Imagine you are a country that has seen a huge increase in traffic through your land as U.S. and Latin American efforts have shut down air and naval smuggling routes. Worse yet, as those things move one way, even more potentially destabilizing things are starting to move back in the other direction. To make it even worse, as these things avoid your border checkpoints, goods on which you collect taxes and fees join them -- reducing income you needed.
Your country not only has civilian control of the military enshrined in law and constitution, but has laws and regulations that can make posse commitatus seem weak in comparison. You have no border patrol, never having needed one before, and to create such you have to bring together the judiciary, the local equivalent of District Attorneys, your Customs service, the police, and the military so that they work together seamlessly to provide one. You want and need this, are determined to do it right and so commit the best of each branch to the effort.
Now, imagine that you are the United States government and that you want to help this country create an effective border patrol as a good bit of the bad things going through will end up at your border -- and beyond. Air and naval interdiction has worked to reduce the amounts coming in by those routes, and increased the amount traveling over land. Now imagine you are the U.S. Army South, and you've been tasked with helping this country in their efforts to create this new border patrol.
What do you do?
You bring in the experts from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the Texas National Guard, and other resources. You help the country procure the equipment necessary, develop a training program that teaches law, best practices in border protection operations, and offer guidance and suggestions as the country creates a program that brings together the elements mentioned above under a cabinet level officer who reports directly to that country's president. She is one call away from that office, and the head of the program is one call away from her. You create a training program that brings all those groups together to learn to work together on an administrative level, to train together and figure out how to work together as a team on the squad level so that the strengths and duties of each group work together. And, to make it even more challenging, after years of work and planning, you make this happen in less than a year.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what Army South is doing right now. I've got the pleasure of being present for the final testing and exercises that will see the first battalion of this new Inter Agency Border Unit complete its basic training and begin operations and advanced training. There is much more to come, stay tuned.
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