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Topic: Port Security

  1. #1

    Port Security

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    I have to say boys that I am surprised this subject has not been talked about yet. Living in DE, I am surrounded by the port of Philadelphia, Baltimore and even Jersey.

    All I will say is that.....

    Bela D Media | www.BelaDMedia.com

  2. #2

    Re: Port Security

    Let me first preface what I am going to say with the summary that I am generally against U.S. port operations having anything to do with other government owned companies...period.

    Having said that, there are a lot of details here that are being left out and I think to have a true discussion about it, one needs all the facts, (Not just the hand picked ones about the UEA) to have a logical discussion.

    First of all the port operations of the 6 U.S. posts in question are currently operated by a British company and have been for many years. So foreign operation of U.S. ports is not a new thing as some in the media would like us to believe.

    Secondly, the only reason why the UAE is in the picture is that a UAE gov't run company (in the independant state of Dubai) is buying out the British company mentioned above. It is a British business transaction that is causing this change over. 6 U.S. ports are thus affected. It is not like all of a sudden we are inviting this UAE company to conduct U.S. port operations. On the contrary...a Dubai company (of which Dubai is an independant state in the UAE) is buying a British company and assuming all of their assets and contractual obligations...the same British company that currently runs the operations of 6 U.S. sea ports. In that context, it really is a lot less "sinister" than people are trying to make it out to be.

    Thirdly, the Dubai company is not and will never be in charge of security. They are in charge of the day to day port operations. The U.S. and its various resources are always in charge of security at the ports just like they are now...nothing changes from what is happening now in that regard.

    Four...the UAE is actually one of our best allies behind the scenes in the "war on terror." We have military bases there. They give us a LOT in intelligence. They are very westerized and have pro democratic ideals. Of all of the arab states in that region of the world...the UAE is one of the ones who is officially on "our side" of what is going on...for the most part anyway. Would it be a good thing to piss off the UAE and not allow this to happen when they are one of our strong allies in the region? Maybe...maybe not. I don't know the answer to that. But it deserves some more thought.

    All of the points Ern brought up are valid though. One that sticks out to me more than the others believe it or not is their recognition of the Taliban and their lack of recognition of Isreal.

    In general, I think that no foreign companies should be running port operations, British, UAE...or Canadian even. I think it is something we should leave for a U.S. company. Even though these foreign companies are not in charge of security, they are entitled to have access to the port vulnerability assessments that the gov't has conducted on the ports. And that is the information that is (in my mind) just too valuable to entrust to anyone outside of the U.S. Heck...I am sure even a corrupt individual from a trusted NATO ally can even be bought to hand over that info to terrorists for the right price.

    The only problem being, there is basically no U.S. company that can do it at the competent level it needs to be done at and I don't think gov't run ports would be the solution either. That's all we need...more beurocracy to scew up port operations even more. The best companies to do this efficiently are all foreign owned. So where does that leave us?

    With a lot more to think about...that's where.
    Brian W. Ralston

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  3. #3

    Re: Port Security

    Well, Paul is going to be driving the porcelain bus, because my reaction is the same as Brian's. Is this a first?

    I'm not overly concerned about security, frankly. It seems very unlikely that we're going to be terrorized by a management company that's running our ports. Even though they have access to our security arrangements, I just have a hard time getting excited about that part of it.

    What I don't understand is why this is being outsourced in the first place. Only eight out of our 80 ports are run by US companies. Are there no other competent ones in this country? And why are public ports run privately?

    Why not outsource our garbage pickup, airports, police, tax collection, and schools as well why we're at it? It doesn't make sense.

    Yes we're living in a global economy, but how far should that go?

  4. #4

    Re: Port Security

    By the way, we backed the Taliban at first too, so it's hard for me to get worked up about the UAE recognizing them - even if they aren't exactly the same kind of ally that England is. Besides, we don't like the way the Chinese treat dissidents either, and that doesn't stop us from doing business with them.

  5. #5

    Re: Port Security

    What makes it confusing is that the two biggest bowls of fongula in the country - Bush and Frist - are on opposite sides of the issue.

  6. #6

    Re: Port Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstinen
    All good points. I'm aware of most of what you're saying, Brian. WE are in charge of port security. But given that, why is the Coast Guard against this?
    The Coast Guard isn't against it. They initially had concerns about gaps in security. They then stated publically that they were briefed in regards to those concerns and satisfied with it. I doubt very seriously if the Coast Guard has an offical position on the deal as a whole. Anymore so than the Army would. They would more be expressing whatever logistical or security, etc..concerns that they had. (which is what happened). Those were addressed to their satisfaction after they spent more time understanding the deal and were briefed on their concerns.

    I see both sides of this. I personally am bothered by having a foreign gov..the likes of UAE owning the company that operates our ports..anywhere. If they want to reward UAE for helping us in this war...perhaps they should wait till the war is "over" before dolling out the rewards.

    However, I am also against the isolationist direction of things and understand the importance of building relationships/trade/etc and strategic alliances with other nations (particularly in that part of the world).
    Countries who are arse deep in business with us...tend not to want to blow things up or see their markets destroyed. There are "plenty" of areas where we deal with foreign state governed enterprise here (SA and China come to mind). And like any international agreement ...it's bound to be mired in daily hypocrasy that can be exploited for media/news events and politics—particularly in an election cycle.

    But, if I had my druthers, I'd tell UAE, thanks for helping us fight against terroism and that we acknowledge their commitment and cooperation in working together on these issues that affect the security of not just the US but the world. Then suggest that we would be more than happy to talk to them about a port deal..when conditions permit it. And encourage them to continue to work towards that day.

  7. #7

    Re: Port Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstinen
    So I say we outsource Bush's Secret Service agents and all private security of Congress to any Muslim or Communist nation that will give America the lowest bid. We're doing it business-wise with China, and now the UAE. Since it's all about money, let's get low-ball offers on agents from Iran to protect Laura, Jenna, and Barbara Bush. Or maybe N. Korea --- those guys need a good meal.
    LOL! Have you seen "Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World"? There is a phone sweatshop in the building Albert Brooks' office is in, and every time they go by the door, a different set of companies is represented - from Wal-Mart and Circuit City to Ford and GE, till eventually, "Hello, White House, how may I direct your call?"

    Outsourcing their security IS the next logical step - but the Saudis probably would do a really good job of guarding him - you don't go killing off your biggest cash cow(boy)...
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  8. #8

    Re: Port Security

    Lets play..test your knowledge of the 9/11 commission report:

    _How many times is "UAE" mentioned in that report?

    _who told UAE officals that US was watching BinLadens camp in Afghanistan and why?

    _what happened less than one week after UAE officals recieved knowledge that the US was watching the camp? (ie..what did BinLaden do?)

    _how many 9/11 hijackers were from UAE?

    _what was the offical position of the UAE gov in regards to the Taliban gov in AFghanistan?

    Anybody want to play?

  9. #9

    Re: Port Security

    I'll get you started, the answer to the first one is 58

  10. #10

    Re: Port Security

    I'll take a stab, pun intended, hehehehe.

    _How many times is "UAE" mentioned in that report?

    OK you said 58 I was going to say "a lot".

    _who told UAE officals that US was watching BinLadens camp in Afghanistan and why?

    Taliban, because the Taliban received most of their support from the UAE.

    _what happened less than one week after UAE officals recieved knowledge that the US was watching the camp? (ie..what did BinLaden do?)

    Guess: Packed up shop and moved out of sight.

    _how many 9/11 hijackers were from UAE?


    _what was the offical position of the UAE gov in regards to the Taliban gov in AFghanistan?

    Total support.

    Anybody want to play?

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