Monday, June 15, 2009

Op-Ed Entry 2
A Threat in Every Port
By: Lawrence M. Wein

In this Opinion Editorial, Wein shares his ideas to protect the country from terrorist bringing a nuclear bomb onto US soil. He goes on to say that Obama’s plan for a nuclear weapon free world is achievable, but the spending must be reorganized. Last year, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (part of Homeland) spent 2.8 billion trying to develop technology that could scan for nuclear weapons all over the world. Even with that massive amount spent, the Government Accountability Office said the detection office “lacks an overarching strategic plan”. The reason for this is that there are 132 ways a nuclear weapon can enter the US and travel to the target city. Wein then goes through the best way to stop this from ever happening. He proposes that the US look at how at all the areas where they could be in danger, and then take the first move instead of letting the terrorist have that advantage. Wein states that in order to create the most trouble for terrorist, we must have the same level of detection at all locations of entry. Otherwise, they will just turn to the easiest option. Then, we must fine the “pinch- point” where all possible bombs may enter. That place is any air/seaport in North America. Knowing that, if we can get radiation detectors on all cargo entering or leaving these ports, it will create or best line of defense. Wein goes on further to break it down more, but the bottom line is that we need the help of all North and South American nations to stop any nuclear threat in the future.
In this Op-Ed, Mr. Wein has a very logical way of writing. He starts off with background information, then moves to the current problem, and then addresses his solution. He also uses diagrams to further his point. This logical way of writing is easy to follow and it is easy to agree with. He states his solution clearly and is very convincing that it is a good plan. I would only question a few parts of his plan. The first is the money issue. If the detection agency has already spent 2.8 billion dollars, and it is not solving any problems...that is a problem right there. Everyone knows that there are money issues in this country and it doesn’t sound like anyone has any thought to limit spending. The second issue I see is the trust of other nation near us. We can rely on Canada, Mexico owes a lot to us, but other Central and South American countries may not be trusted. They sure don’t trust us and we shouldn’t trust them. It may be very difficult to get them to agree to the surveillance we want in there port. Besides those two problems I see, I believe it is a great start. As intelligence everywhere about nuclear weapons rises, so will the threat level. I guess it is in our blood to try to keep the whole world safe, and a worldwide nuclear detection program sound like a good idea... I just don’t know how long it will take with all the money and agreements needed.

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