From the Xinhua news service:
Singapore and the United States signed here Wednesday a Letter of Intent (LOI) on Cooperation in Science and Technology for Homeland Security Matters, vowing to work toward a mutual agreement.
According to a joint statement issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the two countries will carry out collaborative scientific and technological research and development and share solutions “to tackle homeland security and safety issues, ranging from terrorist incidents and border security to disaster rescue and recovery.”
The LOI was signed by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, who arrived here Tuesday for a three-day official visit.
This sounds similar to the UK-US agreement on homeland security R&D reaceed in December 2004, although perhaps less ambitious in its scope. I’m a strong supporter of these types of agreements: cooperative efforts on homeland security R&D with key partner nations can be a critical lever for improving our own homeland security capabilities. This agreement isn’t a one-way street; the United States can learn from Singapore’s homeland security capabilities. I was in Singapore a few years ago, and was very impressed by the proficiency of the security measures at Changi Airport. We can likely learn a lot from their port and cargo security operations as well. Overall, this is a very positive contribution to DHS’s efforts to build a global network of homeland security stakeholders.