HomeNewsBriefTexas Asks for Iraq Equipment to Defend Mexico Border
BRIEF

Texas Asks for Iraq Equipment to Defend Mexico Border

US/MEXICO BORDER / 2 APR 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Texas lawmakers and security officials have asked the Pentagon to send surplus military equipment from Iraq to the US-Mexico border. This could include more unmanned planes, even though the effectiveness of the technology in fighting drug trafficking is questionable.

US congressmen Henry Cuellar and Ted Poe, both Republicans representing Texas, recently wrote a public letter to the Pentagon, asking that surplus gear used in Iraq be made more widely available for border security operations.

The letter notes that state law enforcement agencies are facing increasingly tight budgets, which could restrict their ability to monitor the border. Instead of putting military gear left over from Iraq operations into storage, the letter suggests it would be more beneficial and cost-effective to deploy the equipment to the border.

Representative Poe introduced a bill to Congress last year asking that 10 percent of some types of military equipment returning from Iraq be transferred to federal and state agencies responsible for border security. The equipment named in the bill includes aerial drones, night-vision goggles, and Humvee vehicles.

InSight Crime Analysis

Poe and Cuellar's request is indicative of concerns that with state budget shortfalls, Texas is not capable of properly funding law enforcement along its border with Mexico. One small town in east Texas, far from the frontier, had to fire its entire police force last year due to budget tightening. It's unlikely that Texas will see such drastic security cuts in towns along the border -- it would be political suicide -- but one of the main thrusts to Poe and Cuellar's argument seems to be that recycling equipment from Iraq makes sense during lean economic times.

Reusing the military equipment is thrifty, but it may not be effective in terms of actually delivering results. As an assessment by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) pointed out last year, the total cost of putting drones in the air amounts to $3,234 per hour. Intelligence from drones, however, has only contributed to a fraction of the total number of drug smugglers and undocumented migrants arrested in the 2011 fiscal year, according to the Washington Post.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HUMAN RIGHTS / 29 JUN 2022

As many as 50 migrants have been found dead inside a truck 150 miles north of the US-Mexico border.

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 19 MAR 2021

A recent report from the US-Mexico border revealed that human smuggling organizations have begun giving special bracelets to undocumented migrants,…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 8 SEP 2021

Mexico remains the main international provider of marijuana for the United States, but this has greatly diminished since 2013, forcing…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…