Thursday, August 5, 2010

Strategists Review Border Security Policies

The more things change, the more they stay the same

The schism in thinking on border security policy couldn't be
more sharply defined.

The entire left side of the aisle stood and gave Mexican
President Felipe Calderon an enthusiastic ovation when he
condemned in a Congressional address Arizona's state
immigration law as "racial profiling" during his May visit
to President Obama.

The right side remained in their seats, silent, stoic,

The truth is somewhere between the sharply divided political
sentiment, shrouded in history, entrenched in strategic thinking as old as the republic itself, and wrapped in the economic
enigmas of the philosophies of the two nations.

A shifting economic paradigm, one that has seen a
multibillion dollar illicit narcotics smuggling trade engulf
and strangle the area's more traditional markets for
agriculture and tourism, is raising tensions from Matamoros
to Tijuana.

Securing the nation's southwestern border in the 19th
century enabled the U.S. to become the economic powerhouse
it became in the 20th century.

How will things turn out?

According to some of the best minds working on the problem
today, the trend is definitely shaping up for increased
border security, no matter which governmental entity carries
it out.

"The U.S. Supreme Court undoubtedly will settle the matter,
which may also trigger federal regulations. However that
turns out, the entire issue cannot simply be seen as an
internal American legal matter," according to George
Friedman, in a piece he wrote for Stratfor, an Austin-based
private intelligence agency. (

The two nations are not only economically symbiotic, but the
new dynamics of the era are causing increasing tension and
conflict between them, something that not only doesn't look
good, but frightens many who live in the area.

At the time of the Texas revolution, the nation's border
with Mexico was at the Sabine River. The terminus of the
great Mississippi River trade route, New Orleans, lay only
200 miles to the east.

President Andrew Jackson saw a need and made his move by
sending covert operators to Texas to turn it into a buffer
zone with Mexico and give the budding nation some breathing
room. Following a period of protracted war, the entire
border was in America's favor, but never really sealed.

And there was a very good reason for that.

In fact, the increased economic activity in areas once
thought uninhabitable attracted many, many Mexicans who came
to live part time during harvest seasons, then returned to
Mexico for the winter months. Others remained behind as
remitters of Yankee cash to their families in Mexico.

Why has the U.S. government often de-emphasized enforcement
of immigration law? It's simple enough to understand why
that would be.

The agribusiness economy could not have grown and prospered
without the low cost labor supply the Mexican government
pushed toward the border, and vice versa.

But now that the history of Mr. Calderon's few years as
President have seen no less than 22,000 people die violently
due to the constant warfare between drug gangs, the
situation is rapidly destabilizing.

Glamour spots such as Acapulco have experienced an extreme
downturn in tourism revenue, making the nation's third-
largest source of income really suffer a loss of market
share. Tourist visits to Acapulco has dropped by 33 percent
during the past year.

Last Tuesday, the U.S. Consulate in Juarez reopened after
being closed for four days because of a message found on
July 15 threatening to deploy a car bomb with 100 kilos of
high explosives if the DEA and FBI did not carry out
investigations and remove the head of intelligence for the
Chihuahua State Police. The enforcement arm of the Sinaloa
Federation, La Linea, and its leader Joaquin "El Chapo"
Guzman Loera, took credit for an ambush of federales that
took place on that day by luring agents to a city street by
using a body dressed in a police uniform.

When a paramedic and a narcotics agent tried to help the
dead man, the gangsters detonated a small IED in a parked
car. It killed two and wounded many others in the kind of
ambush attack seen daily in hot spots like Iraq and
Afghanistan. Many federal lawmen see it as the same kind of
tactic used by Hamas and Hezbolla.

They go even furher in their thinking.

Said another Stratfor writer, Scott Stewart, "Using an IED
in an ambush to get the world's attention (which it did) and
then threatening to attack using an even larger device is
further evidence that the Juarez cartel believes the Mexican
government is favoring Sinaloa."

Only one who is living in deep denial of clear evidence to
the contrary can ignore the fact that the governments of the
world have long used the illicit narcotics trade to raise
money for covert operations.

National Security staffer Oliver North's personal diaries
show he was fully aware of the fact that intelligence
operatives were bringing loads of cocaine back on planes
used to haul supplies to the Contras during the desperate
days of that conflict after Congress cut the funding for the
undeclared war against the Marxist Sandinista regime of
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega.

In fact, CIA assets are increasingly drawing fire for
crossing the legal line in smuggling illicit drugs in places
like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The clear fact is this and nothing less. Mexican
authorities are creating the kind of conditions in which
citizens of that nation find life in their homeland
intolerable. Those people will do anything to try to
guarantee themselves and their children a future. As they
stream into the U.S., the kind of gangsters who could care
less whose kids fall prey to narcotics use come right along
with them.

It's a matter of life and death, pure and simple; it's not a
matter of racial politics.

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