Bear: Securing Our Borders
By Dan Bear
There are three ways to enter the lower 48 United States from abroad; by land, by sea and by air. We have the Coast Guard, a U.S. military branch backed up by the U.S.Navy, tasked to secure our coastal borders and NORAD, a Department of Defense military operation in Cheyenne Mountain and the U.S. Air Force, tasked to secure our airspace. To secure our land borders we have the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs, both of which are run by bureaucrats and neither of which are under the control of the military or the Department of Defense/Pentagon. We now have the newly created Department of Homeland Security added into the mix of our nation's defense, bringing in a whole new crop of bureaucrats and which may or may not take control of our land borders.
Is the task of securing our land borders a matter of national defence? Yes, absolutely. Why then is this task not being handled by the U.S. military? Too much money? Impossible logistics? Just too many men required on the ground? Can't use the military to defend the United States? Can't use the Department of Defense for defense?
The land borders between Canada, Mexico and the United States amount to 5317 miles in total length excluding the Alaska/Canada border. The land border between Canada and the lower 48 United States is 3987 miles in length and the border between Mexico and the U.S. is 1330 miles in length. For discussion purposes, let's use 4000 miles as the length of the U.S./Canada border and 1500 miles as the length of the U.S./Mexico border, 5500 miles total.
The primary goal of border security is to provide control and control gives us back discretion, the discretion to determine who enters our nation, on our choice and on our terms, not theirs. Razor wire and chainlink fences are not cost effective and are easily defeated by ordinary hand cutters available to anybody everywhere. Why not use electronic sensors, of various types as needs and conditions dictate, like those already in use at thousands of secured locations worldwide, to build an invisible, impenetrable without detection, environmentally friendly barrier, that will alert us to all intruders. This fence would alert an immediate response team that then flies to the contact area and takes action as necessary.
With the electronic fence in place we can task the response teams, American soldiers one and all, to deal with intruder border crossing alerts and then station those response teams with helicopters every ten miles along the border. That's 550 choppers to cover the entire length of the 5500 miles of land border. Toss in 250 more helos as backups and that brings the total helicopters needed to secure our lower 48 land borders to 800.
Let's figure ten soldiers to every mile, 100 for every ten mile zone(TMZ). That's 55000 men needed to secure our land borders with Mexico and Canada compared to the more than 35000 servicemen we have stationed in the tiny Republic of Korea. On duty in each TMZ, 24/7, would be a 10 man response team plus a three man flight crew, three support personnel and an officer in charge. That amounts to 17 men per shift. Figure three shifts a day, seven days a week and we need at least four shifts minimum but we will allow for five shifts. 5 times 17 is 85 which is less than the 100 men we have allocated and lowers the nationwide manpower commitment to 46750 from 55000 based on ten mile zones and 5500 miles of border.
The ten mile zone, TMZ, is a very conservative starting point which places the response teams five miles away, on average, from any intruder. The zones can be expanded to fit the circumstances. For instance, just expanding the zones to 15 miles reduces the manpower requirements to less than 32000 nationwide along with reduced helicopter needs. Not enough support personnel, you say? Every military base in the country will be in support of this operation with existing resources and additional outposts can be built, if needed, where required.
To get the border security system up and running, let's start with the shorter border, the less than 1500 miles of land bordering with Mexico. Now we need less than 15,000 men and say one helicopter in reserve for every two choppers online, based on ten mile zones. That is 225 helicopters and less than half the men we have in Korea. The electronic fence can be built using off the shelf components in a very, very short time, less than six months, without invoking a National Security priority. Even if the fence cost was a million dollars per mile we'd only be talking about 15 billion in cost, the same amount we are giving to Africa to fight AIDS. This fence technology is not star wars stuff. Walmart uses more complex electronics in everyone of its stores just to order stock, to say nothing about what the giant retailer uses for security.
So, to secure our southern border against intrusion we need 15,000 soldiers, 225 helicopters and an off the shelf electronic fence. And this is without even giving consideration to our current Border Patrol and Customs operations.
Why hasn't it been done?
Join me in the quest to secure our nation's borders.
The future of our children and grandchildren is at stake.
Copyright © 2003 Dan Bear - All Rights Reserved
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