Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor to be among
you this morning. I take distinct pleasure in being invited to a
place so fervently committed to the success of America's future,
and the continued promise of freedom and prosperity.
you well know, our future as a nation is founded on the heritage of
our past. And it is the very firmness of that heritage that will
determine the strength of our future. I represent a venerable
service that has been an integral part of that heritage from the
beginnings of our nation.
we do not live in the past. And we have
gathered here today to talk about the future. As President Reagan
once said, "While I take inspiration from the past, like most
Americans, I live for the future."
has also been said that the future has a way of arriving
unannounced. The future arrived suddenly, violently, and without
warning on a clear autumn day in September. The future, ladies and
gentlemen, is now.
past years, our view of national security has been projected mainly
abroad, rather than within our own borders. However, after the
recent attacks on our own cities, we now have good cause to be more
concerned about the threats right under our own noses as well.
Today, we suffer under the constant threat of
terrorism as a means of coercion or retaliation, as much of the
world already has. That will likely continue for some time in the
past years, the United States was ill-
prepared to deal with such an enemy as the terrorists who attacked
our country on September 11. The enemy who attacked us on that day
is unlike any other in our history. He has turned the tools of our
own prosperity as weapons against us.
nation that depends so heavily on the oceans and sea-lanes as
avenues of that prosperity, we know that whatever action we take
against further acts of terrorism must protect our ports and
waterways and the ships that use them, which are arguably more
valuable to our commerce with the world than airlines and trade
centers, and even more vulnerable.
Valuable and vulnerable--not a bad
combination, if you're on the targeting team for the bad guys.
Terrorism is not the only threat we
however. It is only one of many modern threats that confront us.
Migrant and drug smuggling, for example, compound the threat of
terrorism, because they contribute to the illicit movement of
people, money, and weapons across borders.
These threats have been with us for many
years. They have continued to grow in severity each year, and will
likely continue into the future. Profits from these
non-nation-state-sponsored threats are well-documented as
significant funding engines for international terrorism.
Common to each of these threats is the
potential for an attack against the United States by a state or
non-state actor who is either unwilling or unable to confront us
of these threats bring the problem of national security much closer
thesis today is simply this: the Coast Guard--with its multiple
missions, maritime expertise, military discipline, and civil
enforcement authority--is a unique instrument of a broad strategy
to ensure our nation's security. And
I believe that in its own way, it has become the
harbinger of the future.
me explain what I mean by examining how the Coast Guard is working
to meet the emerging challenges of a changing world and the "new
normalcy," both at home and abroad. But first, I'd like to examine
more carefully what those challenges are.
HOMELAND SECURITY AS THE PRIMARY ELEMENT
OF A NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY
Looking at the multitude and complexity of
the threats and challenges we now face, it's kind of like preparing
to play a game of checkers against a familiar opponent, only to sit
down and discover that you are already ten moves into a chess game
but, it is three-dimensional chess against multiple opponents whose
pieces are unconstrained by your previous understanding of their
rules of movement. Such a game would be so unrecognizable that we
wouldn't even know what to call it. And that is true of this new
era in which we are responsible for national security.
Homeland Security has emerged as a very
important element of a broader, deeper, and more complex National
Security Strategy. The President has now responded to the new
complexity of threats and challenges by establishing a new
Cabinet-level position, the Director of Homeland Security, whose
job it is to coordinate the national effort to defend the homeland
against terrorism-and the other
transnational threats that feed it.
has been written on the issue of Homeland Security over the past
few years. Much of it has been rather narrow in scope, focusing
mainly on "Homeland Defense" as a function of the military. This
view is much too restrictive, however, as recent events have
main exception to this rather narrow view has been the Commission
on National Security Strategy/21st Century, a.k.a. the Hart-Rudman
Commission. Their findings were published in a report earlier this
is what the Hart-Rudman report said in a nutshell: "The United
States will become increasingly vulnerable to hostile attack on the
American homeland, and U.S. military superiority will not entirely
it concluded: "[T]he security of the American homeland from the
threats of the new century should be the primary national security
mission of the U.S. government."
commission finally recommended:
President should develop a comprehensive strategy to heighten
America's ability to prevent and protect against all forms of
attacks on the homeland, and to respond to such attacks if
prevention and protection fail.
commission was right.
Recently, I have had the pleasure of
sitting with Senator Hart and several other members of the
Hart-Rudman commission on a variety of panels. Senator Hart has
painstakingly laid out what he calls "Five New Realities" of the
new normalcy in America.
our borders are not secure.
, traditional rules as we have known them concerning national
security no longer apply.
the distinction between war and crime is blurred.
, the conflicts in the world today will be cultural, rather than
fifth , we are being forced to
make tough choices between constitutional liberties and
Therefore, we will need a new strategy to
meet the challenges of the new realities of American life.
might such a strategy look like, given that traditional and
conventional uses of military, diplomatic, or economic power would
likely not be effective in countering the threats?
must be preemptive in nature; it requires us to develop special
forces with new skills; it demands restoration of a broader and
network; it must rely on an expanded role of the militia and
national guard. Above all, it must never sacrifice our
additional capability is needed.
capability is civil authority blended with the other forms of state
THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIL AUTHORITY TO
Civil authority has usually been linked
mainly with domestic security, rather than national security
policy. But as the Hart-Rudman Commission observes, "the
distinction between national security policy and domestic security
is already beginning to blur and in the next quarter century it
could altogether disappear."
viewed against transnational and asymmetric threats, such blurring
tends to make sense. Terrorism, for example, has consistently been
defined as a criminal act, and if terrorists are rooted out from
among our own population, they will most likely be tried as
criminals. The proper response to a criminal act within our own
borders is to enforce the law. Yet, we have found it necessary also
to use military means to destroy terrorist organizations that have
a global reach, and the nations that give them refuge.
Similarly, inspecting cargo shipments for
contraband is an expression of civil authority, whether the
contraband is computer technology, financial instruments, drugs, or
weapons of mass destruction. But that has not prohibited us from
using Navy ships as platforms for Coast Guard boarding teams to
interdict cocaine shipments headed for the United States.
have to be careful, however, that we do not blur our vision to the
point that we can no longer distinguish the big picture. A correct
response to these new threats must adhere to the principles of the
Constitution and the rule of law. We must continue to protect the
civil liberties of our citizens while we protect their
William Gladstone, the Prime Minister of
Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria, once wisely observed,
"Liberty must be curtailed to be secured."
the other hand, another wise man by the name of Ben Franklin once
said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
That's the delicate balance we must
must protect our nation from those who would do us harm. But if our
gut reaction to terrorism or any other threat is to militarize our
borders, we would undermine our own freedoms, and we would hand a
victory to the terrorists.
Though we can and should use the might of
our military to meet these threats at our borders, it must always
be used only as necessary to support and aid those who have the
responsibility to enforce the civil authority of America.
THE MARITIME DIMENSION OF HOMELAND
Let's talk briefly now about the maritime
dimension of Homeland Security. First, a few facts.
Maritime industries contribute over $1
trillion annually to the gross domestic product. Over 95 percent of
our commerce is carried on through the seaports. We have about
95,000 miles of coastline in this country, and 3.5 million square
miles of EEZ (exclusive economic zone). More than 7,500 ships and
200,000 sailors make 51,000 port calls every year in the United
States. And those ships carry 6.5 million passengers, 1 billion
tons of petroleum, and 6 million containers a year--that's 16,000 a
that picture in mind, how do we prevent another attack? And what
can the Coast Guard do to protect the vulnerability of our maritime
interests? More importantly, how do we get out of the response mode
and into the prevention mode?
about prioritizing difficult lists and getting very good at
risk-based decision making.
Preventing another attack requires an
understanding of the maritime dimension of Homeland Security. We
can't afford to bring the maritime dimension of the economy to a
stop. After September 11, we painfully restored movement by
aviation in days. The aftermath of losing several ports would
involve months, if not years, of recovery.
biggest challenge facing our marine transportation system today is
how to ensure that
legitimate cargo is not unnecessarily delayed as we and other
nations introduce enhanced security measures against some very real
and potent threats.
Sustained prosperity clearly depends upon
our accommodating the global trade that is predicted to double or
triple in the next 20 years. Most of that trade will take place
through our seaports.
government needs to be attentive to finding ways to minimize the
disruptions and delays caused by federal inspections and other
requirements in our seaports. More stuff has to move through
faster--so ports need to become more open.
not so fast!
Ensuring maritime security suggests a
requirement to tighten down the ports. Government has an obligation
to keep illegal immigrants, drugs, weapons, and other contraband
and leaving through those same ports whose throughput we want to
maximize in the interests of prosperity.
is precisely the dichotomy presented to us in the Hart-Rudman
Commission Report--Phase I.
MARITIME DOMAIN AWARENESS
in the world do we protect our nation's maritime security in such a
dynamic environment against such elusive threats? Given the
incredible numbers of people and goods cascading over international
borders and through our ports, how do we filter bad from good, and
the dangerous from the benign? These are questions that we had
discussed rather academically until September. They have now become
vitally important to us as a service and as a nation.
Today, the answer unfortunately is we
don't and we can't!
need to develop a systematic approach of complementary security
measures to put together an effective offense and defense on this
multi-level chessboard of maritime security.
course, we need to think more seriously than ever about how to
prevent, how to respond, and how to manage the consequences of
asymmetric attacks. The old paradigm of prevention, response, and
consequence management failed us on September 11. It must now
become awareness, prevention, response, and consequence
Awareness involves recognizing the threats
well in advance, and anticipating our vulnerabilities. In the
maritime domain, it's about knowledge of ships, people, and cargo.
It has to do with having access to detailed intelligence about our
adversaries, and sharing that information more effectively among
federal agencies and with our domestic and international partners
in both the private and public sectors.
just talking about it, but doing it.
Without better awareness, we will be
to take more stringent actions with regard to prevention and
response that will close down our economy and threaten our economic
Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is a
concept that serves to reconcile the competing interests of
security and prosperity in our ports and waterways. MDA covers all
of the information requirements of everybody with any
responsibility for homeland security in the maritime domain.
Applied to the government interest of
getting more cargo through Customs and Coast Guard inspectors in
less time with greater security, its
key elements would be an integrated, accessible database of
information; point of origin inspections by U. S. inspectors;
sanitized facilities; in-transit transparency; high technology
sensors, readers, and gamma-ray scanners; and solid risk-based
decision-making forums charged with taking on and solving
armed, the agencies on the front lines can take a risk management
approach to decide which vessels need to be boarded on the high
seas, based on the greatest threats represented to us.
Maritime Domain Awareness will enhance
homeland security by allowing us to push the maritime borders out
from the coastline by sharing information on international arrivals
and departures within the United States and among our partners
around the world, and that will help prevent future attacks.
could even provide incentive to the good guys by offering
"Quick-pass" handling to those who are fully compliant on security
will also help by telling us what is going on daily in our ports
and waterways--events that very well could have escaped our
attention before, but may be vital to understanding the impending
threats against us.
International and domestic cooperation,
both civil and military, is essential in this regard, because we
can't hope to ensure our security by working alone or by waiting
until the threats have already crossed the thresholds of our
Awareness is the key to preventing the
potential threats from being realized and becoming a consequence to
is an all-hands evolution--including the return of Coast Guard to
important national security
missions in the deepwater environment.
THE COAST GUARD'S UNIQUE QUALITIES
is the role of the Coast Guard in Homeland Security?
Coast Guard is committed to improving awareness of our maritime
vulnerabilities and threats, using the very means that I've already
described to you.
regard to the other elements of a maritime security
strategy--prevention, response, and consequence management--the
Coast Guard also stands ready.
both a military service and a federal law enforcement agency, we
are uniquely positioned among federal agencies to fight an enemy
that crosses boundaries with seeming impunity.
Threats can pose as legitimate trading
vessels very easily among the large volume of commercial traffic
that plies our waters.
Somebody has to engage these vessels one
at a time, up close and personal. Somebody has to
distinguish the suspicious from the obviously
innocent. To separate the guilty from the merely suspicious,
somebody has to get alongside and put a boarding team aboard, even
if the suspect vessels resist or won't stop.
Somebody has to size up each case and
dispose of it based on the complex humanitarian, diplomatic,
military, geo-political, environmental, and legal issues at
Somebody has to coordinate proposed
enforcement actions with other government departments, flag states,
law enforcement agencies, and everybody else who has a legitimate
voice in the matter. It must all be done according to the rule of
211 years, that somebody in our country has been the United States
Coast Guard offers scalable command and control frameworks suitable
for preventing or responding to nearly any military or civil
Captains of the Port have broad and strong legal authority to
secure and manage any situation that arises in our ports or on our
waterways. This authority gives them the legal basis for ordering
or approving just about any movement of shipping within the port.
And our Port Security Units give enforcement teeth to that legal
that foundation, we offer experience in
disaster relief and pollution response--experience that has made
us the most proficient agency
anywhere in conducting emergency operations through the Incident
Command Structure. Our Incident Command Structure, which has been
adopted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is the most
effective way of coordinating inter-agency responses to domestic
if one of those emergencies should require the involvement of the
Department of Defense, our status as one of the nation's five armed
services links us to the others in a joint warfare environment.
sum of these elements--legal authority, coastal assets, command
structure for military and civilian agencies, command and control
systems--offers a bridge among the various players who have to get
involved within the civilian inter-agency community and the
Department of Defense.
THE COAST GUARD RESPONSE
Since September 11, we have had five
goals: to control movement of shipping in our ports, increase
Maritime Domain Awareness, increase presence within the ports,
inventory critical infrastructure, and reach out to others who can
help us--the Office of Homeland Security, the Joint Forces Command,
the U.S. Navy, state and local governments, the private sector, and
the international maritime players. The purpose of these goals has
been to restore public confidence in the marine transportation
Immediately after the attacks on September
11, the unique multi-mission nature of the Coast Guard allowed us
to increase our security posture, using existing active-duty,
reserve, civilian, and auxiliary personnel, as well as existing
shore units, ships, boats, and aircraft.
began placing sea marshals on arriving commercial vessels to
control the movement of shipping in some ports, which we hope to do
on a broader basis very soon. We increased to 96 hours the advance
reporting requirement for foreign flag vessels arriving in U.S.
Coast Guard men and women everywhere have
significantly increased the security of the nation's ports and
waterways, protected people and property, and assisted in rescue
and recovery efforts. We have increased our presence within the
ports, while doing our very best to keep commerce flowing
have begun to take inventory of critical infrastructure in each of
our major ports. We also have begun to assess the vulnerability of
those ports. It is clear, however, that the Coast Guard does not
have adequate resources to guard every piece of that
infrastructure, even in the Tier-One ports.
broad outreach to federal, state, and local government partners, as
well as members of the maritime industry is leading to a mutual
understanding of ways and means to improve the security of our
ports and waterways.
Although the Coast Guard is primarily
responsible for the security of our ports, it is clear that we
can't do it alone.
Civil and military authorities will act
together to protect our ports and waterways. Private industry must
also take a lion's share of responsibility for protecting their
Coast Guard is making and will continue to make our contributions
where we can. And we will also be there to ensure that the
industries achieve a layered approach to security, including
adequate facility, vessel and port security plans--the exercises
that will demonstrate their adequacy--and the resources that will
make them real.
role of the Coast Guard in homeland security is to help provide the
maritime security piece to the comprehensive puzzle. We aim to be
so effective as to remove maritime security from the host of issues
that Tom Ridge, the Director of the Office of Homeland Security, is
week I traveled to Ottawa with Governor Ridge to attend a joint
U.S.-Canadian meeting on border security. It was an enormously
successful session that developed a 30-point action plan. We found
our Canadian partners to be very forward-leaning with respect to a
long list of issues often dealt with between our respective INS
customs services, and coast guard services.
month, I traveled to London to address a meeting of the
International Maritime Organization. In that meeting, the member
nations agreed to commit time, resources, and energy to addressing
the issues of international maritime security as a priority of
concern to us all.
Coast Guard is committed in every way to be most effective in the
maritime domain by helping to coordinate the efforts of various
levels of federal, state, and local civil authorities, as well as
the industries of the private sector, and our partners around the
world. We already perform on a smaller scale the necessary function
that is vital to the overall success of the Office of Homeland
people see this function as an adjunct
mission--another new task added to a growing constellation of
tasks for the Coast Guard. But I
see it as our North Star. The mission of maritime security may be
more urgent today than it was three months ago, but it is no less
important than it was 211 years ago.
Since our founding in 1790, our
purpose has been to provide maritime security to our homeland by
guarding its coast.
plan to continue to do just that.
Thank you. Semper Paratus.
Admiral James M. Loy is
Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.