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

See all articles by Craig H. Allen

Craig H. Allen

University of Washington - School of Law; UW Arctic Law and Policy Institute

Date Written: August 30, 2014

Abstract

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

Allen, Craig H., Ebola Outbreak Compels Us to Ask: Is the U.S. Prepared to Defend its Maritime Borders Against a Potential Pandemic? (August 30, 2014). Maritime Executive, Aug. 8, 2014 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2545462 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2545462

Craig H. Allen (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States
202-616-8302 (Phone)
202-616-4519 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: https://www.law.washington.edu/directory/profile.aspx?ID=113

UW Arctic Law and Policy Institute ( email )

Campus Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98195-3020
United States

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