Systems Approach to Assessing the Vulnerabilities of U.S. Domestic Sea Ports to Acts of Sabotage and Terrorism [open pdf - 856KB]
"The U.S. national security strategy provides for two, nearly simultaneous, major regional contingency (MRC) operations. The U.S. Armed Forces transport more than 85% of their required sustainment supplies by sea. Strategic mobility planners assume that U.S. port operations can support the required deployment schedule without experiencing degradation or damage. Given the inherent vulnerability of seaports in our free and open society, the real issue is to determine the extent to which the ports are vulnerable. No agency or armed service has clearly determined the degree of vulnerability of domestic ports and terminals. There is no existing methodology to accurately assess the overall vulnerability of a port, thus, the current, subjective evaluations fail to adequately analyze real-world vulnerability. This research systematically combines the individual components of port security assessment into one comprehensive approach that will aid commanders and port authorities in accurately identifying threat, vulnerability, and risk; thus, providing useful information with which to tailor port security operations. The primary focus is on the vulnerability assessment and prescribes two interrelated measures to enhance the accuracy and usefulness of a vulnerability assessment. The first measure provides recommended guidelines in the identification of critical assets. The second provides an objective, analytical method to assess the vulnerability of critical assets. The conclusion of this research is that a systems approach is required in order to accurately assess port security. The Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation, the two departments with key responsibilities for strategic mobility, must confirm or disprove the validity of the assumption concerning port security."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/