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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Effective security in action: UK bans flights from Yemen

In an uncharacteristic show of common sense, the United Kingdom’s prime minister, Gordon Brown announced today that  flights direct from Yemen to the UK are to be banned. My estimation of Mr. Brown just went up.

“This [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] is the Yemen-based organisation with close links to the al-Qaeda core in Pakistan. And we know that a number of terrorist cells are actively trying to attack Britain and other countries.”

– Gordon Brown

The PM also promised British MPs greater cooperation between international security agencies to share information on suspects. It is incredible to hear that, almost a decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, greater co-operation is needed between international security agencies to share information on suspects.

For God’s sake. What does it take to get through to civil servants that to keep civilian populations safe they need to cooperate internationally and to share information on terror suspects? Isn’t this basic security 101? Apparently, not in Britain or the United States, which has also recently promised to be more sharing of information.

We—the Western English speaking democracies—are spending the big bucks, why aren’t we getting the big results? Are our state institutions so bloated and inefficient that they have to told ever few months that they need to cooperate with other internal and external organizations?

Perhaps this is all a sham. Could it be that civil servants are told by politicians behind the scenes not to cooperate? I doubt that, but damned if I can figure out why cooperation isn’t a given—maximum, unfettered cooperation that is.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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1 comment — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. Does this compensation also apply to charter flights? We were delayed overnight by a starter motor failing in an aircraft engine last July. We were put up overnight in a hotel, but it was a real pain, especially as they damaged a new suitcase en route to the overnight hotel and fobbed me off with a much cheaper one.

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