014 Passover, Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. shouted “Heil Hitler” from the back of a police car after killing three people at two Jewish Centers in Overland Park, Kansas. Cross has been charged with a hate crime, even though his attack was clearly an act of terrorism. Why does there seem to be this national reticence to call a spade a spade, a terrorist a terrorist?

What Works, What Doesn’t – Improving Aviation Security

Ronald Reagan once said that there are plenty of simple solutions, they are just not easy. There are often problems that really vex us. In such situations, we tend to overthink, ignoring solutions that are right in front of us. Another way to put it is this: how do we best use and apply common sense? Here are two ideas for strengthening aviation security.

Security Debrief to the Rescue – Advice for DHS in the Years Ahead

As a new DHS Secretary takes the helm, Security Debrief contributors came together for the First Chris Battle Homeland Security Colloquium. In the spirit of the late Chris Battle’s vision for debate and discussion on pressing homeland security matters, contributors weighed a series of important questions about DHS’ future.

DHS Secretary Johnson’s First Time Before House Homeland Security Committee

The House Homeland Security Committee did something yesterday it has not done in the past several years, for anyone: it came out in full force for DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s maiden appearance before the committee. It was a positive performance by the Secretary, who showed himself adept at answering questions, even as his lawyer’s instincts kept him from falling into political traps.

Announcing the First Chris Battle Homeland Security Colloquium

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, Security Debrief and Catalyst Partners will host the First Annual Chris Battle Homeland Security Colloquium. Security Debrief’s expert contributors will come together to discuss and debate the current state of U.S. homeland security, DHS, and the threats and priorities the country will face in the year ahead.

At Sports Events, Some Security Tactics Drive Cynicism, Risk

Security is high for the Sochi Olympics, but the TSA’s ban on toothpaste and other gels on flights to Russia is not so much a deterrent as it is an insurance policy against blame should something happen. Meanwhile, metal detectors will be in use at Major League Baseball stadiums come 2015. For both Sochi and U.S. baseball, I am worried we are creating bigger problems down the road in terms of public cynicism and policies that actually increase risk.

On Putin, Pot and Public Security in 2014

As 2014 begins, it is tempting to comment on trends and things one hopes will happen, or do not happen. A few things have occurred that have me thinking overtime on the latter – such as hesitancy to attend the Olympics given terrorism fears or TSA looking for marijuana from Colorado.

The Elephant in the Room – LAX Shooter is a Terrorist

Paul Anthony Ciancia, the 23-year-old who shot TSA agents at LAX, made his first court appearance this month. Since the shooting, news outlets have reported on the attack itself, on Ciancia’s mental state and on methods for improving security. Yet, in the extensive coverage of the shooter’s actions, there is one word that is conspicuously and erroneously absent: terrorist.

U.S. Lacking Competitive Customs, Immigration Policy

For all the talk and clichés about a global market and a global economy, the talk and clichés have morphed into truth. How do we stack up in the United States? Not so good. We are hampered by our out-of-date approach to customs and immigration. Unless we make some changes, the United States will remain on the sidelines of a global hub system. And if you are not a hub, you are a spoke.

After LAX Shooting, Changing How We Talk About TSA

The TSO represents not only our last, but also our most vulnerable, line of defense against attacks on the aviation system. The shooting at LAX last week was an attack on the most public faces of our efforts to protect the homeland. Before the collective policy-making community proposes additional changes or federal mandates, they should lead the effort to change the focus and tenor by which they level criticism against TSA.