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Forward thinking for a changing world.

MORE THAN 18,000 SECURITY PROFESSIONALS from all over the world gathered in New Orleans in September to learn from each other and study the latest in products and services. Forward Thinking for a Changing World, the theme of the ASIS International 49th Annual Seminar and Exhibits was reflected in all aspects of the program, from the more than 130 educational sessions to the 2,100 booths in the exhibit hall.

A rousing start. The good times were rolling at Monday's Opening Session, where jugglers, fire-eaters, and acrobats demonstrated their skills, while tap dancers, singers, Tulane University's cheerleader squad, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed.

ASIS International President Daniel H. Kropp, CPP, entered the packed auditorium flanked by flags of more than 100 countries, a symbol of what he called the association's "strong and growing bond with the international security community."

Kropp discussed what he termed "three edgy facts" that face the Society and its members. He elaborated by pointing to the rapid changes in the world's politics, technologies, and economic situation, each accompanied by security challenges that "demand strong forward thinking for a changing world," itself the motto for this year's conference.

Emceeing the music and performances was actor and writer Lenwood Sloan, who played the role of Oscar J. Dunn, the son of slaves and the lieutenant governor of Louisiana from 1868 to 1870. Dunn explained "the spirit of the Big Easy" to the crowd, "a spirit you'll hear in the rhythms and sounds of strolling musicians making music the way it should be made in the city where jazz was born."

Dunn introduced the world renowned Preservation Hail Jazz Band, which played live favorites, concluding with New Orleans staple "When the Saints Go Marching In." Then the Gospel Choir of New Orleans, conducted by Vita Love and featuring soloist Marva Wright, led the group through classics like "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "God Bless America."

Once the performances were completed, Kropp returned to lead the group toward the Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall.

Principles of leadership. In November 1965, a small group of American soldiers fought against five times as many North Vietnamese soldiers in the first major battle of the Vietnam War. Despite dozens of casualties, the American soldiers were able to hold off--and even counterattack--an adversary with far greater numbers.

Lt. General Harold G. Moore, who retired from the Army as a three-star general with more than 32 years of active service, recounted his experiences as commander of these soldiers, the basis of his bestselling book, We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young, at Tuesday's General Session. Moore said that three principles of leadership guided him through that 55-hour shootout: never quit; recognize that there's always something that can be done to favorably influence your situation; and trust your instincts. These same principles are essential qualities of leadership, said Moore.

"In the game of baseball, three strikes and you're out; not so in the game of life," Moore said to illustrate the first principle. In a crisis, leaders must remain calm and cool, he said, "and never give off any evidence of uncertainty about a positive outcome."

Next, Moore urged attendees to "stack the deck for success. There's always one more thing you can do to influence any situation in your favor, and after that, one more thing." Moore urged leaders to ask two questions: "What am I not doing that I should be doing, and what am I doing that I should not be doing?"

Finally, he said, leaders must learn to trust their gut feelings, calling instinct "a useful cross-check of reasoned analysis" that can help make good decisions under pressure. Good leaders should always back away if there is any foaling that the enterprise is a bad idea.

Moore explained that an important element to leadership is to trust subordinates to make decisions. He said that his policy is "power down"--to delegate responsibilities to those comfortable and qualified to make decisions, while making it clear that he himself was ultimately responsible for whatever happened or failed to happen. A side benefit to this policy, Moore said, is that it "kept a lot of paperwork off my desk and gave me time to plan for the future."

Moore also pointed to an "eternal truth" that needs to be recognized by leaders: "It's the people down in the ranks who eventually get the job done in all walks of life. The rifleman private was just as important as I was in getting the job done--maybe more so. And so it is in any organization: the grunts who do the dog work down in the trenches, the cubicles, the mailrooms, the docks, are absolutely essential to success." He concluded by expressing his appreciation for the security professionals on today's front lines, and said it was a privilege to be in the company of men and women with such "awesome responsibilities."

Richard Butler. Despite the failure of the United States to turn up weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, no one should think that Saddam Hussein was innocent, prominent weapons inspector Richard Butler told an audience gathered For Wednesday morning's General Session. "He had them. I saw them I held some in my hands," said Butler, who served as the United Nations' chief" weapons inspector in Iraq from 1997 to 1999 and has represented Australia on the International Atomic Energy Agency and other prominent bodies.

Still, the United States failed to make a convincing argument to the world community to invade Iraq, he said. A much stronger case could have been marshaled for an attack based on Saddam's human rights violations, Butler said. "Saddam Hussein was relentlessly killing people. I tried to bring it up [to the U.N. Security Council] and their response was, 'Be quiet. Your job is the weapons.'"

The U.S. position on Iraq underscored one of Butler's main themes in his engaging General Session. Another was the single-superpower era and how the United States will choose to wield its power. The current administration is exercising power through what Butler called the "Bush Doctrine," which he defined as a national security policy based on intervention and first-strike, a radical departure from past administrations And that doctrine is raising the additional issue of what kind of relationships the United States wants with other countries and the United Nations. Bush's nationalist philosophy threatens even traditional U. S. allies, Butler said, making countries that have historically "torn each other apart"--France, Germany, and Russia--allies through "a felt need to combat U.S. power."

Despite the activity in Iraq, "I think there are signs that the Bush Doctrine in its full measure is not going to be able to be implemented," Butler said. For example, North Korea looms as a major threat, and has even been tabbed by President Bush as a member or the Axis of Evil, but a U.S. attack there is unlikely, he said.

Butler cautioned the United States to use its enormous power with "grace" and "care." Otherwise, the United States stands to go the way of the Roman and British empires, which created opposition through exertion of power.

New guidelines. The General Session on Thursday provided an in-depth look at the newest product from the ASIS International Guidelines Commission. The "General Security Risk Assessment Guideline" provides a qualitative and quantitative framework for assessing security-related risks that many result in death, injury, or the loss of an asset.

Norman Bates, president of Liability Consultants, Inc., moderated the session and was assisted in the discussion by Basil Steele, CPP, deputy director, Sandia National Laboratories. Both men participated on the commission and in the research and preparation of the guideline.

The guideline "is really a common sense approach," says Bates, who was educated as a lawyer. It is a "one size fits all" methodology, he adds.

The presentation was in three parts. Bates first set the stage for the resulting document by reviewing its history and evolution. The methodology presented "is not new; it's been around for decades." says Bates. But the added value of the ASIS guideline is that the steps have been documented and packaged, complete with a glossary of terms, a bibliography, and both qualitative and quantitative appendices.

Steele showed how the guideline can he applied to private security using several case examples--one a hotel and another an industrial site--to demonstrate the guideline's flexibility. The lesson to be learned is that the guideline does not change with the application; it stays the same no matter what the context.

The process evolves through seven steps. The first requires that private security practitioners understand the organization and identify the people and assets at risk. In the final step, the security professional performs a cost/benefit analysis, which, according to the glossary of terms, involves a "systematic attempt to measure or analyze the value of all the benefits that accrue from a particular expenditure.

Bates concluded the presentation with a discussion on the legal implications of guidelines and standards and the difference between them, which is often a case of semantics. "There is a lot of misunderstanding of the implications," says Bales Using case examples, Bates demonstrated how companies can use guidelines to defend themselves The guideline is available online at

Security insights. Former ASIS President Regis W. Becker, CPP, hosted a fascinating exploration of terrorism during Thursday's Security Insights, a half-day program featuring four leading experts on the subject "Today's Security Insights forum explores what we're up against." said Becker, as well as "what it takes to hit back harder and more effectively."

Yeffet. The first expert to speak was Isaac Yeffet, former deputy director of security for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, who established security standards For all Israeli embassies and consulates around the world. He was also director of security for Israel's El Al Airline from 1978 to 1984 and was in charge, among other issues, of developing methodologies for passenger profiling and screening.

Yeffet began with a disturbing tale. In 1986, he said, he was hired by Pan Am Airlines to do a security survey of most major airports, with an end goal of making Pan Am the safest, most secure U.S. airline. Yeffet, who had been told by one Pan Am executive thai the airline wanted its security to be as tough as El Al's, set about the requested security survey. During this time, Pan Am began an advertising campaign promoting its commitment to security. It also began charging customers an extra $10 per ticket for the enhanced security services it was supposedly providing. All the while, said Yeffet, he was out in the field finding "so many things except one security." He also uncovered outright falsifications. For example, at one airport he discovered that dogs being led through the terminal wearing jackets marked "sniffer" were actually not trained but there to provide the illusion of additional security.

At the conclusion of his survey, Yeffet said he wrote two large reports on his findings and recommendations. "I wrote, 'It's luck that you haven't had a tragedy. Luck only,'" he stated. "They took the reports and they locked them in a safe, saying the recommendations were impossible to implement." Shortly thereafter, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Yeffet, who also discussed buying a one-way ticket with cash under the name Abu Nidal and then placing a Fake bomb in a suitcase that was loaded on the plane--all without raising a security eyebrow--said he is skeptical that the individuals being hired by the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are any more qualified for their jobs than previous hires. And, he told the audience, the TSA is relying too much on technology. "It can help a qualified and trained human being, but it cannot make security foolproof," he said.

Johnson. Next, Becket presented Larry Johnson, formerly of the CIA Operations Center, a deputy director of the U.S. State Department's Office of Counterterrorism, and current owner of Berg Associates, LLC. Johnson said that after careful study of data and statistics, he believes that terrorism is curtailable and manageable through good intelligence and law enforcement as well as reliable security technology. But, he cautioned, the U.S. should not "surrender its freedom in the process."

Johnson said that studying the facts reveals that the majority of terrorist activity in the last decade has come out of Colombia, India, and Pakistan (and via the latter, into Afghanistan) and has to do with the drug trade and Islamic nationalism or extremism. Colombian terrorism tends to target pipelines and other sites, while most Indian and Pakistani terrorism involves the use of bombs. He told the audience that measures to stop these groups and these weapons would yield the most beneficial results.

Hassouna. Becket then introduced Dr. Hussein Hassouna, the permanent representative of the League of Arab States to the United States. Hassouna previously acted as assistant foreign minister of affairs for Egypt and was a member of the Egyptian delegation to successive Middle East peace negotiations in Cairo, Tel Aviv, and Washington.

Hassouna said that terrorism can only be successfully fought by a global effort and through multilateralism. First, it is vital to understand the social factors that can fuel terrorism: poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment. "Rich countries need to engage with small countries to [overcome these issues]," he told attendees.

Hassouna lauded the idea of a free trade zone between the United States and the Middle East as a way to replace a negative perception with a positive one because people benefit from the economic growth and a better standard of living.

Mylroie. The final speaker was Dr. Laurie Mylroie, former associate professor in the Political Science Department at Harvard University and the Strategy Department of the U.S. Naval War College. She has also been on the staff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. She is the author of several books, including the bestseller, Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in America.

Mylroie believes a documentable connection can be traced between Iraq and the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. She presented photocopies of documents showing that Ramzi Yousef mastermind of that bombing, traveled on an Iraqi passport with an exit visa issued in Baghdad, and other evidence. He is possibly not an Islamic extremist at all, but an agent of Iraq, she stated. She also believes that he is not actually Ramzi Yousef or any of the other aliases he traveled under, but someone else, yet unidentified, sponsored by Saddam Hussein's former dictatorship. (All documents that comprise Mylroie's investigation can be accessed on the Internet at

Comic farewell. The seminar and exhibits officially closed after a hilarious comedy and magic set by Harry Anderson, best known as quirky Judge Harold T. Stone on the acclaimed NBC comedy "Night Court."

Anderson's jokes kept flying through demonstrations of card tricks and card counting, handcuff and strait-jacket escapes, and a trick involving borrowing two $5 bills from audience members, then tearing them in pieces. "Oh yeah, you're security experts, all right," Anderson quipped as he reduced the bills to shreds. Later, the money was "magically" restored.

RELATED ARTICLE: President hails volunteer leaders.

Before several thousand attendees at Monday's lunch, ASIS International President Daniel H. Kropp, CPP, announced the slate of directors recently elected by the membership to serve on the ASIS Board of Directors. The new directors, who will serve from 2004 to 2006, are: John C. Cholewa III, CPP, of Sprint; Steve D. Chupa, CPP, of Johnson & Johnson; Daniel J. Consalvo, CPP, of State Farm Insurance Company; Thomas M. Seamon, CPP, of Roundhouse Group; and Loretta Woodward Veney, CPP, of Superior Training Solutions. After a brief ceremony, Kropp welcomed them on behalf of other members of the Board.

Next, Chairman of the Board Stephen C. Millwee, CPP, led the swearing-in of the ASIS International 2004 officers. The new officers are Steve D. Chupa, CPP secretary; Jeffrey M. Spivey, CPP, treasurer; Daniel J. Consalvo, CPP, vice president; Shirley A. Pierini, CPP, president; and Daniel H. Kropp, CPP, chairman of the board. Millwee reminded luncheon attendees that the inauguration of the president of ASIS International, as well as a report on the Society's financial status, will take place on January 15, 2004, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

Kropp thanked all the Society's volunteers for their efforts during his year as president. "ASIS may never have reached international status ... without the steady, active involvement and consistent contributions of its remarkable groups of volunteer leaders," he said.

Kropp led a round of applause for those involved in the Society's leadership, including its past presidents and members of the Professional Certification Board and the Foundation Board of Trustees. ASIS council vice presidents, council chairmen and members, regional vice presidents, assistant regional vice presidents, chapter chairmen, and other chapter officers also were heralded by the group.
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Title Annotation:Getting Started
Publication:Security Management
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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