Ebola Outbreak Compels Us to Ask: Is the U.S. Prepared to Defend its Maritime Borders Against a Potential Pandemic?
Maritime Executive, Aug. 8, 2014
5 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2015 Last revised: 31 Jan 2015
Date Written: August 30, 2014
Heightened concern over potentially fatal contagious diseases that may strike at a local “epidemic” level or a global “pandemic” level comes at the same time that Mediterranean nations are grappling with a massive sea-borne migration crisis. The lethal combination these threats could pose to the United States serves as a wakeup call to our maritime security and public health forces prompting them to carefully assess their authority, capability and capacity to take effective measures to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases by persons entering the nation by sea, both legally and illegally. In an extreme case, those prevention measures might include what could be styled as the “nuclear” option: closing the nation’s borders entirely, a far-reaching measure the effect of which would dwarf the aviation suspension that emptied the U.S. skies after the September 11 attacks.
Keywords: Ebola, Pandemic, Maritime Security, Sea-borne Migrants
JEL Classification: K10, K32, K33, L91, L92, L98, L100
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation