Troops on the border – time to saddle up

A key first step – and I do mean first – to fixing our immigrations system is to effectively control our borders. As I’ve been saying here on this blog for years no other part of “fixing” immigrations here in America will do anything but make the problem worse if the border is still so porous that illegals cross by the hundreds or thousands daily. We must get control of the border and stop the flow of people crossing illegally for whatever reason.

One of the time-honored methods of securing a border dates back literally thousands of years – you put soldiers in forts along said border. Tardy (as usual) to the party President Obama has recently announced that he’s going to actually do something about securing the border. To the southern border of the United States, a line almost 2000 miles long, he’s going to send 1200 National Guardsmen. Whoop-dee-do.

Patrick Dorinson at Pajamas Media has an interesting take on what the President should be doing instead of useless cosmetic moves:

In the late 19th century, the U.S. government built a series of forts in the American southwest with full complements of U.S. Cavalry. Some, like Fort Huachuca, established in 1877, are still active military posts. Huachuca was home to the famed all-black 10th Cavalry Regiment, better known as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” American icon Douglas MacArthur spent some of his youth in one of these forts — his father Arthur was the commanding officer.

The forts were designed to protect settlers from Indian actions and they were largely effective. Dorinson notes that if you go to the border today you’ll note that the border patrol is stationed not at the border but 20 miles north of it. He calls that pretty much ceding 20 miles of American territory to drug traffickers and illegal aliens jumping the border. He’s right. He goes on:

Currently the Border Patrol behaves like cops in a city. They meet each morning at headquarters, receive their assignments, and then go out for the day to patrol. The Border Patrol also conducts night operations, but there is no 24-hour presence in force at the actual border.

One current effective tactic is the utilization of Forward Observation Bases (FOB). These stations are situated right along the border and staffed with Border Patrol agents, who live at the bases for days at a time, using horses and ATVs to patrol the area.

Human traffickers and drug smugglers avoid these places. It works.

Requests by AZ and NM congressmen to have more FOB’s built along the border have been basically ignored. An association of ranchers, the Arizona Cattle Growers, have a plan for securing the border and part of that is a proposal to built FOB’s every 12 miles along the border, fully staffed year-round. They have committed to supporting these FOB’s by providing the water necessary to provision them. Dorinson also notes the difficulty in movement in some of these areas. The terrain is extremely difficult on vehicles. The best suggestion appears to be – use horses.

But how about horses? The Arizona cowboys use them in the area, just like the Buffalo Soldiers did over 100 years ago. Think it’s a crazy idea? Read Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton. He writers [sic] that the U.S. Special Forces used horses and mules to great effect in 2001 to topple the Taliban during Operation Enduring Freedom.

If we could make horses work in Afghanistan, we surely could do it at home in cowboy country. Time to sound the bugle call, “Boots and Saddles,” and bring back the U.S. Cavalry.

(Link provided by me.) One of the things several of my customers are usually surprised to hear me say is that advanced technology isn’t always the best answer. I like my Blackberry and my laptop’s a tool I literally couldn’t do my job without but there are times when a notepad and a pencil are not only sufficient, they’re actually the best tool for the job at hand. Horses have been harnessed to extend our mobility for as long as we’ve been putting forts up at borders. Dorinson’s got an excellent point: if it’ll work in the badlands of Afghanistan, it’ll work in Arizona.

These are serious folks with serious suggestions that have great merit but they’re being dismissed out of hand by the Obama administration. Sending a token force of even the best soldiers on Earth is a waste. We need to send more – lots more – and we need to be building them the facilities to actually secure that border once and for all.