Posts Tagged border

Arizona: Warning Signs Are Not Enough For Border Security -Governor Brewer

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Military News: 1,200 National Guard Troops To Be Deployed To Arizona Border

   Wow, this is great news.  Arizona has been pushing hard for National Guard troops and the White House has finally agreed to allow it.  It’s about time is all I have to say.

     I am not sure what will be purchased with the 500 million dollars, and I am sure that money will mostly go to this NG deployment.  Although we might see an emphasis again on building a substantial wall or fence on the border.  If that is the case, I am sure a contractor or two will be tasked with building that thing. If they do start building the fence, I am sure they will also build a couple of camps out in the remote areas so they can support that effort. –Matt

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1,200 National Guard troops to be deployed to border

5/25/2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Tuesday announced the White House has agreed to her requests to deploy National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico.Giffords called for the Guard’s deployment immediately after the March 27, 2010, murder of Cochise County rancher Rob Krentz.

Giffords also says in a statement Tuesday that President Barack Obama will request $500 million in funding for border security.

In 2006, President George W. Bush sent thousands of troops to the border to perform support duties that tie up immigration agents. The troops wouldn’t perform significant law enforcement duties.

That program has since ended, and politicians in border states have called for troops to be sent there to curb human and drug smuggling and prevent Mexico’s drug violence from spilling over into the United States.

Story here.

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Strategy: The Defense Of Farms And Ranches

   This is a good little post on a subject you don’t hear much about, yet is pretty important to today’s ranchers and farmers along the border with Mexico, or to farmers who are caught in the middle of conflicts throughout the world.  If you look at farms and ranches as a strategic asset of a nation, as do many nations throughout the world do, then defending such places becomes pretty important.  The food of a country comes from these farms, as does the vitality of the economy of some countries.  If an enemy is attacking farms, or soldiers from other wars are crossing a border and raiding farms in order to survive or smuggle weapons or drugs, then that is a direct threat to a nation’s vital resource and citizens. It must be addressed, if a country cares about protecting this economic asset.

   One of the big problems with defending farms and ranches, is the size of the operation.  Ideally a government would help in the defense of these businesses, but for some nations, it just isn’t feasible.  Cost might be a factor, or a lack of manpower might be another factor.  Even politics can limit how much help these farmers and ranchers can get (like with the Mexico/U.S. immigration problem, and the politics that surround that)

   All of that aside, the farmer or rancher still has to protect their land and business (and their lives), and that task becomes increasingly more challenging when that farm is located in a war zone.  Think of the farmers in Iraq or Afghanistan whom have had to deal with the war, and grow food or raise animals at the same time?  Or think about what the Rhodesian farmers had to deal with when it came to cattle thieves and ‘terrs’ attacking farms for food or loot? They implemented Bright Light operations, along with using range detectives, as part of their farm defense strategies. Their solutions to the problems were very interesting to say the least.

    The Israelis had a similar problem when trying to defend their farms, and the Haganah was their answer. I even talked about US ranchers and farmers dealing with thieves, indians and competitors during the Range Wars in the US back in the 1800’s.  All of these historical incidents required protecting farms and ranches, and there just isn’t a lot out there for farmers and ranchers to refer to for the defense.

   The latest drug war in Mexico spilling over the border and impacting farms and ranches in the US is also another reason why we should talk about this.  When ranchers are getting killed by armed thugs along the border, and the US is not providing enough man power or resources to protect these farms and ranches, well then discussions about the defense of farms becomes pretty relevant.

   Farms and Ranches are also a target for terrorism, and biowarfare attacks against food and livestock is a concern.  It takes planning and resources to ensure these vital national assets are getting the protection they need.  There are also problems with drugs on farms, with individuals trying to grow marijuana on crop and range lands, with the hopes that the farmer will not notice or worse yet, turn a blind eye because they fear the growers/criminals.

   So with that said, let me start off the conversation with a fascinating post at the Small Wars Council about the subject.  I provided a link, so if you would like to further research or contact the author of the original post, you can do so.  Also I would like to thank Cannoneer #4 for bringing this stuff up to my attention, and he has an excellent blog post about such things.

    I know one thing, having tracking skills along with some kind of combat arms background, would be a big help in the defense of these farms and ranches. Especially if farmers start contracting range detectives for such a thing. If the readership has any more resources for the defense of farms and ranches, go ahead and post that in the comments section or I will add it as an edit. –Matt

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A Farmer At War

By Trevor Grundy and Bernard Miller

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Rhodesian Farmers Defensive Arrangements

(from the Small Wars Council forum)

 I knew many Rhodesian farmers and have visited many farmsteads over the years. At every farm, defensive arrangements were made up to suit their particular situation and infrastructure. The following would be a general overview:

 1. Most farmers fitted hand-grenade grills to the outside of all windows. Doors leading outside were likewise security grilled.

 2. Many farmers built thick walls about a meter in front of bedroom windows to stop bullets, but particularly to deal with RPG 7`s. Beds were never placed against the outside walls of a farmhouse.

 3. It was usual to have a designated safe room within the farmhouse that could be defended until support arrived. Sometimes this was a central corridor that allowed the farmer to move into other rooms to attack those outside through the windows. In the loft or ceiling over the safe room, some farmers laid sand bags to deal with possible mortar attack.

4. Every farmhouse in a given area was linked by a radio system called “Agric Alert”. This allowed radio contact with other farmers who formed their own defence units, usually under the umbrella of PATU (Police Anti-Terrorist Unit), which would react to a call from one of their neighbours for assistance. Another means of alarm raising was the use of a signal rocket – The Agric-Alert system was not done away with after the war, such was the lack of trust in Mugabe`s promises. It performed admirably as well when dealing with criminal activity such as stock theft. The alert system arranged for all farmers to check in with each other at a given time in the morning and evening as a means of monitoring their status.

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Cool Stuff: Desert Manhunt–Shadow Wolves On The Border

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Mexico: Drug War Refugees And Comparisons To Colombia

   Could we have a situation where violence gets so bad in Mexico, that we will actually see war refugees gathering at the border?  Imagine thousands of people, all trying to get on the US side of the border, all because things have gotten so bad in Mexico that the people no longer trust that their government can protect them. Things are already bad enough economically there, that people are willing to risk illegal immigration to cross into the US.  If you add the fear of violence caused by the drug war to the mix, well then now you can see how this is something we need to look at.

   At this point, we are just seeing the political asylum cases increase.  The next stage if things got really bad, is just camping out at the border.  If cartels are taking over entire towns, and the Mexican military is having to retake those towns, then you could see why people wouldn’t want to live there.

  And to follow this train of thought, where would we put them all?  Well, if things got that bad, I am afraid that my tent city idea that I brought up for illegal immigrants, would more than likely turn into refugee camps. When you start thinking about the problems in Mexico in this way, it really puts into perspective as to what the potential is and why we should care. I also think that looking at other drug wars like in Colombia are particularly helpful, just to get an idea of where it is all going.

   Finally, check out the last story I posted.  It is about a coordinated attack on Mexican army bases, by cartel henchmen.  That is a new chapter in this drug war, and I am sure we will see more of this.-Matt

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Will we see this in the U.S., in order to deal with a humanitarian crisis caused by the drug war in Mexico?

Worse Than Colombia

by Brandi GrissomMarch 31, 2010

The violence raging in Mexico’s drug war is worse now than the terror that enveloped Colombia during the 1980s and 1990s ever was, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told state lawmakers Tuesday.

“Colombia was never threatened like the government of Mexico is with the level of violence,” McCraw told the House Select Committee on Emergency Preparedness at a Capitol hearing.

The committee and its chairman, state Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, focused many of their questions about the state’s emergency preparedness on the current violence just across the border in northern Mexico, particularly in Juárez. “Each and every day we hear about killings, shootings, assassinations, kidnappings,” said Peña, whose hometown is about 10 miles from the Mexican city of Reynosa. While McCraw said the violence will get worse before it gets better and has already outpaced the scariness of Pablo Escobar’s Medellín cartel in Colombia, at least one border expert disagreed, saying that the United States would never let the situation in its neighboring country devolve into the lawlessness that plagued Colombia. “I think maybe he’s exaggerating,” said University of Texas at El Paso professor Howard Campbell.

Peña asked McCraw to compare the violence in Mexico to that during the drug war in Colombia. McCraw said the situation in Mexico is worse. The United States eventually intervened to help the Colombian government quell the violence and take down Pablo Escobar in 1993. “That hasn’t happened in Mexico,” McCraw said. Though Mexican President Felipe Calderón is trying to control the violence, McCraw said those efforts so far have not worked. “There has never been a more significant threat as it relates to cartels and drug and human smuggling on the border today,” he said. Juarez alone has seen more than 4,800 drug war deaths since 2008, according to recent reports in the El Paso Times, including at least 600 killings this year.

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Mexico: Texas Governor Screams For 1,000 Troops

“Texas pleads for U.S. troops

Now, to hear Texas Gov. Rick Perry tell it, U.S. resources are being focused too much on Mexico and not enough on Americans on this side of the border.

Last month, Perry called on the Department of Homeland Security to send 1,000 troops to the U.S. side of the border. Complaining that the federal government had not done enough to protect Americans in the border region, Perry dismissed potential constitutional concerns about assigning active-duty U.S. personnel to military operations inside the United States, saying bluntly, ‘I really don’t care.’” 

And…

“I don’t care if they are military, National Guard or Customs agents,” Mr Perry said at a news conference at the border town of El Paso yesterday. “We’re very concerned that the federal Government is not funding border security adequately. We must be ready for any contingency.” 

    Thanks to Jeff for sending me this story.  I’m sorry, but when I hear the governor of a state screaming for troops, and we don’t answer the call, I have to say WTF? I mean the governor has the National Guard to draw from, but it sounds like Texas wants something more, in terms of money and commitment.   

    There is plenty of fire power to draw upon in the US, it’s just establishing the mechanism to get it done.  Law enforcement could deputize citizens and form a posse of volunteers.  The National Guard could send folks from some other state, if Texas can’t do it with their own NG.  The Border Patrol could up the recruitment tempo and infuse more folks into the program out there, and even draw upon ICE to throw more folks down there.  

    Or, the final solution is to contract it out.  Matter of fact, all of those groups I listed, could contract PSC’s to make this happen.  We did it during the Hurricane Katrina disasters, and private security companies like Blackwater, Steele Foundation, SOC or Armorgroup were able to respond very quickly and effectively. And to really emphasize this point of contractors on the border, we already use them for border duties in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I guess they are not good enough for the US border?  And during the Katrina disaster, PSC’s were deputized by the state of Louisiana.  It was an emergency, and establishing security in that disaster zone was the priority, no matter how they got it done.  I see no difference with the call for help in Texas, and in other border states.  

   Of course the Border Patrol and Local Law Enforcement should be the primary guardians of the border and those border cities and towns. But if they are overwhelmed and out gunned, and they lack the manpower or there is some legal stop sign about using US troops, then contract out the security.   

   Either way, I go back to leadership for this one.  There are plenty of ways to answer this call for security on the border, but it takes leadership and a plan to make it happen.  Texas and the border states are screaming for help, and we need to take care of our people. –Matt 

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 In Mexico’s drug wars, fears of a U.S. front

Violence that has killed thousands is beginning to cross border, officials say

By Alex Johnson

March. 9, 2009

With U.S. forces fighting two wars abroad, the nation’s top military officer made an important visit last week to forestall a third.

He went to Mexico.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the trip to confer with Mexican leaders about the Merida Initiative, a three-year plan signed into law last June to flood the U.S.-Mexican border region with $1.4 billion in U.S. assistance for law-enforcement training and equipment, as well as technical advice and training to bolster Mexico’s judicial system.

The assistance is intended to help Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa step up his war against drug cartels. The drug lords and their soldiers are blamed for having killed more than 6,300 people since January 2008, including more than 1,000 in the first two months of this year alone.

That’s about 100 people every week for the last 14 months. The cartels usually do not target civilians, but dozens, perhaps hundreds, have died in the crossfire.

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