Southern Border Security: Blueprint for Operational Control

Today in Texas, U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul will release his new “Blueprint for Southern Border Security.” As posted by Dane Schiller of “Chron” (Houston Chronicle) today, McCaul will visit Houston and Austin to unveil the new plan.

What Chairman McCaul brings to this iteration of Border Security doctrine is a renewed emphasis on technology’s role in security. Despite billions of dollars spent in the past decade on ramping up U.S. border security protocols, specifically in the Southern U.S., “transnational criminal organizations (TCO’s), such as drug cartels, make billions of dollars by moving contraband across the border into the United States.” In describing the actions of these TCO’s, McCaul gives examples of how localized efforts to bolster security at border hotspots only serve to redirect the TCO’s flow around those same areas. The diversity and adaptability of these TCO’s is the driving force behind the Chairman’s vision.

The new “vision” according to McCaul includes a greater application of resources to establish quantifiable results: more surveillance technology in the form of aerial surveillance and radar, and maximum manpower in intelligence roles and in flat open areas of San Diego and Yuma. Specifically, a change from input-based to outcome-based metrics is needed to give the U.S. the most effective border security.

The main body of the “Blueprint” consists of summary pages for each of the major border sectors: San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, Tuscon, El Paso, Big Bend, Del Rio, Laredo, Rio Grande Valley, Eastern Pacific Region, and the Caribbean and Gulf Region. Each highlights the terrain, major threats, operational trends, current resources, recommended resources, and metrics on apprehension and drug seizures.

In addition, view the House Homeland Security Committee’s interactive map here.


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