Port Security Essay

Words: 1583
Pages: 7

Port and Container Ship Security


Jennifer L. Rodriguez
July 15, 2012

Table of Contents


Literature Review

Body of Content

1. Economic Impact

2. High Visibility/High Causalities

3. Ease of Attack

4. Conclusion



Since the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has increased

security measures at airports that are continuously scrutinized. However, it appears on

the surface there is a disregard of the protection of seaports and container ships to

include early warning and response protocols. There are millions of pounds of cargo
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As a result of urban development, most major ports are no longer

confined to strictly industrial areas, but rather have become well-developed centers of

commerce and entertainment, surrounded by built up waterside areas dedicated to tourism

and recreation (Watts, 2005). Many of these facilities are located next to volatile maritime

infrastructure such as: fuel tanks, this could create mass fires if attacked by an

explosive force, this would result in mass casualties. Even the Council on Foreign

Relations warns that U.S. seaports could be tempting targets for terrorists bent on killing large numbers of people. Stephen Flynn, a senior council member, admits that “maritime

transportation is one of our nation’s most serious vulnerabilities”.

Ease of Attacks

Commercial ports are not fortresses. The ocean itself presents a number of distinct

advantages to a dedicated attacker, especially when employing maritime suicide terrorism

or means to rapidly deliver large explosive force. Water is not only a tremendously

efficient transport medium, but the large amount of legitimate commercial and

recreational traffic in ports allows for an enemy to mask movements prior to an attack,

making effective defense difficult. An attack of this kind, through a port, could be

devastating, depending on the target. Terrorists could use the ports as a point