Jim Kouri
Border war: National Guard may be deployed to U.S.-Mexico border
By Jim Kouri
March 13, 2009

The governor of Arizona is requesting a deployment of up to 250 National Guard troops to that state's border with Mexico, while the Texas governor is considering a similar action. The escalating violence occurring at the US-Mexico border is causing enormous concern within both states.

In an effort to pre-empt expected criticism from a growing number of Americans, President Barack Obama has indicated to the Pentagon that he's considering these deployments, according to sources in Washington, DC.

On Wednesday, Obama told news reporters, "We're going to examine whether, and if, National Guard deployments would make sense and in what circumstances they would make sense as part of this overall review of our border situation."

However, according to the Department of Defense press office, the White House did not release a transcript of Obama's meetings with military officials regarding the border violence and crime being perpetrated by criminal aliens, drug traffickers and Mexican crime gangs.

However, law enforcement executives and rank-and-file police officers aren't expecting a strong response to the escalating violence.

"I haven't drawn any conclusions yet. I don't have a particular tipping point in mind," President Obama said in a statement released by the DOD.

While Obama called the killing of Americans by Mexican drug gangs and other criminal aliens 'unacceptable,' many proponents of tough border security don't expect any true action from a man who prefaced his statement with "I don't want to militarize the border."

Last week, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, met with Mexican officials about the chaos being created by Mexican crime and drug gangs. Mullen had mentioned the need for US military assistance for the Mexican soldiers facing their dangerous foes.

Yesterday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer dispatched a letter of request to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates saying the state needed 250 more National Guard soldiers to be posted along the 350-mile Arizona-Mexico border.

Although Brewer has the authority to call up the troops, she asked Gates to mobilize them as part of the federally funded Joint Counter Narco-terrorism Task Force. That force currently includes about 150 Army and Air National Guard members.

"Brewer already has the authority to deployment the Guard, but the governor is attempting to avoid a firestorm should anything adverse occurs," warns one police chief from Arizona who requested anonymity.

Brewer is quoted as saying: "Arizona communities and citizens are negatively affected by the impacts of the illegal drug trade and related border violence, and enforcement agencies in all jurisdictions are stretched as they attempt to address the enormity of the problems. The support these additional soldiers can provide to law enforcement agency operations would prove invaluable."

According to a recent report, Phoenix, AR is considered the "kidnapping" capital of the United States.

In neighboring Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has expressed the need for more troops or border agents along its border with Mexico. Perry reiterated at a ceremony last week the need for more help to disrupt operations of the Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, Barrio Azteca, MS-13 and other violent transnational gangs.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters today it's too soon to know if additional military support will be granted.

Back in 2006, under President George W. Bush, 6,000 National Guard soldiers were sent to the US-Mexican border in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. However, Guard members were prohibited from enforcing the immigration laws. Their missions included engineering, aviation surveillance, and other support.

The current Merida Initiative provides Mexico and several other countries funding to counter drug trafficking, and the U.S. military has a strong military-to-military partnership with Mexico. Unfortunately, the group known as the Zetas — which provides protection services for the drug cartels — is comprised of former members of the Mexican military, some of whom were trained by the US military.

© Jim Kouri


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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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