This research was conducted to determine the best ways in which United States can protect its ports which are the main source of economic connection with the world from terrorist attacks. The research question that implies here is; How important ports are for the U. S economy? And what measures can be taken to protect ports from terrorist attacks without affecting the economic activities? Is there a hypothesis or thesis or central argument that is clearly stated or implied? If so, what is it?
The central argument was clearly portrayed and it depicted that even though a port may be viewed as a collection of assets but the port actually is a complex system consisting of loosely coupled sub systems, Secondly importance of organizational interrelationships that must exist in order to avoid the acts of terrorism and difficulties in bringing together the private and public entities that have a stake in port security system and finally the negative impact on economy that might occur due to port security interventions must be understood and curtailed.
Does the Author answer the “So what? ” Were you convinced that the study was worth doing? The research provided a brief sketch of how terrorist threats should be dealt with and it demonstrated how set of security interventions can be classified in respect of how they will affect the economy. It also identified that the primary aim of terrorist is to hurt our economic viability of ports and maritime systems. So security measures should be designed in a way that they do not harm the economy. Is the study unique in any way?
The study was unique in a way that it defined the weakness; differ in threat, type of attack and potential consequences of each subsection separately implying that risk reduction intervention should be different for each sub system. The system was divided into four sub systems which are as follows: • Containerized cargo • Petrochemical cargo • Bulk cargo • Ferry passengers The owners and operators of containers are reliable as they are established companies and follow a fix route and schedule; the threat comes from the lack of ability to identify what is inside the container as these containers are sealed.
System interventions should be designed in a way that they identify, track and secure the contents of container. The threat to petrochemical subsystem is that fire/explosion can be caused by any attack on the vessel containing dangerous material or the hijacking and use of vessel as a weapon. The management should ensure that the vessels are operated by trusted operators and it should increase the marine and terminal fire fighting capabilities in order to deal with any hazardous consequences.
Bulk cargos are not owned by reliable operators so measures should be taken to make the system of ownership more transparent the cargos should be inspected before arriving to the port and a trusted shipper program should be shaped in an attempt to deal with these uncertainties. Ferries are locally owned and operated by government authorities, the terrorist attacks on these ferries can cause mass destruction so the passengers and vehicles should be inspected properly and they require a mass casualty response which is not available in most ports. What are the main points of the article?
Following are the main points of article • The large part of US trade is dependent upon shipping (Ports and maritime systems) and it is the main source of economic connection with the world. • The aim of terrorist attacks on US ports is to destroy the US economy • Emphasis should be given to organizational interrelationships in order to avoid acts of terrorism • The port security should involve a step by step procedure and the terrorist attacks should be looked as a chain starting from threat factors and ending at the delayed consequences that the attack will have.
• The current scenario of defense is poor because the accountable authorities are less likely to be informed about report of immediate threats, secondly the weaknesses associated with the complex economic system are not properly understood and the risks are not easier to anticipate accurately. • A port consists of different sub systems and each sub system requires different security measures. • Each port has different sub system, an important step in determining the vulnerability of a particular port is the information of which sub system is operating in that port.
This information is also essential to design a consequence management strategy for each port. What kind of literature review is provided and/or what sources are cited? How well does it fulfill that purpose? Following are the major sources of information for the study • Barriers to port security • Perspectives on the use of risk assessment to address terrorism • Terrorism as hazard; a new species of trouble • Crisis and emergency management • Organizing for homeland securities. The sources were perfectly in line with the purpose of study and were quite helpful in finding out the essential information which was needed for the study.
The literature review provided was of both qualitative and quantitative nature which made the arguments more strong How well does the Author explain their method of collecting and analyzing data? Could you replicate the study based upon the article before you? The method of collecting and analyzing the data was not clearly mentioned in the study and it could have been better and much easier for the readers to make judgments if the author would have defined the methods of collecting and analyzing the data. Is there any discussion of variables?
Is so, how? Does the Author look at alternative points of view? The author did not look at the alternative points of view which could have made the study more interesting and commendable; there was ambiguity regarding the discussion of variables, still the study was worth doing and appreciable. Do the studies findings support the authors Goals or Thesis? How valid are they? The study was in line with the thesis and it found out that how significant US ports are for the economy and how important it is to devise a separate security strategy for each port.
The importance of organizational interrelationship was defined; and the author discussed the responsibilities of each state in order to strengthen the organizational interrelationships. The study supported the thesis by answering the negative impact that US economy will have if security interventions are not planned adequately. The figures that were given regarding the risk management approach, organizational interventions and responsibilities were also helpful in tracking the threats and tactics to deal with those threats.
However, the main emphasis of the study was on the physical attributes of the port and the differentiation between each port. The study found out that different security models can be prepared by comparing the cost associated for applying the model versus its effectiveness, but the purpose is not to prepare a list of models but to find out the most cost effective model. Does the conclusion follow from the evidence provided? Are you persuaded by it? Why or Why Not? The conclusion followed the findings of the study and described the danger of terrorist threats to US ports and the reason behind these threats is to hurt the US economy.
So the security measures should be taken in away that they don’t dent the economy. Does the Author address the implications of these results? If so, how comprehensively is this done? The author looked at the broader perspectives and pointed out the areas which are needed to be work upon but in depth analysis of each aspect was not done the author touched different issues which were necessary and essential to curtail the possibility of dangerous consequences and the adverse effects that terrorism might have on the economy.
Do you notice other strengths and limitations of this study? The study was done in an organized manner and numerical figures and solid sources were used to make the article stronger; the usage of diagrams also made it unique and substantial. However, more up to date sources could have made the research more effective and worthy.
Courtney from Study Moose
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