Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Friday, June 02, 2006

Threat to US ports: Boats packed with explosives

Reported here, some musings of Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen on what the next level of port security might entail:
The United States must close security gaps that could let small boats packed with explosives slip into ports and stage attacks like the one that killed 17 men on the U.S. warship Cole in Yemen, the new Coast Guard chief said on Wednesday.

Adm. Thad Allen, who took over as commandant of the Coast Guard last week, said officials had to do more to help thwart such stealthy strikes, which could cause massive damage to ports, oil facilities, ports, cruise ships or tankers.

"Our own threat analysis and vulnerability analysis tell us there is a significant threat by vessel-borne improvised explosive devices," Allen told Reuters in an interview.

"We haven't put nearly as much thinking in science and technology and (general) thought into the small-vessel threat as we need to, and I think that's where we need to go next."
As one of his first goals in office, Allen is devising a new security strategy over the next few months which will look at issues such as the small-boat threat, as well as the feasibility of licensing a broader range of boats or imposing exclusion zones around some high-risk areas.
At least he's identified a problem.

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