Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 16, 2006

Chertoff: National Guard a bad idea at the border

Filed under: Border Security,DHS News — by Christian Beckner on May 16, 2006

CQ has a story tonight on an interview that Sec. Chertoff did with Bill O’Reilly back in December, in which Chertoff vehemently disagrees with the idea of deploying the National Guard at the border. Below is transcript of the relevant exchange (emphasis added):

O’Reilly: Why don’t you put the National Guard on the border to back up the border patrol and stop the bleeding, and then start to increase the border patrol, the high tech and all of that? If you do the guard on the border it stops it dead. But you won’t do it. Why not?

Chertoff: Well, the National Guard is really, first of all, not trained for that mission. I mean, the fact of the matter is the border is a special place. There are special challenges that are faced there.

O’Reilly: The Minutemen can do it.

Chertoff: Well, you know, the Minutemen go out — the Minutemen go out on the border, and they may move people from one point to another point.

But to really deploy across the border, you’d have to deploy an enormous number of people. You’d have to supply them at the border, and you’d have to give them the kind of training to deal with people who are crossing the border. You don’t necessarily want to put…

O’Reilly: You don’t think you can do that? I think the Guard could do that.

Chertoff: I think it would be a horribly over-expensive and very difficult way to manage this problem.

O’Reilly: But it’s something.

Chertoff: I think there’s a smarter way to do it. Well, it — unless you would be prepared to leave those people in the National Guard day and night for month after month after month, you would eventually have to come to grips with the challenge in a more comprehensive way.

Exactly. Chertoff was right five months ago, and what he said then is still right today.

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Pingback by Bush proposes border security theater - Homeland Stupidity

May 16, 2006 @ 6:31 am

[…] He also said that the National Guard would need to be deployed continuously for months on end and that an “enormous number” would be needed. […]

Comment by Tom

May 16, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

Actually, the NG can do this with very little training. The ARMY has been doing this for over a decade. Do a search about Joint Task Force six.
I was actually attached to a JTF 6 deployment where we worked with Border Patrol and tribal police in Drug interditcion and survailance. We had strict rules of engagement and were trained in the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

Comment by david 44

October 14, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

The National Guard can do it.Guard our border or the afghan border, the iraqi border, the Canadian border,fight fires on the west coast and help hurricane victims on the east coast.
Guardsmen can be trained to follow specific rules of engagement.the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878,has do with the gaurd being under federal authority.This does
not apply when the guard is under state authority.For
example title 10 as opposed to title 32.If each governor believed that his or her border state was at risk they could justify activating gaurd units to secure their border with Mexico.In an strong effort to prvent kiddnapings,drug and humam smuggling,decrease the murder rate,and protect communities.It was done for the last 24 months and it was a success ,it can be done again.I was there.

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