However, a huge threat is also imposed by poor relationships among countries since it hinders the deterrence and capture of terrorist elements. This paper found that increased international cooperation is essential to minimizing threats to maritime activities.
Maritime activities are essential to trade and socioeconomic development. It is on the sea that many countries rely on the production and transportation of goods. However, countries and private industries face a worsening threat in maritime activities because of the growing and re-emerging threats at sea. These threats include terrorism, piracy, drug trafficking, oil smuggling, and transportation of criminal elements and materials (Gilbride & Nash, 2004). As Gilbride and Nash note, “oceans are the largest ungoverned space on the planet,” which makes the sea a greater security challenge for the global community.
In 2004, then President George W. Bush emphasized that the American government is intent on disrupting every enemy threats (as cited in “National Strategy,” 2005), including those at sea. The first step towards a safer maritime environment is the identification of threats posed by criminal entities. Most of these are related either directly or indirectly to terrorism and pose serious economic threats to every nation around the world.
Deng (1997) enumerates five types of activities that fall under maritime activities: “(1) state politics, including military operations, expansion, administration, diplomacy, exile, rebellions, and popular movements against the state; (2) cultural exchange; (3) expeditions; (4) immigration; and (5) trade.” Although the five activities Deng enumerated above are all essential to national development and security, the first and the last ones create the greatest impact for any country. Hence, this paper will focus on