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Morning Bell: Protecting Our Southern Border
Posted By Conn Carroll On March 12, 2009 @ 7:59 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled
In the first two months of 2009, there were about 200 fatalities in Afghanistan including 29 U.S. troops. But in January alone, over 1,000 people have died in Mexico’s escalating drug war.  Fueled by a $25 billion a year industry, Mexico’s two largest drug cartels have an estimated combined 100,000 foot soldiers  battling each other and Mexico’s own 130,000 strong army. The increased violence has not been confined to Mexico. Phoenix, Arizona,  has seen a spike in Mexican drug-smuggling related kidnappings and Atlanta, Georgia,  has become the principal distribution center for the entire eastern United States. And in Northern California , firefighters battling blazes have had confrontations with Mexican drug gangs over their marijuana cultivation on public lands. The first duty of any state is to protect its citizens. We must stem the flow of drug violence into this country.
Speaking to regional newspapers yesterday, President Barack Obama said : “We’re going to examine whether and if National Guard deployments would make sense and under what circumstances they would make sense.” They don’t make sense. At least not right now.
President George Bush did send 6,000 National Guard troops to the border in 2006 as part of Operation Jump Start. But those forces were meant to supplement Department of Homeland Security officers until more permanent numbers of border forces could be hired and trained. Since that time the feds have successfully doubled their border manpower to over 18,000 . If there is a true border “crisis” the federal government already has contingency plans in place that include the National Guard. We are not there yet.
But there are other key steps  the Obama Administration ought to pursue to strengthen security on our southern border:
Gaining control of the border is not optional—the security of the United States depends on the ability and determination of the U.S. government to keep its citizens safe. Sending brigades of our already over-stretched military to the border would doubtless grab a few headlines, but it’s a less-than optimum strategy for winning the long war on our border.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/12/morning-bell-protecting-our-southern-border/
URLs in this post:
 over 1,000 people have died in Mexico’s escalating drug war.: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/03/100000-foot-soldiers-in-cartels/
 Phoenix, Arizona,: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-drug-kidnappings12-2009feb12,0,1264800.story
 Atlanta, Georgia,: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-03-08-mex-cartels_N.htm
 Northern California: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/11/MNSK16DEDP.DTL&type=news
 said: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/politics/6306226.html
 Since that time the feds have successfully doubled their border manpower to over 18,000: http://www.dcexaminer.com/opinion/columns/jamescarafano/Back-to-the-border-for-the-National-Guard-40512857.html
 key steps: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HomelandSecurity/bg2245.cfm
 foreclosure filings in February jumped nearly 6%: http://blog.heritage.org http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2009-03-11-higher-housing-foreclosures_N.htm
 Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/116527/Stimulus-Not-Yet-Improving-Consumer-Mood-Spending.aspx
 needs an additional $30.8 billion: http://blog.heritage.org http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/11/AR2009031101068.html
 Despite strict gun control laws including national gun registration and gun lock requirements: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123680024809099043.html
 Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/116599/Economy-Republicans-Trust-Business-Dems-Trust-Gov.aspx
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