At first blush, the Coast Guard would seem a natural key player—if not the lead federal agency for maritime security. This new focus provides an opportunity that has not been available since 1967, when the Department of Transportation was cobbled together, and the Coast Guard moved from the Treasury Department. There is every reason, however, to expect that the Coast Guard will miss the boat.
Despite a multimission history beginning in 1790, the Coast Guard has yet to learn the importance of relevance that its sister services—as well as key federal agencies that compete with the Coast Guard for scarce resources—have learned and relearned. There is a pressing need for the service to: