The global effort to combat the threat of terrorists using maritime transport
to deliver weapons of mass destruction is increasingly compromised by the imposition of under-funded security initiatives on ports and shipping interests, warned Helen Delich Bentley while speaking in Greece October 19.
Bentley told an international shipping seminar that new International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) security regulations governing the maritime operations of 162 member states are strikingly similar – in both its regulatory sweep and inadequate level of accompanying funding – to recent Congressional legislation targeting America’s maritime community.
“Where’s the money?” said Bentley in addressing the Contribution of Ports in the Regional Development Conference in Patras.
The remarks continue Bentley’s campaign to redress the global maritime community’s problematic post 9/11 double bind – the heightened risk of attack, and high costs of implementing under-funded security measures.
While “there can be no argument about the need for new security architecture…in all (transportation) modes,” said Bentley, shipping’s voluminous and far-flung cargo traffic “would seem to provide aspiring terrorists with the most inviting window of opportunity.”
Bentley, former chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission and five-term Maryland Congresswoman, is a strong supporter a strong national defense. She presently serves as a lobbyist and consultant for various maritime and business interests, including the Maryland Port Administration.