The United States Coast Guard, spread thin since the September 11th attacks, would be one of the last lines of defense against such an attack against America. In addition to the Atlantic, Pacific and Caribbean coasts, there are 1,500 miles of waterways to be patrolled along the Canadian border (now considered to be a likely entry point for terrorists).
President Bush's 2003 budget, published on 4 February 2002, would increase the Coast Guard's budget from $5.4 billion to $6.9 billion. This included $406 million to improve port security. The shipping industry would pay a new fee to help cover the security costs.
Meanwhile, there are two opportunities for citizens to actively get involved and help America in the War on Terrorism. The U.S. Coast Guard website instructions on How To Volunteer (including Retirees) can be found at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/reserve/Recall/Recall.htm
Coast Guard recruiting can be found at http://www.uscg.mil/jobs/
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary can be found at http://www.cgaux.org/cgauxweb/public/pubframe.htm under "Join the Auxiliary"
About 2,500 reservists have already been called to active duty since the September 11th attacks and the Coast Guard hopes to add about 5,000 more in the next year. - Adam Geibel
The United States Coast Guard Needs You!- The International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Center (http://www.iccwbo.org/ccs/menu_imb_piracy.asp) noted in it's 2001 Piracy Report that terrorists could hijack Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or large oil tankers for suicide missions. Forged ship documents and crew travel documents can easily be obtained with the right connection, which would be the easiest way for terrorists to infiltrate aboard such lightly manned vessels.