Securing the Land Borders and the Coastal Waterways from International Terrorism Essay Paper:
The events of the 9/11 United States terrorism attacks and the subsequent increase in bombing in various regions across the world has necessitated the need for careful attention to all possible terror threats in and out of United States. This has included focus on devising methods to mitigate actions that might jeopardize the safety and security of the people. The need to ensure security of citizens while guaranteeing them their freedom of movement and trade has resulted to heightening of security in all areas across United States. More attention has been focused on land and sea borders where there have been increased security activities but less interference to international trade (Pati, 2009).
In land boarders, the common security activities have included tracking people movement in and out of the boarders, restraining illegal immigration and reducing drug trafficking. On coastal waterways, there has been increased surveillance, coordinated efforts among the law enforcement agencies and private security systems to curb illegal smuggling of guns and explosives and entry of illegal persons including terrorists.
Securing the land borders in United States involves the two border stretches separating United States and Canada and that separating it from Mexico in the south. The main terrorism concerns have been focused on the north border into Canada which is considered the main entry of terrorists and smuggling of explosives into United States. Securing this boarder has involved protection of the roadways, bridges and tunnels through use of customs to control and monitor individuals entering the country. The movement of citizens between United States and near Canada towns requires display of identification documents such as passports or official forms of international travel. On the other hand, air surveillance has been enforced in all areas near borders to spot any strange movements on these land boarders and alert the customs to institute appropriate measures.
Securing the coastal waterways particularly the Pacific and Atlantic oceans has been focused on controlling illegal smuggling of weapons and explosives as well illegal entry of immigrants who may constitute terrorists and thus threat to the US security and peace. Traditionally, the security in coastal waterways consisted of coastal guards in partnership with regular port law enforcement agencies. However, after the 9/11 incident the costal guard has been rejuvenated and boosted with partners such as the federal agencies of Navy and Federal Bureau Investigations (FBI). The Southern Command section of United States has been mandated to train and manage the security of US ports and waterways. Similar to securing the land boarders, protecting waterways involves use of port customs to control and monitor illegal entry of persons and goods. Additionally, specialized aircrafts have been used to monitor the activities in the sea ports and the entire coastline to detect any unusual activity and alert security forces.
However, there are clear differences in the processes of securing land and coastal borders. Securing land borders is more pronounced and requires more resources to accomplish and manage. This is because of the increased likelihood and prominence of terrorism activities beginning at land ports. Further, most of smuggling goods and illegal entry at sea ports must pass through land ports to get clearance thus need more customs staff and security agents to ensure that every individual and consignment has been checked. The aerial coverage of land borders is also more intense compared to that of coastal boarders. The increase in activities on land boarders requires that 1,000 miles off these borders are inspected compared to less than 500 miles that need to be covered in waterways to guarantee boarder security.
References- Securing the Land Borders and the Coastal Waterways from International Terrorism Essay Paper
Pati, R. (2009). Due process and international terrorism. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers