Bigfoot or Big Mistake: is CBP's Expanding Footprint Helping or Hurting Homeland Security   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the thesis abstract: "Bad actors and transnational criminal organizations have the ability to move illegal goods, drugs, dangerous materials, and people of interest to the 'zero yard line' of the United States. Without a buffer to protect the homeland, limited people, time, and resources exist to identify harmful items and individuals before they enter the U. S. and cause damage. The U. S. has relied on a geographical buffer and a positive relationship with Mexico and Canada in order to maintain our current security. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has expanded their division of International Affairs to build host country capacity, pre-clearance measures, and increased screening in foreign countries before arriving on the zero line. When it comes to securing the nation from those who would do it harm, CBP's global footprint is an efficient and effective strategy not only to keep malevolent actors off the 'zero yard line,' but out of the 'red zone' altogether. However, as with all deployments, these actions incur a fiscal and, unfortunately, human cost as some agents are killed in IED [improvised explosive devise] and Blue on Green attacks, leaving some to ask: are such forward deployments worth their cost? Are they the most effective way to secure the U.S.?"

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