News! Obama is sending 1200 troops to the Mexican border, which is definitely a step in the right direction, anyway. I’m sure the law enforcement there will appreciate the gesture.
But that is all this is – a gesture. The shared border is 1952 miles long.
Now, let’s see – if you put two soldiers every 100 yards, and ran three shifts so they could maintain themselves and get some sleep, than that many troops would cover 20,000 yards, or a little over 11 miles of border. I wonder which eleven miles of border he is going to protect? I don’t think you can space them out more than that and be effective. And even doing it this way would pretty much require the freedom of the troops to use lethal force. Otherwise, you’d just wave at the Mexicans as they go by…
To carry the math a little further, you would need about 1952 / 11 X 1200 = about 212,945 troops to do the job with authority. That’s more than the total number of troops in the Marines at present. To actually solve this problem it is going to take a bunch of troops and quite a lot of good surveillance hardware. And really good organization.
It’s going to take a lot more than Obama’s token force to make any appreciable difference, much less actually controlling the border. Obama needs an actual, workable plan; and he needs to implement such a plan. These 1200 troops are just to make it look like he’s doing something. May as well send somebody with a fly swatter to bring in a mountain lion.
Here is a workable solution: We need to relocate one or more of our military bases down close to the border. Then, let the border be their primary training exercise. That would get a great many troops and equipment in close proximity to the problem, give them training exercises, and, best of all, it wouldn’t cost any money we aren’t already spending!