Thirdly we must pursue with Department of Commerce to facilitate DPW for onward sale of its asset without losses.
The opponents perceive it as a security threat without any justification. Notwithstanding the fact that the port operation is already foreign owned, the security is not the operator's prerogative. It is according to the International Shipping and Ports Security Code which is implemented by US Coast Guards. None of the infrastructure at ports in question relates to military or national security facilities. The Defense Department controls the facilities that it uses to ship military goods. Sale of these ports operations is nothing to do with security. It is a direct result of globalization of maritime trade and neither is it an outsourcing issue. The hype has actually been created by the Democrats to put pressure on Administration. However this needless hype has damaged our long term interests severely in Arab World. This is being taken as a test of US impartiality by our Arab allies as P&O is already a foreign owned company and only being transferred from British to Arabs owners
The stakes are too high in properly managing this issue for long term US interests in the region. Not only this will add fuel to fire in US impression in Arab world, it will jeopardize the security of our business interests in Arab World. This issue may be taken as an argument to nationalize vital strategic industries currently being run be American Companies. It may aggravate the security problems for US citizens in the region if the issue is politicized by the radical elements in the Arab World.
Possible Courses of Actions
The current situation suggests three possible courses of actions
1. Normal Diplomatic activity from State Department and projection of the issue as merely a legal and technical matter.
2. Normal Diplomatic activity till blockade and taking remedial measures by putting the onus of blame on Arabs by directly projecting the issue as a fall out to 9/11.
3. Taking a non apologetic and non accusatory position to the problem by State Department and proactive diplomacy for controlling the potential damage in Arab world.
Need for Pro-activity in Damage Control
The first option can possibly work if the issue is really such and there are justifiable legal grounds available. However given the sentiments involved and heightened emotions both in US population and Arab world it is not advisable. The second approach will simply aggravate the sentiments in Arab world and will likely complicate our relationships with the Arabs no matter how much we consider them to be at fault in 9/11. Therefore only practical approach is to be proactive and carefully guard the situation till the time attention is diverted to any other issue. We need to be highly active in this regard. If we do not take proactive approach now as proposed and wait to see the result of Senate decision, we will likely be doing damage control by making explanations and would be clearly seen in negative light. The US government has to take a clear stance despite domestic