Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Prichard_WritingSample2
The following is an excerpt from a paper I wrote for my Master’s program in Homeland
Security entitled “Southwest Border Smuggling: Weapons of Mass Destruction”. This is a
CASE STUDY document. December, 2013.
Table of Contents:
Section 1: NSWBCN Strategy and WMD Case Study 3
Section 2: ICP Threat Environment 5
Section 3: Federal and Regional Policies 9
Section 4: SWB Agency Coordination 12
Section 5: NSWBCN Strategy Support to States 13
Section 6: Cross Domain Strategies Quad Chart 15
Section 7: Improving Cross-border Cooperation 17
Section 8: References 20
Section 4: SWB Intelligence Agency Coordination
CBP Department of WMD Intelligence
William Prichard, Committee Chair
November 5, 2013
Securing the SWB through DHS Assistance:
Purpose: Through coordination with DHS, CBP can increase its effectiveness. Outlined below
are areas of need, the history behind those problem areas, and ways in which DHS can assist.
Background: During the 1990’s the U.S. Government implemented measures to secure the SWB
with Mexico. These measures met with resistance and resourcefulness on both sides of the
border and now those same trafficking lanes and criminal organizations are smuggling money,
drugs, guns, humans and have the potential to move WMD’s onto American soil.
Current Status: CBP currently does not have enough resources to neutralize the threat of
trafficking. U.S. land borders remains porous as millions of dollars’ worth of drugs, weapons,
money, and humans are moved across land borders every year. If WMD’s are being moved
across the SWB, CBP alone does not have the capabilities to be effective.
Problem Areas: CBP and its counter parts in the CIA, FBI, ICE, and other federal, regional, state,
and local organizations do not have the manpower or resources staged along the border to be
effective and they do not have the communications and intelligence gathering capabilities to
gather data in real time. Additionally, they do not have the funding for increasing resources or
their capabilities and they do not have the full backing of the government as its eyes are spread
widely across many aspects of national security and homeland defense.
Findings: By increasing the total number of personnel by at least 100%, roughly 50 thousand
agents, there may be enough manpower to gather, analyze, interpret, and act on intelligence
gathered. By increasing the intelligence gathering and communications equipment capabilities
such as monitoring stations, aerial recon, drones, infrared monitoring, seismic detection, and
motion sensors the amount of information gathered will increase the response and effectiveness
of agents on the ground. These measures are accomplished through a commitment from the
President, Congress, and DHS to invest in the security of our nation via SWB funding increases.
Without awareness of the viable threats and/or the realization of a WMD explosion that was
smuggled through the SWB funding will not increase. It is the mission of DHS to inform
vertically and invest in the safety of American citizens. By assisting CBP with increasing
manpower, communications and intelligence capabilities, and working with CBP to inform the
Executive and Legislative branches of the threat that agents face, DHS can positively assist in
securing the SWB. The increased capabilities mentioned can be spread between multiple
agencies that coordinate in operations and intelligence analysis with CBP, but those funds and
increased capabilities must be used solely for SWB security, which will increase interagency
interaction and cooperation.
Section 5: NSWBCN Strategy Support to States
The NSWBCN Strategy, is primarily directed towards the protection of the SWB between the
U.S. and Mexico against illegal trafficking. This Strategy discusses the various threats that all
agency levels face and how best to manage operations. Chapters associated with the transport of
WMD’s across land borders and/or at POE will be primarily discussed.
Chapter 1. Intelligence and Information Sharing: This process is paramount to identifying a
WMD and/or the organizational structure that is facilitating transport. By increasing personnel at
EPIC, creating BIFS at EPIC, establishing a JCMU at EPIC, incorporating LRS into EPIC
capabilities, building CBP stations along the border, increasing the criminal intelligence
collection capabilities, and sectioning TLOs for tribal sections of the border the intelligence and
information sharing capabilities have drastically improved in regard to the SWB (NSWBCN,
Chapter 3. Between Ports of Entry: It is highly unlikely that a WMD will be smuggled via a
POE, along the SWB due to installed radiological detection devices at POEs. It is more likely
that this would occur between POEs and as such is a large section of our discussion. While CBP
is tasked with operational intervention along the SWB it waits for data collection, analysis,
interpretation, and command decisions on measured responses to identified threats before
deployment, though resources are staged in high traffic and choke point areas (NSWBCN, 2013).
Chapter 9. Cooperation with Mexico: Bilateral involvement with Mexico means hardening
resources and CI on both sides that deals with intelligence gathering, information sharing, and
operational effectiveness (NSWBCN, 2013) to prevent WMD ingress. Through this process it
will be easier to identify cartels and trafficking organizations that might assist with the transport
of WMD’s across the SWB.
The federal government cannot meet mission goals alone. It also requires investment at the state
level to see a marked difference in protection along the SWB. This investment means the
increasing of intelligence gathering and information sharing capabilities, quickening
deployments of agents to areas of activity, and cooperating both individually and as a whole with
border sharing counterpart counties and states to be more effective.
There are ways to increase the federal funding for these initiatives. One of the most prominent is
Operations Stonegarden (OPSG), “…[which] enhance law enforcement preparedness and
operational readiness along the land borders of the United States… [it] provides funding to
designated localities to enhance cooperation and coordination between law enforcement agencies
in a joint mission to secure the nation's land borders(OPSG, 2013).” The federal government has
approximately $55,000,000 in funds to award for FY ’13-’15 for protection initiatives that are
currently in place and/or in the development stages (OPSG, 2013). This is an excellent way to
gain federal support for state initiatives to protect the SWB. By applying for program grants like
this there will an increase in security, intelligence and operational effectiveness in detection and
prevention of a WMD explosion on American soil. As TCO’s and ITO’s attempt to smuggle
WMD’s across our land borders, states must do everything possible to prevent that from
happening. Outlined here is one way to justify applying for federal grant funding that will
increase state capabilities based off needs assessments.
Section 6: Cross Domain Strategies Quad Chart
Interconnected Agencies involved in SWB multi-
threat and multi-domain operations:
NSS, and local/state/private business players
Challenges they face:
Regional crime organization
Resources of criminal organizations
Demand for illegal products
Legislation that inhibits operations
Non-unity of effort
Foundation is laid for local/state/federal entities to
Private business/enterprise needs incentives
Monetary and quality of life approaches must go
hand in hand
Must create a community of awareness and unity
instead of self-supporting individualist mentality
Private business and general public will greatly
assist in information gathering and real-time data
Budget issues can be spread over a wider range of
entities, not just federalsources
Comprehensive unity of effort can be established
A safer,more stable community can be created
Federal, state and local agencies, alongside private business and the general public, have a
multitude of challenges on the SWB. Because of demand in the U.S., cartels and criminal
organizations in the region are well funded and supported by significant trafficking operations.
Legislation and jurisdictional overlap creates a confusing problem for agencies that are tasked
with stopping trafficking along the SWB at POE’s and between POE’s (NSWBCS, 2013).
Government contracting issues, limited budgets and poor budget management make unity of
effort among existing entities a difficult prospect (NSWBCS, 2013) and interagency operations
and the inclusion of public and private entities must find a way to overcome.
There is already a foundation laid that will assist with the incorporation of public and private
entities that are involved and those are federal guidelines that attempt to consolidate the unity of
effort among local/state/federal and private entities today. But to gain public and private business
assistance and create a community of awareness the government must incentivize either through
monetary avenues or quality of life. If these public and private entities can assist in the
information gathering of real-time data, federal entities can be more effective and efficient.
Budgetary constraints can be spread over multiple entities, instead of taxing a few, and through
whole community effort at all levels of government, private business, and the general public a
safer and more stable community can be established. A comprehensive unity of effort that
incorporates all affected entities is the only way to make lasting change along the SWB related to
smuggling and trafficking of illegal substances, money, weapons, people and potentially WMDs.
Section 7: Improving Cross-border Cooperation
U.S./Mexico land borders are extremely vulnerable and most transnational criminal
organizations (TCO) based in Mexico, with world-wide international connections, continue to
dominate the illegal drug supply chain and are continuing to expand their illegal activities.
Empirical data suggests 90 to 95 percent of all cocaine that enters the United States continues to
pass through the Mexico/Central America corridor from the international sources outside Mexico
(Whitehouse.gov, 2013). Mexican cartels remain the primary foreign transporter for illegal
substances destined for U.S. markets. This porous border is navigated by cartels and smuggling
operations with such regularity that their routes of ingress, egress, and potentially their resources
could be used for WMD transport. If terrorist organizations join forces and combine resources
with cartels involved in trafficking and smuggling operations along the SWB, the United States
could face its greatest threat yet.
Stemming the flow of smuggling operations from Mexico revolves around three things. First is
the ability to gather and share data on weapons shipments in real-time. Second is the ability for
agencies to legally enforce, prosecute, and/or make arrests on both sides of the border. And
lately, cooperation from all governments and agencies involved with SWB protection is critical.
The Mexican government, specifically the Mexican Foreign Ministry Office, is a huge partner in
this initiative. The Mexican government, along with other Members of the Interagency Police
Committee must fully cooperate in order to protect the SWB from illegal activities. There are set
backs to this cooperative effort - border patrol agents have been shot, Mexican civilians have
been killed and government prosecution on both sides moves slowly.
Diplomatic negotiations for increased manpower on both sides of the border, increased funding
for protection and security initiatives and a joint international border police force should be
discussed to limit division. Surveillance equipment and technology initiatives must increase to
identify low and high tech incursions along the borders. U.S. military forces will be looking for
domestic details now that deployments to the Middle East are drawing to a close. Additionally,
DoD budgets which are the largest recipient of federal dollars, could be exercised along the SWB
to cover the gaps in security which is vetted through congressional approval under specific
conditions or with minor revisions to current policy. Diplomatic, informational, military, and
economic variables like these can improve theater security cooperation (TSC), building partner
capacity (BPC) and international engagement.
Lastly, the economic situation that is tied to SWB protection is fragile at best. Border States on
American soil rely on immigrant workers during harvest time to keep costs within tolerable
limits. Mexican border towns rely on U.S. citizens and business to keep them alive. If a Berlin
Wall style border is created, both sides of the border will suffer. There must be a way to manage
threats while keeping open borders and that ability rest solely in the joint efforts of two proactive
governments. Reactive policies are Band-Aid style fixes for deeper problems. Proactive
approaches to current and/or future issues will eliminate problems before they are harmful or