How the U.S. is Tackling Maritime Security Issues

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The Maritime Transportation Security Act is the foundation for tackling maritime security issues and its development in the past few months has shaped the way they handle maritime security in the future. Maritime security is not just an American issue, but a global one that will take the partnership of many nations to execute. The bill was last revisited in 2010.This article is for Premium Members only. Please login below to read the rest of this article.

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According to a press release by Tom Kelly, the Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, “Ninety-percent of world trade is conducted on the oceans. Our food, our fuel, our imports and exports all travel on these global economic highways. Maritime trade is our nation’s life blood. Keeping the oceans free for commerce – in two words, maritime security – is key to our national security.”

Read on to unlock the ways The Maritime Transportation Security Act affects our national.

U.S. Security and Global Trade

Image via Flickr by Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

As Kelly outlined, the U.S. has interests in maritime security primarily for safer global trade. Currently, the U.S. is in talks with India over trade in the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor. This is just the beginning of many diplomatic dialogues that will help open up the waters for additional, safe trade opportunities for the U.S.

The U.S. must also get another major Asian player on board: China. As the relationship between India and the U.S. develops further, China will likely be the next on the agenda.

Issues on the Open Sea

The U.S. Department of State reports piracy as one of the main issues that affect common and trade-related maritime travelers. Somalian pirates present a challenge and an opportunity for the Maritime Transportation Security Act. They are a threat to not only the safety of boat crews, but trade dollars as well. In the past, the pirates have extracted millions of dollars through maritime hijacking.

In a report published on Nov. 19, 2013, The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its findings from a study that suggests the Department of Homeland Security should carry out a Small Vessel Security Strategy. Small vessels are especially vulnerable to piracy.

In addition, the U.S. understands that Vessel Tracking or Long Range Identification and Tracking of Vessels (LRIT) could assist in reeling in future, potential piracy.

The Future for Maritime Security

Image via Flickr by Official U.S. Navy Imagery

The future for Maritime Security depends on the waters the U.S. can safely navigate both literally and politically. Safer navigation of global waters could decrease the threat of pirates and increase the cooperation and help available from global shores in times of emergency.

Currently, anchors drop, stalling any efforts (or hope) for North Korean maritime agreements, as ships fired dangerous rounds in to water occupied by South Korea as well. Issues like this prove that the U.S. is not only fighting pirates for maritime security, but important global governments. Partnerships and U.S. allies will also help shape the future for maritime security efforts.

What would you like to see included in the Maritime Transportation Security Act? Do you think it’s a step in the right direction? Share your thoughts in the comments below. [/show_to]

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