Homeland Security Papers: Stemming the Tide of Terror -- Chapter 4: Protecting America's Seaports: The Vulnerability of Intermodal Commerce   [open pdf - 96KB]

"The U.S. is dependent on liner shipping and intermodal commerce. The security dilemma lies in the fact that there must be a balance between seaport security and the ability to flow commerce. Strict seaport security will insure safety but lose trade dollars to other countries. Loose seaport security will increase trade dollars but risk shutting down the industry with a single terrorist event. This chapter will explore the critical vulnerabilities of U.S. seaports, the government agencies charged with U.S. seaport security and the security measures in place to protect them." The author concludes that sweeping changes should be made in worldwide shipping security. The Coast Guard should require transoceanic ships to have a GPS transponder that would allow for continuous tracking of all ocean-going ships - knowing which seaports a ships have visited my give insight into terrorist activity. The author also encourages strict border security and worker identification cards in order to avoid unauthorized personnel on the docks. However, seaports are receiving the attention necessary to address their vulnerabilities, and worldwide cooperation will be need from our trading partners to combat economic terrorism.

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Ritz, Michael W. Homeland Security Papers: Stemming the Tide of Terror. Maxwell Air Force Base: USAF Counterproliferation Center, 2004, ch.4
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