There’s a shocking new report out from the Texas Department of Agriculture (of all places) titled “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment.” (You know things must be bad when the Ag people are issuing reports on strategic military matters.) The report warns that Texas may become a “narco-sancutary” and that the battle there represents the “center of gravity” in a real war. The report quotes Arthur Barrera a Texas Ranger: “We are in a war. We are in a war and I’m not going to sugar coat it by any means. We are in a war and it is what it is.”
The report is actually the work of the Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Public Safety. The study was headed up by retired 4-star General Barry McCaffrey and Major-General Robert Scales (ret.) Among their findings:
–Mexican drug cartels are aggressively recruiting on the streets of Texas cities and “inside Texas prisons” to get “top-tier gangs” to work with them.
–the fight against the cartels is not a law enforcement issue but “takes on the classic trappings of a real war.”
–the drug cartels intend to “increasingly bring governments at all levels throughout the Americas under the influence of international cartels.”
–“Texas has become critical terrain and operational ground zero in the cartel’s effort to expand into the United States…the fight for control of the border counties along the Rio Grande has become the operational center of gravity for the cartels and federal, state and local forces that oppose them.”
–“Criminality spawned in Mexico is spilling over into the United States. Texas is the tactical close combat zone and frontline in this conflict.”
–“Fear and anxiety levels among Texas farmers and ranchers have grown enormously during the past two years” as the cartels have become more aggressive.
–The Texas Department of Public Safety is using a “comprehensive military-like operational” approach to the conflict, but is increasingly out gunned.
Among their recommendations:
–“More sophisticated cross-border technical and human intelligence collection about the enemy coupled with the ability to offer a clearer digital picture of the battlefield to border tactical forces.” (Absolutely, probably the key.)
–Give the Texas Rangers a leading role. They have been the most effective in border operations thus far. (Are they going to be well equipped enough for this job? Or do we need regular military?)
–“an integrated broadband” communications system so that federal, state and local law enforcement can communicate effectively. (We don’t have this already??)
Be sure to read the full report. And don’t assume because US forces are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan that we are no longer at war.