Boston is one of many international trade ports in the United States. Senator Joe Biden discusses the importance of increasing port security and funding a relatively fail safe port screening with pre-existing “Star Wars” budgets.
The Star Wars defense system (brainstormed during the Reagan Administration) absorbs about $8 Billion a year in federal funding and is intended to defend against nuclear missile attacks from abroad. The threat of such an attack drastically declined at the end of the Cold War. Now, more portable threats–those that may be carried over borders and into ports–are of greater concern. At present, only about 5% of cargo coming into Boston Harbor is checked. It would cost about $1.4 Billion to purchase the necessary equipment to scan 100% of all incoming cargo.
As suggested by Senator Biden, we really need to re-allocate Star Wars budgeting to port control as well as increased security in nuclear and chemical plants–also dangerously lacking. In such violent times, domestic security should not only be a priority, but should fit the danger proposed. Our present focus fails to address the real threats that exist, domestically.