Militarizing the Border

John Robb makes an interesting point about the expected announcement that President Bush will have the military augment immigration officials in policing the Mexican border:

It is an example of the inexorable erosion of nation-state sovereignty due to the emergence of a neutral global platform. As the nation-state continues to lose control, it will increasingly militarize civil problems. In this case it is in response to the nation-state’s realization that its loss of control of the US southern border has become an acute problem (particularly for the states on the border). This problem is due to a combination of rapidly increasing economic immigration (no end in sight) and increased violence from armed open source smuggling networks that have “liberated” large sections of Mexico from state control (please read this review of Moises Naim’s book to learn more about smuggling networks). Unable to offer a political or civil solution, the nation-state will increasingly opt to use the only organization that still appears functional: the military.

Sadly, this pattern has repeated itself again and again in the developing world. That it appears to be taking place in the most advanced civilization in world history is, to say the least, worrisome.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Military Affairs, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Roger says:

    Combine this with the erosion of respect for our Constitutional protections demonstrated by our govt. and one doesn’t have to be terribly prescient to see where we’re headed. Its past time we drew the line in the sand. The Greeks demonstrated for anyone wise enough to observe that the greatest risk to democracies are demogogues who claim they need dictatorial powers in order to “protect” the state.

  2. whatever says:

    Yeah, we should just open the borders and let anyone come in for any reason any time. That’s the way we will know that are government isn’t a dictatorship.

  3. Roger says:

    Or we could just provide law enforcement with the resources to do its job AND remain a free country.

  4. LJD says:

    Combine this with the erosion of respect for our Constitutional protections demonstrated by our govt. and one doesnâ??t have to be terribly prescient to see where weâ??re headed.

    Well you started out making a claim, and I am ‘prescient’ enough to see what you’re implying, but then you drop the ball. Why make such a broad statement, and then move on to border security. If you have something to say, then say it and explain why it’s relevant.

    Because talking about Constitutional rights and a police state and then moving on to more police and tough border security just seems like you’re contradicting yourself.

  5. Roger says:

    LJD, read what James said. Take you’re time . . . I’ll wait . . . Ok, now read what I said. Take you’re time . . . Now read what “whatever” said . . . Now read what I said . . . See how what I said picks up on what James said? Then how “whatever” commented? Then how I commented on what “whatever” said?