Department of Defense Involvement in Homeland Security: The Militarization of the Southwestern Border in the U.S.   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The increase in military participation since 9/11 along the southwestern U.S. border has significantly enhanced the security capabilities of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, President Bush mandated the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorist attacks, and facilitate the recovery from attacks, if they did occur. The Department of Defense (DoD) was given the lead role in Homeland Defense and it directed the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) to implement plans and policies to defend against future terrorist attacks. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was established as a department within DHS and it was charged with the mission of protecting U.S. borders against terrorism, human trafficking, drug smuggling, illegal migration, and agricultural pests while concurrently facilitating the movement of legal travel and trade. President Bush made a commitment to increase border patrol agents, augment immigration enforcement along the border, and temporarily use the National Guard to assist DHS in securing the southern border of the nation. This commitment provided the southern border states with 6,000 National Guard troops for a period of one year. This allowed the CBP time to hire, train, and inculcate new agents within its force. The total agent force objective was to add 18,300 agents by the end of December 2008, and another 1,700 agents by the end of 2009."

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