Any terrorism attack on agriculture can affect it negatively; For instance, there will be mass economic destabilization, leading to economic losses due to loss of livestock. There will also be other indirect effects due to compensating farmers for the losses they incur. Finally, America will incur international costs as a result of imposition of protective trade embargoes by trade partners from outside the nation (Chalk, 2001, p.6). The attack will also lead to social instability as many people will panic especially if the attack led to the outbreak of a disease. As a result, there is the need for America to prepare itself in order to deal with those terrorists acts.
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Analysis on how the U.S. is preparing to deal with terrorist acts against environmental/agricultural targets
America has invested a lot of money towards improving its ability to detect any act of terrorism, prevent the acts and if they occur, respond to them. Preparedness on handling terrorist acts has been accomplished by training Americans on how they can respond to these terrorists’ attacks. In addition, Americans have protected their infrastructures found in areas most prone to acts of terrorism (Chalk, 2001, p.1).Americans intend to hold debates on the same issue of protecting infrastructures as the agricultural sector has been most affected. Additionally, agricultural insurance schemes should be established so that they can compensate farmers in case of any attacks on the agricultural sector. Moreover, there is the need to initiate agricultural reforms to emphasize on foreign diseases and their treatment. America is also seeking to improve the links between its agricultural sector, the criminal justice, and intelligence communities as this will enable it handle the issues that may arise as soon as possible in case of terrorist attack(Chalk,2001, p. 10).
Environmental targets that are most susceptible to terrorist attack
According to Kaplan, (2006), one of the main environmental targets of terrorist is chemical facilities due to the fact that these facilities are less protected and hence, pose great mass casualties. This will affect America negatively since most of its sectors like agriculture and industries, among others, rely on the chemical plants. When these chemical plants are attacked directly, the surrounding population is exposed to very dangerous chemicals and if this is not the case, those chemicals may be stolen by terrorists which they may use for future attacks. Additionally, the attack on the chemical plant could adversely affect the economy of the state as these plants are mostly located near ports or main highways. As such, any terrorist attack on such a chemical plant would disrupt the flow of imports and exports in those areas. A lot of policies have been developed to reduce the effects of acts of terrorism. For example, some of the dangerous chemicals have been replaced with less dangerous one like using liquid bleach instead of chlorine.
Methods of attack used by terrorists
There are various methods that terrorists use to attack the agricultural and environmental sectors. All these methods have a major impact on infrastructures serving these sectors owing to their vulnerability. The main methods entails use of aircraft that have high negative consequences, biological attack where various agents are used, crop and livestock disease, contamination of water and food using chemical or biological agents, using an improvised exposure device and Stan doff weapons. Moreover, vehicle –borne improvised devices that explode are also used in addition to maritime attack, Radiological dispersal device and nuclear attack.
- Chalk, P. (2001).Terrorism, Infrastructure protection and the U.S. food and Agricultural sector.Washington: Rand.
- Kaplan, E. (2006).Targets for Terrorists: Chemical facilities.