Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 30, 2005

US provides border security assistance to Mexico

Filed under: Border Security — by Christian Beckner on December 30, 2005

The Arizona Republic writes yesterday about U.S. assistance to Mexico to support border security activities:

…the reality is that U.S. taxpayers have bankrolled much of Mexico’s increased border vigilance. From X-ray scanners and helicopters to intelligence training, the United States has been quietly pouring millions of dollars into Mexico in the hopes of bolstering U.S. national security.

U.S. spending on military and police aid to Mexico has more than tripled in the past five years to $57.8 million with the hope it will help protect America’s southern flank. But the funding also marks a dramatic shift in the relationship between the two countries, as Mexico, long wary of accepting military and police aid from its northern neighbor, becomes the third-biggest recipient in Latin America behind Colombia and Peru.

I don’t have a problem with this. Border security accounts for only a portion of the $57.8 million, which also includes other security-related aid for missions such as drug interdiction and port and maritime security. This total is a relatively small sum in comparison with total border security spending, and this type of investment seems consistent with Sec. Chertoff’s stated perspective of looking at the entire border system and prioritizing investments based upon their system-wide impact. It doesn’t make sense to put all of our resources on one side of the line.

The only thing in the story that stands out as a waste of money is this:

Meanwhile, Canada has gotten only one item from the United States since 2001: a 50-foot patrol boat used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Vancouver.

Why are we buying patrol boats for the RCMP? Canada can afford their own.

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