President Obama will send up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border and seek increased spending on law enforcement there to combat drug smuggling after demands from Republican and Democratic lawmakers that border security be tightened.More here from Greg Weeks. Boz raises some important concerns, too:
The troops will join a few hundred members of the Guard already assigned there to help the police hunt for drug smugglers. The additional troops will provide support to law enforcement officers by helping observe and monitor traffic between official border crossings. They will also help analyze trafficking patterns in the hope of intercepting illegal drug shipments.
Nobody should mistake action for strategy. I hope Congress asks questions like these and the administration better defines why these troops are going and how they are going to improve the situation on the ground. Otherwise, it's all just a show that isn't making any progress.You certainly get the sense that this stems from the desire to appear to do something rather than a well thought out strategy to address the ill effects of the drug trade. I also think it's interesting the way the article and some of the people quoted in it (namely Jan Brewer) jump back and forth between drug violence and illegal immigration as though they were one and the same.