Maritime Security: Potential Terrorist Attacks and Protection Priorities
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Pagination or Media Count:
A key challenge for U.S. policy makers is prioritizing the nation s maritime security activities among a virtually unlimited number of potential attack scenarios. While individual scenarios have distinct features, they may be characterized along five common dimensions perpetrators, objectives, locations, targets, and tactics. In many cases, such scenarios have been identified as part of security preparedness exercises, security assessments, security grant administration, and policy debate. There are far more potential attack scenarios than likely ones, and far more than could be meaningfully addressed with limited counter-terrorism resources. There are a number of logical approaches to prioritizing maritime security activities. One approach is to emphasize diversity, devoting available counterterrorism resources to a broadly representative sample of credible scenarios. Another approach is to focus counter-terrorism resources on only the scenarios of greatest concern based on overall risk, potential consequence, likelihood, or related metrics. U.S. maritime security agencies appear to have followed policies consistent with one or the other of these approaches in federally-supported port security exercises and grant programs. Legislators often appear to focus attention on a small number of potentially catastrophic scenarios.
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare