March 16, 2009

The United States and Germany have agreed to share technologies related to homeland defense, in a first step toward a possible wider transatlantic framework. 

AP

The U.S. and Germany signed an agreement Monday to share science and technology research in an effort to improve the security of both nations.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said after signing the agreement with German Research Minister Annette Schavan that the countries would pool resources in developing analytical tools and other technological and scientific research pertaining to security issues. "Homeland security is not about walling ourselves off from other countries, it is about cooperating with our allies," Napolitano said.

Schavan said that both countries were looking for ways to use technology to find "innovative solutions" that ensure a "good balance of security and freedoms."

Napolitano met in Berlin over the weekend with the top security officials of Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and Britain and said she found "much agreement" among the nations. She said that while the administration of President Barack Obama would emphasize international cooperation in security matters, there would also be continuity with programs begun under the previous administration. 

This would seem to be a no-brainer.  While it's true that sharing technology adds some incremental risk, it also spurs faster innovation. 

James Joyner is managing editor of the Atlantic Council.

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