Past Event

New Strategies to Protect America

Safer Ports for a More Secure Economy

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT

June 15, 2005

Please join us for the third event in our Critical Infrastructure Security Series:

New Strategies to Protect America: Safer Ports for a More Secure Economy

Since our economy depends on global supply chains and secure but open ports, no dimension of critical infrastructure security is more important to the United States than port security. About 95 percent of U.S. imports by weight arrive by sea and the volume of seaborne trade is expected to double over the next 20 years because of global demand. About four billion barrels of oil are imported by sea, fuel for our economy and way of life. A terrorist attack against U.S. ports and the global trading system would cause hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses. Yet one year after implementation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), our current port security strategy does not adequately take into account the terrorist threat we face and the economic consequences of an attack against a critical port or smuggling of a weapon of mass destruction involving a shipping container. Not only is port security an unfunded national security imperative, the Bush administration plans to eliminate the targeted homeland security grant program designed to help port authorities and port facility and vessel operators implement what is required under MTSA.

As part of its ongoing Critical Infrastructure Protection Series, the Center for American Progress is convening an expert panel to assess port security – what has been accomplished under tight deadlines in MTSA’s first year; the need to shift from a vulnerability-based approach to a more effective risk-based strategy that emphasizes the very real terrorist threat to our economy; and the urgent requirement to devote timely resources to make our society and economy safer. The Center for American Progress will also release a strategy paper, “Safer Ports for a More Secure Economy,” that recommends what we should secure at our nation’s ports; how we should do it; and how we should pay for this increased security.

Video & Transcript
• Complete Event: Video
Special Report: Safer Ports for a More Secure Economy
• Transcript: Full Text


Dr. Joseph Bouchard is the Executive Director of the Center for Homeland Security and Defense at Zel Technologies. He retired from the United States Navy as a captain after twenty-seven years active duty. As a specialist in strategic, long-range and operational planning, Bouchard served as Special Assistant and Deputy Executive Assistant to the Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe; Deputy Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council, The White House; and as Deputy Director, Navy Operations Group (Deep Blue), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He gained wide recognition as an expert on port security while serving as Commanding Officer of the Norfolk Naval Station. He graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he majored in International Security Affairs. He holds a Master’s degree in National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford.

Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley is a Senior Fellow and Director of National Defense and Homeland Security at the Center for American Progress. During the Clinton administration, Crowley was Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs, serving as Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council. Prior to that, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. In all, Crowley was a spokesman for the United States government and United States military for 28 years, 11 of those years at the Pentagon and three at the White House. He served for 26 years in the United States Air Force, retiring at the rank of colonel in September 1999. He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the Kosovo conflict, he was temporarily assigned to work with then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. Prior to joining American Progress, he served as a national spokesman for the property/casualty insurance industry, focusing on strategic industry issues that included the impact of terrorism on commercial insurance in the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy and the effect of asbestos litigation on the broader economy. A native of Massachusetts, P.J. is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross.

Stephen Flynn is the author of the critically acclaimed and national bestseller, America the Vulnerable. He is the inaugural occupant of the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Chair in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Flynn served as Director and principal author for the task force report “America – Still Unprepared, Still in Danger,” co-chaired by former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. Since 9/11 he has provided congressional testimony on homeland security matters on fifteen occasions. He spent twenty years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard including two commands at sea, served in the White House Military Office during the George H.W. Bush administration, and was director for Global Issues on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton administration. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a B.S. from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.