ARLINGTON, VA – Michael Connors, a principal with the Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm specializing in transportation and border security, gave voice to concerns held by many working in the homeland defense arena that looming funding shortages could hamstring efforts to tighten transportation security in the U.S.
“If we don’t have the resources to accomplish the mission, then all our cargo detection efforts will be in vain,” he said at the Homeland Defense Training Conference sponsored by Homeland Defense Journal magazine last week.
“The reason it’s important is that our country is running, at some levels, historic deficits at the federal, state and local levels,” Connors explained. “Yet we need to realize the struggle we are now facing against terror needs to be a generational effort – a 35 year effort to secure our supply chains and diminish the threat of terrorism.”
One reason Connors thinks homeland security must be funded on such a lengthy timetable relates to the very nature of the U.S. transportation structure.
“The systems we need to protect are almost all intermodal in nature – they all interconnect at many points,” he said. “That makes them very sensitive to terrorist attack. That’s why we need to view homeland security funding as an investment in our future and not as just a cost of doing business.”