Thursday, May 27, 2010

Troops Not Militarizing Mexico Border. Really?

The US ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, says the 1,200 National Guard troops president Obama has ordered to bolster security along the US-Mexico border is not a militarization of the frontier. From Reuters:

"This isn't a militarization of the border. In fact the overall share of the military is still relatively small," Pascual told correspondents at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City. He said with the 300 National Guard troops already stationed at the border, the total number would not surpass 1,500.

"I think it is important that we continue to reinforce in our strategy that we are putting civilian law enforcement agencies out front and that they have the lead," he said.

The troops, rather than carrying out operations to dismantle drug cartels or human smuggling rings, will be working in back offices helping intelligence officials process information, or be posted as lookouts between ports of entry.

Border experts and human rights workers say the border is already militarized with parallel steel fences backed up by sensors and patrolled by helicopters and armed border agents."

I suppose the argument can be made today that 1,200 Guardsmen does not a militarized border make. However there are a lot of people, including some senior folks in the Pentagon, who can easily foresee the day when the military presence grows vastly bigger as America is compelled to rely on force to thwart climage migration out of Central America.

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