Small Wars Journal

Pentagon Chief: Border Security Needs Broader Approach

Pentagon Chief: Border Security Needs Broader Approach – Associated Press

EL PASO, TEXAS - Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Saturday after visiting the U.S.-Mexico border that the government needs a broader, more effective approach to border control. He suggested the Pentagon might contribute with its expertise in surveillance and monitoring.


“How do we get out of treating the symptoms and get at the root of the issue,” Shanahan said in an interview while flying back to Washington.


Considering how the military could reinforce efforts to block drug smuggling and other illegal activity comes as the Pentagon weighs diverting billions of dollars for President Donald Trump’s border wall.


Shanahan said he was not volunteering the Pentagon to take over any part of border control, which is the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security. But he said his visit led him to question whether there should be a “wholesale redesign” of the way border control is done by the federal government.


Shanahan said the Pentagon is willing to continue supporting the DHS but wants to see a longer-term solution.


“I don’t want to just add resources and not fix the problem,” he said…

Read on.


With the rise of such things as globalization (much like with the rise of industrialization in the old days?), governments, throughout the world today, seem to face a similar dilemma; this being should they: 

a.  Work to provide for and protect their nation's national security? This, by proposing, pushing and standing behind often unpopular "progressive" policies  -- for example, increased immigration -- policies which, however, are designed to, necessarily, increase the competiveness of their economy?  

Or should these governments, instead, 

b.  Make a vain attempt to provide for and protect their culture -- and the "Old Order" which has been, until now, propped up and sustained by same? This, by proposing, pushing and standing behind policies such as (a) sending troops to the border to (b) enhance/improve border security?  

(Possibly as an example of these such "choice = national security consequences," might we consider the cases of 19th Century China and Japan?  Wherein:

a.  19th Century Japan chose the (progressive?) "embrace change/protect national security"/option "a" above -- and in doing so -- almost immediately became a great power and a conqueror of others?  Whereas:

b.  19th Century China chose the ("regressive?) "protect one's culture and its Old Order"/option "b" above -- and in doing so -- almost immediately lost its great power status and became ruled by the West and Japan?

For a 19th Century American "try in vain to protect one's culture and its Old Order at the expense of security" example, consider the case of the Old American South.) 

Thus, from the perspective that I offer above, should we ask:

a.  In the face of such things as unrelenting globalization, 

b.  Is having our military forces involved at the border -- in essense, to protect our nation's culture and the "Old Order" which has, until now, been propped up and sustained by same --

Does this make anything other than "popular" -- but certainly not "national security"(?)  -- sense?