Provide a 300 word discussion response to the following:
Protecting the borders of the United State is an enormous task US Border Patrol (USBP) patrols over 8,000 miles of our international borders with Mexico and Canada and the coastal waters around Florida and Puerto Rico. U.S waterways and shorelines cover over 12,000 miles. So what are the biggest vulnerabilities?
“Maritime transport is essential to the world’s economy as over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea and it is, by far, the most cost-effective way to move en masse goods and raw materials around the world.” (IMO, 2019) U.S Customs (CBP) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are responsible for inspecting the good that enter the U.S. and Port and vessel security. Assuming that every container cannot be thoroughly inspected the shipping industry relies on 3 major facets of a shipment to ensure security: “(1) insuring that the container, which arrives in the port, is untouched; (2) insuring that the integrity of the container is not compromised in the port and (3) insuring that the container is released to the correct party.” (Scholliers, Permala, Toivonen, and Salmela, 2016). The latter two objectives are overseen by CBP and USCG and those organizations should continue to own those missions, however I believe there is a lack of oversight on shipping agencies and freight forwarding companies ensuring cargo entering the U.S. is 100% secure. While responsibility is placed on vessels for safety and security, it is difficult to ensure individual containers as they bounce from port to port before they reach their final destination have not been tampered with.
Second, the U.S. Immigration system has problems, to put it mildly. Perceptions on both sides of the political spectrum have caused a stalemate in congress to cause any type of reform. In the whirlwind of political spin and oversimplification, very specific problems are being overlooked and increasing drastically for instance, “Dramatic immigration enforcement spending increases, without commensurate court resource increases, have placed extraordinary burdens on the courts.” (American Immigration Council, 2015) Another unfortunate recent turn in U.S. immigration trends is “the number of service members applying for and earning U.S. citizenship through military service has dropped 65 percent” since 2017.” (Copp, 2018) I believe it is important that individuals willing to sacrifice for the United States be allowed a simple path to citizenship.
Finally the direst threat facing border security is that cyber terrorism severely decreases the relevancy of borders to securing our homeland. “Individuals have the comfort of accessing radical content from their own personal space instead of having to go through the inconvenience of physically attending radical religious gatherings. The internet therefore implies a much more limited set of logistical challenges to connecting with others: while the individual needs internet access, it is not necessary to make appointments and travel to other locations, for example.” (Behr, Reding, Edwards, and Gribbon, 2013). Unfortunately, the recruiting power of terrorist organizations is ever increasing. An external threat that can create terrorists over the internet is truly terrifying and demands our utmost attention.
“The Unified Command (UC) organization consists of the Incident Commanders from the various jurisdictions or organizations operating together to form a single command structure.” (FEMA, 2013) Having used the Incident Command System (ICS) in my job in the Coast Guard, I can say that it is an extremely helpful management tool. And quickly gets multiple agencies managed as a single unit quickly. However when multiple states become involved as well as the politics and special interests of each entity within the UC, problems arise. “The bottom line is, when an event transitions to Unified Command, you no longer have one IC—you have several ICs.” (Tresmer, 2018) Mr. Tresmer’s observation negates the purpose of a UC altogether. I believe ICS is a powerful tool, but as with anything poor leadership can be detrimental to any endeavor.
International Maritime Organization. (2019). IMO Profile. Retrieved from: https://business.un.org/en/entities/13
Scholliers J., Permala A., Toivonen S., and Salmela H. (2016). Improving the security of containers in port related supply chains. Transportation Research Procedia Vol. 14. Retrieved from: https://ac.els-cdn.com/S2352146516302125/1-s2.0-S2352146516302125-main.pdf?_tid=f23e0aaa-1a0b-4dfc-a9fc-55be55f7532c&acdnat=1552074575_2e480f71570e60ccb97a064e26dd31e9
American Immigration Council. (2015). Empty Benches: Underfunding of Immigration Courts Undermines Justice. Retrieved from:https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/sites/default/files/research/empty_benches_underfunding_of_immigration_courts_undermines_justice.pdf
Copp, T. (2018). Naturalizations drop 65 percent for service members seeking citizenship after Mattis memo. Military Times. Retrieved from:https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/05/03/naturalizations-drop-65-percent-for-service-members-seeking-citizenship-after-mattis-memo/
Behr I. V., Reding A., Edwards C., and Gribbon L., (2013). The use of the internet in 15 cases of terrorism and extremism. Rand Europe. Retrieved from:https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR400/RR453/RAND_RR453.pdf
FEMA. (2013). ICS 200 Training Manual. Retrieved from:https://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is200b/…/02_visualsics200b_october2013.pdf
Tresmer, A. (2018). A Challenge of Unified Command: Authorities at the Scene. Fire Engineering. Retrieved from:https://www.fireengineering.com/articles/print/volume-171/issue-8/features/a-challenge-of-unified-command-authorities-at-the-scene.html