The Corner

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Homeland Security


It’s become increasingly obvious that our new airline security measures are alienating our allies. British pilots would rather not fly with air marshals, and the French think we’re being overly cautious about suspicious passengers. Homeland security is an important concern, of course, but we mustn’t achieve that security at the expense of our alliances. In the end, the more successful strategy is to work with our allies, not at cross purposes. Instead, we’ve unilaterally declared that planes without marshals are forbidden to land at our airports, and insisted on passenger checks that our allies may deem unnecessary. I’m not saying that the safety of our citizens or our landmarks shouldn’t be protected. If we’d been given permission by an international aviation body to ratchet up our security precautions, I wouldn’t hesitate to go along. But as it stands, we’ve been taking a short-sighted, go it alone approach to the problem of homeland security. I hope the administration takes advantage of the opportunity presented by these latest incidents to move to a more multilateral approach.