Border and Coastal Security

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UNITED STATES AND CANADA AND MEXICO BORDER

Border Patrol focus has been detection, apprehension and/or deterrence of terrorists and terrorist weapons (Securing America’s Borders). 2011). The duties and responsibilities of the Border Patrol is one of the most important jobs and it is to detect and prevent the entry of illegal immigrants, terrorists, and smugglers into the United States. The amount of travellers that come through the United States, the trade that the United States engage in, and the number of immigrants entering the United States makes us a target for terrorist attacks from different angles. The Department of Homeland Security was created to deal with and address the threat of international terrorism (Securing America’s Borders). The priority mission of this department is homeland security.

The Hart-Rudman Commission had three innovations they were trying to accomplish. The first of which the commission thought the United States needed to push its borders outward, developing what it called a “layered defense” (Alden, 2009, p. 39). The senators thought that the U.S. needs to work more with foreign countries to try to identify threats and/or terrorists before they arrive in the U.S. Secondly, the commission recommended the government need to work with companies, mainly private shipping companies, who ships goods or products to other countries or around the world (Alden, p. 39). This would help not only the government but the companies involved in order to try to prohibit them (the companies) from becoming a sort of accomplice in carrying out a criminal or terroristic act (Alden, p. 39). The last innovation or recommendation and perhaps the most important to the commission is to have new and much better intelligence gathering, data handling, and information sharing among government agencies so that our border security officials and others involved for border security would be better able to target high risk goods and persons who could and does pose a threat.

There are those who feel that these innovations or recommendations would not work because the cooperation from foreign countries including businesses and even the governments themselves may not work (Alden, p. 39). Foreign countries and foreign based companies may not want to provide us with the pertinent information or data we would need to try to identify and/or stop potential threats, whether it is terrorists or the deadly weapons used to commit heinous acts (Alden, p. 40). Another issue against these innovations is that even our own U.S. government and business information sharing could use some help (Alden, p. 40). The information that could be pertinent is scattered throughout different agencies so how could anyone now what information he/she needed and/or had. Also, the commission’s plans were not clearly setting or showing what their strategic priorities were, they were not clearly defining what their alternatives would be, and they were providing a clear set of the specific resources that would be needed in order to carry out its goals (Krepinevich, Vickers and Kosiak, 2000).

The U.S. and Canada border had been known as the “Longest Undefeated Border in the World” (Securing Canada’s Border). The Canadian border was seen as having opportunities for trade but this unfortunately changed on September 11, 2001. Since the attacks, security has become a big issue and this in turn has created problems and/or issues with how the border is operated. The U.S. and Canada Border had not had much of a security concern before 9-11. Those entering the U.S. from Canada were able to do so without showing any documentation. The Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and later the North American Free Trade Agreement were put into place to help businesses and also facilitate access into the United States. Canada started being looked upon as a security risk because of its lax attitude on immigration policy. It was thought that if Canada...
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