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Critical Infrastructure Protection in Homeland Security: Defending a Networked Nation, 2nd Edition by Ted G. Lewis

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16 Supply Chains

A supply chain is defined here as a network of organizations, people, and assets used to move a product or service from supplier to customer. Nodes are generally factories, warehouses, and ports. Links are trucking, railway, and shipping routes. These are big, globe-circling networks that connect more than 178 countries to one another through a complex set of trade agreements, international laws, and customs agencies.

The wealth and security of every nation depend on robust import–export trade, and trade depends on an efficient and friction-free global supply chain. Ports are the infrastructure that makes the friction-free supply chain successful. Therefore, ports and shipping are critical nodes in this complex CIKR sector. Supply chain security, maritime domain security, and global intermodal transportation are nearly synonymous terms for the same thing. Regardless of the term used, supply chain security is of the highest concern among countries threatened by terrorists and criminals.

In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for establishing maritime security standards and agreements among participating countries. Operationally, security is enforced by a combination of TSA, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)—all components of the massive DHS. The DHS has adopted a military-style layered strategy whereby agents are placed on-site in foreign ports, cargo is encapsulated in sealed containers, ...

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