Two Democrats in the House have introduced a bill to scan all ship container cargo headed for the US. That’s right, all containers. From where they are loaded. By American personnel.
In order to ensure that every container is checked for radiological or other hazardous substances, the S.O.S. Act would mandate:
1) That all containers be scanned using the best-available technology, including scanning for radiation and density, before they are loaded onto a ship destined for the United States;
2) That the scans be reviewed by American security personnel before the container is loaded; and
3) That the containers be sealed with a device that indicates if the container has been tampered with in transit, and that would notify U.S. officials of a breach before the container enters the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States.
There must be thousands of ports loading containers headed for the US. They want to put staff in all of them with super whizz-bang scanning detectors so they can stop the Baddies? First off, these Congresscritters’ paranoia level seems absurd. Other countries do no such scanning, and get on just fine. Second, this is just another example of the US predilection for attempting to solve problems with “superior technology” rather than using people on the ground.
In Vietnam, they thought victory would be assured by bombing from the air rather than fighting on the ground. Wrong. In Iraq they charged in wearing 50 extra pounds of snazzy high tech gear when it was 115 degrees. That wasn’t real bright either. Now they want to stop a threat that has yet to actually happen by putting tens of thousands of personnel in thousands of foreign ports with expensive scanning gear. What’s really needed is experienced people on the ground working with with the locals – assuming of course the locals will permit the US there – and not more high tech toys. (This is also more US imperialist arrogance, assuming they can install their police anywhere on the globe without even consulting the government of those countries.)
This plan will never work. Five minutes of thinking and most anyone could figure ways around it. It’s expensive, unwieldy, impractical, and next to impossible to implement. And yeah, it was Democrats who proposed it, not Republicans.