With the ever escalating costs of moving political dignitaries around, maybe it would have been more efficient to move the mountain to Mohammed as the old proverb goes. It would have been cheaper for Hollywood set builders to create a mock up city of Brussels on an LA movie set and bring the heads of Europe there than to fly half of DC to Europe. Even with union labor, it shouldn’t cost much more than a couple of million dollars especially if only facades were built.
Instead, the Presidential entourage to Europe is composed of 900 staffers, numerous airplanes, limos, food tasters, door openers and secret service agents for a simple meet and greet. This massive movement of people is like a summer migration of wildebeest on the Serengeti plains; probably visible from space. Hasn’t anyone heard of Skype? Couldn’t they use Dropbox to exchange a few messages? It’s as if a hundred years of advances in communications never happened as the politicos meet in the fashion they have established for thousands of years, with big delegations, pomp and circumstance. The only apparent concession to modern times is the omitting of the elephants and palanquins.
The real problem is the accepted delusion that politicians and sundry dignitaries are in need of coddling, deferential treatment and expensive security at all. Sure, someone’s going to hurl a few eggs once in a while, but for the most part, the scrum around politicos is pure theatre. In real life, no one wants to be near those guys. And let’s remember, since they are politicians, there’s no shortage of them; they can be replaced. They’re as common as lawyers at an accident scene, not Faberge eggs. If there’s any security detail needed, it’s probably back at the home turf where the constituents really hate them.
If a phone call or Skype conversation doesn’t meet the needs, the logical thing to do is to convene somewhere that’s so hard to get to, very little security is needed. It would reduce or eliminate the cost of the regal entourage, fleets of cars, food tasters and assorted hangers-on’ers. A bare, isolated wasteland with no civilization and no paparazzi or protestors; Newfoundland pops to mind.