On Monday, I returned from a trip to Germany in which I met with my homeland security counterparts from six European Union countries. This regular meeting – called the “G6 plus 1” (I’m the “plus 1”) – is an important part of our security cooperation. Threats like terrorism, the spread of infectious diseases, and natural disasters know no borders, which makes global partnership an integral part of American security.
We focused on many different elements of this partnership – including information-sharing about terror suspects, bolstering the security of international cyber networks and combating the smuggling of drugs, money, and people.
One outcome from the trip is a new science and technology agreement with the government of Germany. The photo here shows me at the signing ceremony with the German Minister of Science and Education, Annette Schavan.
This partnership will identify science and technology projects where the U.S. and Germany can collaborate on innovations that improve our security. One effort will kick off in just a few months: developing “visual analytics” technologies that can organize and cluster millions of pieces of intelligence data and arrange them visually, allowing intelligence analysts to understand more quickly the patterns contained in enormous amounts of diffuse information.
I’m excited about the doors this will open to scientific understandings not only of threats, but also solutions. Wherever we can partner with our allies to make both our nations safer, we should – and this will be an important priority moving forward, starting with my visits to Mexico and Canada over the next few weeks.