Taking a Risk-Based Approach to Maritime Domain Awareness

Maritime domain awareness (MDA) calls for an expansive maritime command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) effort that collects, fuses, analyzes and shares information on an unprecedented level. This article argues that the goal of complete understanding of the maritime domain is laudable but unrealistic. Instead, the United States and its global partners and allies should use a risk-based management approach to MDA. Efforts to enhance MDA must judiciously examine threats and vulnerabilities and MDA attention should be focused on threats and risks that can be validated. It should also be asked whether the level of maritime threats justify huge expenditures on maritime C4ISR initiatives directed at global MDA rather than specific threats. The best approach may not be collecting more data, but rather improving the fusion and analysis of existing data sources to better determine the highest threats and vulnerabilities.


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  • Accession Number: 01042336
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 13 2007 10:49PM