Subject Area Keywords

Homeland security, Intelligence studies/education, National security, Threat assessment, Transportation Security


U.S. critical infrastructure protection (CIP) necessitates both the provision of security from internal and external threats and the repair of physically damaged critical infrastructure which may disrupt services. For years, the U.S. infrastructure has been deteriorating, triggering enough damage and loss of life to give cause for major concern. CIP is typically only addressed after a major disaster or catastrophe due to the extreme scrutiny that follows these events. In fact, CIP has been addressed repeatedly since Presidential Decision Directive Sixty-Three (PDD Sixty-Three) signed by President Bill Clinton on May Twenty-Second, 1998.[1] This directive highlighted critical infrastructure as “a growing potential vulnerability” and recognized that the United States has to view the U.S. national infrastructure from a security perspective due to its importance to national and economic security. CIP must be addressed in a preventive, rather than reactive, manner.[2] As such, there are sixteen critical infrastructure sectors, each with its own protection plan and unique natural and man-made threats, deteriorations, and risks. A disaster or attack on any one of these critical infrastructures could cause serious damage to national security and possibly lead to the collapse of the entire infrastructure.

[1] The White House, Presidential Decision Directive/NSC–63 (Washington D.C.: The White House, May 22, 1998): 1–18, available at: http://www.epa.gov/watersecurity/tools/trainingcd/Guidance/pdd-63.pdf.

[2] Ibid, 1.