Maritime Security: Progress and Challenges in Key DHS Programs to Secure the Maritime Borders, Statement of Stephen L. Caldwell, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 213KB]

"Maritime borders are gateways to our nation's maritime transportation system of ports, waterways, and vessels--which handle billions of dollars of cargo annually. An attack on this system could have dire consequences and affect the global economy. In addition, criminals could use small vessels to smuggle narcotics, aliens, and other contraband across U.S. maritime borders. Within DHS, the Coast Guard is responsible for many homeland security efforts in the maritime domain, including conducting port facility and commercial vessel inspections and coordinating maritime information-sharing efforts, among other things. In addition, CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] is responsible for screening incoming vessels' crews and cargo to facilitate the flow of legitimate trade and passengers. This testimony identifies key factors important to secure the maritime borders, and discusses progress and challenges in related DHS programs. This statement is based on products GAO [Government Accountability Office] issued from July 2003 through October 2013. GAO has made recommendations to DHS in prior reports to strengthen its maritime security programs. DHS generally concurred with these recommendations and has taken actions, or has actions under way, to address them."

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