USA Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources Research Paper

Critical U.S. Infrastructures

The critical infrastructure are the systems, networks, and assets, whether virtual or physical, so crucial to the United States that their destruction or incapacitation would have a devastating effect on the national public health or safety, national economic security, security, or any of such combination. While the key resources are privately or publicly controlled resources which are essential to the minimal operation of the nation’s economy and government.

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This research paper looks into the Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) sectors and highlighting two examples of the critical infrastructure in every sector. The information on the uniqueness of the sector is provided alongside giving a brief description of and an explanation on how the highlighted critical infrastructure are operated and utilized. The other of investigation in this paper is the identification of a particular element of specific interest to a terrorist or is vulnerable to a natural or manmade disaster. Lastly the paper describes the protective measures in place towards ensuring safety.

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Department of Agriculture

Agriculture and Food

The FA sector entails complex processing, production and delivery systems. The sectors’ mission is to protect against any disruption in the food supply which would have a serious threat on the public health, national economy, safety or even welfare (Spencer& Miamisburg. Fire Department, 2012). These food and agriculture systems are nearly in entirety under private ownership and are operated in highly competitive global markets,  striving to operate in harmony with the environment and ensuring of provision of economic opportunities and improved quality of life for the citizens of U.S. and others across the world.

The Sector Coordinating Council (SCC), Sector-Specific Agencies (SSAs), and Government Coordinating Council (GCC) operate collaboratively in accomplishing the mission of FA Sector and fulfilling the vision, and they are the core method in the coordination of the sector patterns.

It isn’t easy to guard against all the threats to the food and agriculture supply. Just like any other facet of the United States commerce, food and agriculture industries, must anticipate the possibility of the terrorist attack upon their products and evaluate their mitigation measures and preparedness to either thwart the attack, or rather mitigate the damage and recover from the psychological impact of the attack.

Department of Defense

Defense Industrial Base

The Defense Industrial Base (DIB) is an incomparable element of the national power that differentiates the United States from all the potential opponents. The DoD is developing a framework of international strategy to improve resilience and protection of the DIB Assets and ascertain the continued availability of CIKR outside U.S. DoD pursue to leverage the expertise of international partners in the improvement of its own capabilities in marine interception, counterterrorism, among other missions critical to an actively layered defense.

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Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is the designated Sector-Specific Agency (SSA) for the Energy Sector. The DOE is tasked with coordinating implementation and preparation of the Energy-Specific Plan (SSP) which is an annex to the NIPP.

Towards supplementing on the current screening process that the industry uses, the private and public sector partners have networked to collaborate with the DHS in the execution of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) rule encompassing a number of energy sector assets.

Healthcare and Public Health

The sector of the Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) comprise a fundamental portion of the United States economy (Alperen, 2011). There was a 16% estimation of the U.S. GDP of 2007 being spent on healthcare and this was further expected to increase to 17.6% in 2009.

The layout provided by the SSP shows a collaborative process among the government and private sector partners in the protection of the HPH Sector from terrorist attacks, disasters, pandemics among other manmade disasters, known as the “all hazards.”  The plan gives a description of the current processes and outlines a path forward for the sector to cooperatively prioritize and identify its assets, implement protective programs, assess risk and conduct a measure of the effectiveness of its protective programs.

National Monuments and Icons

The National Monuments and Icons (NMI) primarily serves the purpose of representing or memorializing significant elements of the Nation’s heritage, values or traditions and as points of interest for the visitors and other educational activities.

Terrorists have the perception that the NMI assets are symbols of American culture, power and democratic tradition with international recognition (Ezell & Diamond Area. Fire Protection District, 2012). The targets of the terrorist mostly represent a confluence of such factors and pragmatic concerns of continuous live media coverage, strategic economic impact, loss of life, and the potential for infrastructure interdependency.

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Banking and Finance

The banking and finance sector consist of more than 8% of the U.S. GDP, with 29,000 financial firms, which include depository financial institutions (credit unions, thrifts, banks) security brokers/dealers, investment companies, insurers, and specific financial utilities.

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Water

All the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carry out its activities which are related to the water security in consultation with the DHS and the EPA’s Water Sector partners. The EPA is in collaboration with the whole of entire Water Sector in implementation of the broadly-based strategy in addressing the water security needs (United States & United States, 2007).

Chemical

There is continuous strengthening of the security in the chemical sector at the Nation’s high-risk chemical facilities through a highly structured Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. This CFATS program makes identification and regulation of the high-risk chemical facilities to make sure that they have put security measures in place to ensure reduction of the chemicals associated risks.

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