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Security Challenges in a Port

According to Christopher (2009), invasive species, chemical contaminants, terrorism and radioactive materials are the key port security challenges. Invasive species include both aquatic animal and aquatic plant species. These are species that have adapted to living on, in, or next to the water. Chemical threats, on the other hand, are associated with vessels that ply the sea. Terrorism is also one of the key security threats the port faces. Last but not least, the port has also to guard against unwanted or risky radioactive materials that may find their way into the country.

A security survey is a technique that provides a full picture of the risks the port faces as well as the security measures put in place. Security survey aims to identify:

  • The scale and type of risk.
  • Any patterns or trends in the incidents taking place at the port.
  • The security selection measures.
  • The efficiency of the security measures chosen.

Risk-based decision-making (RBDM), on the other hand, is a process of making decisions regarding underground storage tank, sites of release based on the risks they pose to the environment and human health in general. Cost-effective risk assessment is the determination of qualitative and quantitative risk value related to a recognized threat and a concrete situation in an economical or affordable way.

Some of the available resources for conducting port facility risk/vulnerability analysis include open Source Intelligence which particularly deals with analyzing the possibility of terrorism issues. In addition, the port has Event Security Management System for guiding decision makers in choosing the best response approaches in real-time. Finally, the port has Technical Counter Measures (TCM) services which review current security procedures and policies.

Thinking Asymmetrically in Times of Terror

Gray (2002) examines the aspects of asymmetric threats in the United States views regarding on terrorist outrages, irregularity in the asymmetric threats definition and suitability of low-key response for terrorist attacks. A problem associated with defining an asymmetric threat is the implication that the threat's universe divides neatly into the asymmetric and the symmetric. With symmetrical warfare, belligerents always vary from each other, typically in ways that could be the strategically significant while, with asymmetric threats, there are no similar belligerents, bearing identical forces and who behave identically. According to Gray, asymmetric threats are unusual in the eyes of people and are leveraged against specific assets such as military and, more often, civil (Gray, 2002).

In his essay, Gray confines asymmetrical threats to the threats emanating from an irregular enemy. Nonetheless, with equal justification, he sets out to diminish this idea by indicating that all wars waged by the United States have been an asymmetrical contest. Gray further cautions that if terrorism is not effectively countered, then, at best, the United States should accept the higher price as the cost of tolerating this asymmetric enemy. In a nutshell, the entire essay stresses the preparedness and negative effect of asymmetric threat, which is terrorism.