Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Israeli Envy

Today is not my day to pick on Israel.  Just seems like it.  I happened to have found this Explainer at Slate that analyzes Israeli airport security.  The Israelis focus less on high tech and more on profiling and screening by individuals via conversations.  Aside from the problems Americans would have with profiling and the very intensive secondary screenings that would attract lawsuits, this article ignores the biggest problem with using Israel as a model--it is frickin' small!!!

How many international airports does Israel have?  Apparently, one.  How much air traffic does it get? Much, much less than the US.  I hate agreeing with stuff reported by Fox News, but securing air travel into and out of Israel is a far different thing than in and out of the US, not to mention that heaps of air travel within the US is also in play.  I would prefer that the US do learn some of the lessons--that it is not just about technology--but the reality is that training lots more folks to make lots more hard decisions is not in the cards now or anytime soon.  Politicians cannot afford to grant discretion to so many people.  So, we rely on technology since it is seen as less fallible than humans. Which is wrong but works for politicians. 

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