The Bow Ramp

Monday, March 14, 2005

Border Security

Earlier today I dropped a comment over at Winds of Change about border security. It was my basic position that trying to seal our borders against terrorists is not cost effective. I thought I would expand on those comments here.

Our borders encompass the entire perimeter of the country. The Mexican border, the Canadian border and the entire Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts. Thousands upon thousands of miles of terrain ranging from urban beaches to rugged mountain peaks. Now being an ex swab-jockey, I will limit my comments to defending our oceanic borders.

Back in the '70s the gunboat I was on spent a lot of time hiding from, and sneaking up on the fleet. That was shortly after the ship returned from Vietnam, where they spent a lot of time trying to interdict North Vietnamese infiltrators. If we were to place the entire Navy and Coast Guard to the sole task of stopping people from sneaking into the country from the sea we couldn't do it. I can think of at least half a dozen ways off the top of my head to sneak ashore despite anything the government could do. Now, I will admit the U.S. could slow down infiltration a little bit by taking a few simple steps like impounding every single privately owned boat in America, Mexico, and Canada!

I could go on -- if I had all night. The point I am trying to make is that none of the people I know of who are pushing to seal the borders have never actually had to try doing it. Any serious attempt to block terrorists from entering the country would be unacceptably expensive.

Now I'm sure there are many people who would like to blow holes in my contention. If any of you find this post, please fire away. I would love to debate the issue.