250 word discussion response homeland security john 1

Responses should be a minimum of 250 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.

Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. Sources utilized to support answers are to be cited in accordance with the APA writing style by providing a general parenthetical citation (reference the author, year and page number) within your post, as well as an adjoining reference list. Refer to grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.

Respond to: John

The United States has long been considered a leader in world trade, for both the importation and exportation of goods. The average consumer fails to really consider where the products on which they have become dependent for the function of their everyday lives originates, or how it arrives at their door. A 2013 article titled Ten Legitimately Fascinating Facts About the Shipping Industry explains that at that time, around 90 percent of all goods purchased in the United States arrived by ship (Levinson, para 1). It obviously requires road, rail, and air service to move products once they reach U.S. shores, but the goods must first reach those shores, and then pass through the Customs and TSA requirements before completing their trek.

The maritime transportation industry has several vulnerabilities. As odd as it may sound in modern times, one of those vulnerabilities is piracy. Since two-thirds of the earth’s surface is water, and the majority of that water falls outside any nation-state’s responsibility or ability to effectively control, piracy is also difficult to control (UN News, 2019, para 1-2). Areas such as the Malacca Straights, the South China Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Guinea, and Benin are typically the top five areas affected by acts of high seas piracy (Marine Insight, 2016, para 6-8). Mitigating the possibility of piracy causes shipping companies and freight captains to sail well outside of these areas when possible, increasing shipping time, employee time at sea (requiring more pay), increased fuel expenditures, higher underwriting and insurance premiums, all of which will eventually be passed on to the end consumer in the form of higher product pricing. Complicating the issue of piracy is the fact that most maritime shipping companies are denied the ability to protect themselves with firearms stored and maintained onboard due to weapons laws at the ports which the ships are required to periodically dock, or because of the underwriter’s fear of those weapons falling into the wrong hands. A few small companies have developed a workaround in the form of “floating armories” which stay in international waters and place guards and weapons on paying ships while those ships traverse dangerous waters (Kent and Werber, 2015). These armories also increase the cost of shipping when they are utilized.

Even more pressing than the issue of high-seas piracy is the problem of searching containers at ports before they are transported by rail or truck to their final destination. Approximately 11 million containers arrive at U.S. seaports annually (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 2018, para 1). Customs inspectors have an insurmountable (and impossible) task of searching all of those containers, of which they are only successful of searching about 3.7 percent (Kulisch, E. 2016, para 13). Henry (2018) further states that failure to physically inspect all cargo arriving in the U.S. could potentially cripple the world economy if a “dirty bomb” managed to slip through the cracks and enter the country while damaging a major port such as the Port of Los Angeles.

Henry also explains that the SAFE Ports Act of 2006 was designed to correct this, but implementation of the Act has been slow and continues to get pushed to the right. The Container Security Initiative (CSI) is also supposed to help by inspecting containers before they ever reach U.S. Ports through the use of technology, but the CSI is not available at every port of embarkation to U.S. ports; only those few deemed most at-risk (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 2019).

The constant supply of goods arriving and departing the U.S. is critical to society, and the security and maintenance of the ships and ports for those goods is equally critical. Companies and industries trade on a global scale, and failure to observe resilience ideology on that same global scale could surely cripple the nation with far-reaching global effects.


Henry, Y. (2018). It Only Takes One: How a Single Shipping Container Could Cripple the World’s Economy. Global Resilience Institute at Northern University. Retrieved from https://globalresilience.northeastern.edu/2018/07/it-only-takes-one-how-a-single-shipping-container-could-cripple-the-worlds-economy/.

Kent, S. & Werber, C. (2015). How Floating Armories Help Guard Cargo Ships From Pirates on High Seas. February 3, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-floating-armories-help-guard-cargo-ships-from-pirates-on-high-seas-1422934573.

Kulisch, E. (2016). U.S. Lawmakers Say with New Technology, it’s Time to Inspect all Inbound Containers. American Shipper. August 18, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.westarusa.com/u-s-lawmakers-say-new-technology-time-inspect-inbound-containers/.

Levinson, E. (2013). Ten Legitimately Fascinating Facts about the Shipping Industry. The Atlantic. Aug 12, 2013. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/08/shipping-industry-bigger-you-can-imagine/312253/.

Marine Insight (2016). 10 Maritime Piracy Affected Areas around the World. MI News Network. July 21, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.marineinsight.com/marine-piracy-marine…

UN News (2019). Piracy and High Seas Crime Growing, Becoming More Sophisticated, UN Security Council Told. The United Nations. Retrieved from https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/02/1032011.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (2018). Cargo Security and Examinations. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved from https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/cargo-security.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2019). CSI: Container Security Initiative. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved from https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/cargo-security/csi/csi-brief.

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