Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/284910
20 Proceedings Spring 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings It seemed logical that the U.S. Coast Guard, the nation's pri- mary maritime safety and security agency, should be a part of DHS. However, it was not readily apparent as to where the service ft into the new department's primary responsi- bility to protect America's land, air, and sea ports of entry. Threats to the United States can be natural or manmade. Although terrorist attacks are most often associated with border security, which rightfully are the primary focus for DHS, they are the tip of the iceberg. From drug and migrant smuggling to illegal fshing and environmental crimes, a multitude of maritime border security threats exist. Unlike the obvious devastation caused by a terrorist attack or a hurricane, these less visible threats eat away at the fabric of American society and undermine the nation's health and economic vitality. Working with its DHS partners, the U.S. Coast Guard lever- ages its unique maritime security authorities, capabilities, capacity, and partnerships to mitigate risk and improve security in our domestic ports, within U.S. waters, on the high seas, and in ports abroad. The overarching strategy is to increase maritime border security through a layered security system that begins beyond the country's physical borders. One of the most important lessons the United States learned from the 9/11 terrorist attacks is that threats to America's security are broad and diverse. Prior to that tragic day, peo- ple wouldn't have given much thought to the idea of terror- ists gaining control of our commercial airplanes to commit deadly attacks on humans in buildings. Beefng up security in American airports was a natural and necessary frst step, but it was not nearly enough to protect the American public and the broad range of vital U.S. inter- ests. What if the 9/11 attacks had focused on blowing up commercial vessels in major U.S. ports? Or perhaps attacks on critical maritime infrastructure such as an offshore oil platform? Such an attack on the marine transportation sys- tem would have closed down the very lifeblood of American commerce for an indeterminable time. The Department of Homeland Security The federal government created the Department of Home- land Security (DHS) as a long-term solution to national security. This move brought together 22 disparate agencies with varying responsibilities, authorities, and capabilities to better prepare for, protect from, and respond to threats. Plying Dangerous Waters Maritime security in a changed world. by Mr. lou orsini Senior Maritime Law Enforcement Advisor U.S. Coast Guard Offce of Law Enforcement Plans, Partnerships, Policies A crew member from a CGC Harriet Lane small boat assists a Haitian migrant aboard. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Jennifer Johnson. The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and other federal, state, and local agency crew inspect a Coast Guard Auxiliary boat during an exercise to evaluate radiation sensors. U.S. Coast Guard photo. Spring2014_FINAL.indd 20 3/21/14 11:13 AM