Guarding the border

Joint U.S.-Mexican zone needed to secure America

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A National Guard unit patrols at the Arizona-Mexico border in Sasabe, Ariz., during the 2007 deployment. National Guard contingents in U.S. states that border Mexico say they are waiting for guidance from Washington to determine what they will do following President Trump’s proclamation directing deployment to fight illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Governors of the border states of Arizona and New Mexico have welcomed deployment of the Guard along the southwest border. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)

The unfettered movement of transnational criminals, Islamic extremists and illegal border crossers across our porous southern border poses a clear and immediate national security threat.

The sophistication of the illicit networks that traffic in narcotics, foment terror and exploit human suffering for profit have exceeded our current ability to protect the homeland.

We must continue to be vigilant, but adopt a more aggressive, offense-oriented border strategy. You cannot win and defeat this national threat by being on defense all the time using limited assets and restrictive rules of engagement.

In fact, the federal government has not yet formulated a comprehensive and integrated National Border Security Strategy, which, in addition to law enforcement brings to bear all the instruments of national power — diplomatic, intelligence, military and economic — and would be coordinated by a single command and control system spanning our southern land border and ports of entry.

It is now time to truly enforce the rule of law along our southern borders — no more excuses, no more delays, no more politics, no more kowtowing to special interest groups, or claims by open-border advocates.

The fact is that the citizens of the USA are in daily danger and are being killed or having their families harmed because the border states of Mexico are controlled by thugs and terrorists copying jihad tactics of mayhem and murder. Once again, the entire region is festooned with upheaval, violence, and lawlessness as it was in 1846.

The northern states in Mexico; Baja California Norte, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas are under rogue control, and the Mexican police and army are helpless to stop them.

It is, therefore, in the national interest of the United States and the responsibility of the federal government to restore order on the border as well across our borders. Because of this clear and present danger to U.S. citizens and our economy, positive action must be taken without further delay.

Let me provide an executable plan of operations for the U.S. government to undertake with resolve and commitment to protect and secure the American people for now and the future.

The plan uses elements of conventional and unconventional military and law enforcement assets. It combines the best use of already-existing forces that will encompass intelligence, targeting and structural organization to accomplish the mission, including base operations, offensive and defensive operations.

A 20 mile “Control Zone” on the U.S and Mexican side of the border will be established. Any group or persons occupying this zone engaging in criminal or illegal activities against Mexico or the United States would be targeted, engaged and neutralized.

The first step is to organize three Joint Border Task Force Groups and position them in three operational bases, one in Texas, one in Arizona and another in Southern California. Locations for these bases have been identified but will be kept confidential for now. Each group will be organized based on joint task forces of Special Ops, Army, Air Force and Navy. Selected units and personnel will be relocated and moved to the designated bases. A Joint Operations Center will be established for U.S. and Mexican personnel.

Approximately 5,000 military personnel would be assigned to each joint task force. The organization would be commanded by a Two-Star “Warrior” and each of the three joint border groups would be commanded by a brigadier general. The mission for the military element of the command would be to target and conduct offensive operations on the Mexican side of the border in coordination with Mexican authorities, when possible. National Guard, Border Patrol, DEA, and local sheriffs’ units would conduct border security operations on the United States side of the border. This initiative does not violate any existing Posse Comitatus laws.

Integrated operations will be conducted with the National Guard on the border states as well as U.S. Border Patrol and DEA.

The concerns and anxiety of Americans, particularly in the border states, have grown significantly in the past year. Changes in law-enforcement operations have forced smugglers of drugs and illegal aliens into ever more isolated areas, increasing the number of deaths and the level of violence to a point where even the most hardened enforcement officials are alarmed.

The political ferment over illegals has never been greater — much concern as the result of the Kate Steinle murder verdict in San Francisco. Seventy-eight percent of Americans think and know that the government is not doing enough to control our borders; talk shows bristle with demands for action. Additionally, global jihad and jihadis are a major threat as they eye the southern border as a path of least resistance to strike inside the United States.

Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (U.S. Army, retired), of Bigfork, is the founder of Stand Up America.

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