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The Business of Counterterrorism

Public-Private Partnerships in Homeland Security


Nathan E. Busch and Austen D. Givens

The Business of Counterterrorism focuses on the opportunities and challenges that public-private partnerships (PPPs) face in the post-9/11 world. Although these partnerships are a major topic of discussion and study among businesses and government agencies involved in homeland security efforts, they have received a much less thorough analysis by scholars. The Business of Counterterrorism identifies the essential role that PPPs are now taking in homeland security and explores the implications of this transformative shift in the field. In its discussion, it focuses on five areas in homeland security – critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, information sharing, security at U.S. ports of entry, and disaster recovery.
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5: Integrating Public-Private Capabilities at U.S. Ports of Entry


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Chapter 5

Integrating Public-Private Capabilities at U.S. Ports of Entry

At 9:20 am on May 18, 2010, a small boat loaded with explosives rammed into the massive container ship M/V Singapore at the Port of Oakland, California. The explosives detonated upon impact and set the ship on fire.1 Another vessel—the M/V Goodship—was simultaneously docking at the Port of Oakland and struck an underwater Improvised Explosive Device (IED), damaging its steering system and causing the ship to run aground.2 The damaged M/V Goodship could not be moved, blocking the entrance to the port.3 By 11:00 am, emergency management officials had activated the California Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to begin coordinating their response to these attacks.4 This catastrophic breach of port security would require close public-private sector cooperation over the next 48 hours to recover from these attacks.

The California Emergency Management Agency’s Golden Guardian 2010 full-scale exercise—which simulated the terrorist attacks described above—brought together a wide range of government and business maritime port security stakeholders.5 The purpose of the exercise was to assess the ability of different government agencies and business entities to respond to and recover from terrorist attacks in multiple Bay Area maritime ports.6 This is for good reason, as neither public nor private sector entities fully control maritime ports. Rather, responsibilities for security, ← 181 | 182 → shipping, and operations are shared among government and business officials.

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