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Waterways and International Terrorism

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Compare and contrast the process of securing the land borders and the coastal waterways from international terrorism. Are there any similar principles involved? What are the glaring differences? Which is more difficult to accomplish and why?

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What I will do is go through the major sources in terms of counter-terror doctrine and answer your questions together as I go. By the time you finish, you'll see the major differences and similarities. The important thing to grasp is that land-based operations and sea-based operations have the same advantages and limitations whether it be local border patrol or international world war.

Let's go to the primary sources for this.

In dealing with water-based anti-terror ops, the FAS has this important document:

A good summary is on page 3.

For the navy in dealing with terror from the sea, there are several important functions:
The SEAL teams are indispensable. They are working in connection with the Marines to secure US property in Iraq today. The navy has made it clear that the SEAL teams are essential to counter-terror operations and will reply on them heavily in the future.

Using missiles to hit terror camps from the sea is also important. Since terror groups rarely have sea power, this is a place where the US can attack terror bases without fear (in general) of being hit back.

In 2008, the Navy set up its irregular combat division. In 2006, the Navy set up its Coastal River Force. This is seen as a "gap" between land forces and the traditional navy areas of operation. These can be deployed quickly and contain ground units as well.

Part of the irregular formation is to share intelligence with all other units dealing with terrorism. This is a tall order and has yet to be fully implemented.

Quoted in the above report is a set of recommendations from the Rand Corporation on what needs to be done to make the navy more efficiency in counter-terrorism. This bears perfectly on our question:

First, U.S. naval forces should continue to provide U.S. partners with suitable equipment that they will be able to operate and maintain and should continually strive to increase their interoperability with partner forces. Second, U.S. naval ...

Solution Summary

The expert compares and contrasts the process of securing the land borders and the coastal waterways from international terrorism.