Discussion post

Discussion Questions: The United States Government is striving to have a “secure” border under the present administration. What would be the consequences/impact to the United States if the border was suddenly made less open and more “secure”? This is a strategic security question and not a political one. What is the role of the Department of Defense in border and coastal security? What is the DOD’s relationship with the Department of Homeland Security as it pertains to border security? Why was there such an increased?
Answer:
  1. Consequences/Impact of a Less Open and More “Secure” Border:
    • Economic implications: A more secure border could potentially disrupt the flow of trade and commerce between the United States and its neighboring countries, particularly if it involves stricter border control measures, such as increased inspections and longer processing times for goods and people. This could result in delays, increased costs, and reduced efficiency for businesses engaged in cross-border activities.
    • Diplomatic relations: A shift towards a more secure border might strain diplomatic relations with neighboring countries, especially if it is perceived as restrictive or hostile. This could affect cooperation on various issues, including security, counterterrorism, and drug trafficking, which often require collaborative efforts between nations.
    • Humanitarian concerns: A less open border could have implications for individuals seeking refuge or asylum, as well as for migrants attempting to enter the United States for better opportunities. It may lead to an increase in unauthorized crossings, potentially resulting in human rights concerns and challenges in managing migration flows.
    • Domestic impact: Stricter border security measures might require increased funding and resources for border enforcement agencies, potentially diverting resources from other areas. It could also impact border communities that rely on cross-border trade and cultural exchange, affecting their social and economic dynamics.
  2. Role of the Department of Defense (DOD) in Border and Coastal Security: The DOD plays a supporting role in border and coastal security, primarily through its subordinate agency, the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). USNORTHCOM is responsible for the defense of the homeland, including the coordination and integration of military support to civil authorities, such as border security operations. The DOD’s role in border security is primarily focused on providing capabilities and assets to assist civilian agencies, rather than leading the efforts directly.
  3. DOD’s Relationship with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Border Security: The DOD and DHS have a collaborative relationship in the realm of border security. The DHS is the lead federal agency responsible for border security, including the management of border patrol, customs, and immigration enforcement. The DOD supports the DHS’s efforts by providing resources, personnel, and expertise when requested or deemed necessary. This collaboration ensures a coordinated approach to address border security challenges and leverage the capabilities of both agencies.
  4. Increased Emphasis on Border Security: The specific reasons for any increased emphasis on border security can vary depending on the context. Factors that may contribute to a heightened focus on border security include concerns related to national security, drug trafficking, human trafficking, smuggling, terrorism, and managing migration flows. Changes in political or policy priorities, public sentiment, or specific events can also influence the level of attention given to border security. It is important to note that the reasons for increased emphasis on border security may vary over time and across different administrations or periods of heightened security concerns.

 

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