A floating .50 calibre STOP sign
Nothing forces the average waterborne terrorist to reconsider his itinerary for the day like tearing the front off his attack vessel with a well-placed stream of .50 calibre bullets.
Since the Canadian Navy is all about winning over terrorist hearts and minds - or, failing that, turning said hearts and minds into lobster-food under a withering barrage of fire - they're purchasing some new port-security vessels:
The navy is buying a dozen 9.3-metre-long aluminum boats to conduct 24-hour port security patrols around warships anchored or docked in Halifax and Esquimalt, B.C.
"The vessel must be capable of intercepting surface craft and reacting with a response appropriate to the threat level, including the ability to engage a target vessel with two mounted automatic weapons," say navy documents.
Considering the incident that damaged the USS Cole, killing 17 sailors and wounding 37 others, occurred over five years ago, I'd say this purchase is long overdue. Better late than never, though.
Incidentally, my favourite part of the Chronicle-Herald article cited above is the following quote from John Thompson, director of the Mackenzie Institute:
Terrorists aren’t the only reason the navy needs the boats, Mr. Thompson said.
"You might have some other zodiac with a bunch of Greenpeace nuts convinced that some warship hasn’t got a right to stop or make a port visit to a Canadian fleet anchorage and you want an armed vessel to basically say, ‘Clear off or else,’ " he said.
Now the Navy would never characterize Greenpeace activists as 'nuts'. But if you were to put the article in front of a sailor and watch his reaction as he read it, you might just see a slight nod of the head accompanied by a drawing upwards of the corners of that sailor's mouth.