U.S. Seen Prodding Allies in Terror War; Costly Security Measures at Issue

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Byline: Guy Taylor, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

SAN ANTONIO - The top foreign-affairs adviser to the Department of Homeland Security says the United States must do more to spark action among its foreign allies in fighting the global war on terrorism in their own countries.

In an interview while attending a terrorism-law conference here this week, Cresencio S. Arcos, the department's director of international affairs, said: "We need to be more creative in how we engage our allies in the war on terror."

The United States has made great progress working with Britain, Canada and Mexico - the latter two making up about 60 percent of joint-U.S. homeland security efforts - said Mr. Arcos.

Department sources, however, say they are "circumspect" about forming joint working groups with governments outside those three nations. "We can't possibly have them with every country in the world," one official said, on the condition of anonymity.

On June 1, DHS officials convened a semiannual conference with British officials to discuss information- and technology-sharing practices in the war on terrorism.

A key topic, said department officials, was how better to involve the European Union in multinational air-security efforts, such as creating more extensive passenger information. The next meeting with Britain is scheduled for December.

Meanwhile, Mr. Arcos, a former senior State Department official who once served as ambassador to Honduras, said perhaps the biggest challenge in engaging allies in Europe and other parts of the world is that the war on terrorism "costs a lot. …