Essay: Airport and Port Security

Pages: 4 (1208 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military  ·  Buy This Paper

Airport and Port Security

The statement, "where the tactics of the weak confound the tactics of the strong" refers to the concept of Fourth Generation Warfare. This kind of warfare appears "weak" in terms of military size and base. Indeed, there is no territorial army base. Instead, this type of warfare is based upon temporary and small territories, which can blend in much more easily with the general population than the traditional army base. This is then what also makes this type of warfare dangerous when opposed by the apparently "strong." This type of warfare tends to support initiatives that are political, diplomatic, and economic.

Rethinking asymmetric threats means there is a reconsideration of the phrase in terms of both linguistics and utility. The author argues that the term's traditionally accepted use is no longer as relevant as when it originated. Hence the need to "rethink" it. Furthermore, such rethinking is vital in terms of the new types of threat currently being faced.

In rethinking the term, the author is also critically deconstructing it. He argues that the linguistic meaning of asymmetric threats is as important as the actual concepts it denotes. Hence, in rethinking the term, the actual threat is also redefined. In this way, policy and strategy that are being formulated in response to the identified threat can more clearly define both the threat being faced and the necessary response to this threat.

3.

A dirty bomb is an explosive device that incorporates radioactive materials. It is also known as a radiological weapon or radiological dispersal device (RDD). The initial blast is a result of the conventional explosive, which kills or injures. The radioactive material is the secondary threat, killing by airborne radiation and contamination.

Dirty bombs do not take particular expertise to make, as opposed to a conventional bomb. The most challenging part of constructing the device is obtaining the radioactive material itself. Although they are not much more difficult than conventional bombs to make, it is also a fact that cruder constructions are less dangerous than their more sophisticated counterparts. Hence, the more experienced bomb builder can make a more dangerous weapon.

Although radiological attacks do not cause as many deaths as a nuclear bomb, for example, they do pose a significant threat to port security. Air- and seaports contain significant amounts of civilians, military, police service, and other personnel on a daily basis. The detonation of a dirty bomb in one of these areas would therefore contribute significantly to terror in the country. Furthermore, these ports are also receptacles for foreigners, which makes them potentially vulnerable to smuggling activities as these relate to dirty bombs or even materials to construct such bombs.

Furthermore, there are no effective ways to decontaminate buildings where such bombs were detonated. Often, the detonation of a dirty bomb inside a building necessitates demolition. This in turn results in the loss of large amounts of money.

4.

Although it is neither easy nor simple to obtain nuclear weapons and smuggle them into the United States' seaports, the threat is not unthinkable. Terrorists have various ways in which they might smuggle nuclear weapons into seaports, and hence the reality of the threat must be considered, particularly because of the resulting destruction.

Containers for example offer a possible route for nuclear weapons to find their way into the United States. Nearly 9 million containers enter the United States by ship per year. While Customs and Border Protection screens data for all containers, only about 6% of these are in fact inspected. This makes them an attractive route of smuggling the bombs into the United States.

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