Past Features

May 19, 2017

Kelly 'wall' taking shape

“...a physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job.
--- Gen. John Kelly -- confirmation hearing.
NY Times -- May 18. 2017
White House Reveals Details on Military and Wall Ahead of Budget Proposal
Border wall materials
    The $2.6 billion that Mr. Trump is requesting for border security is a small portion of the federal government's overall $4 trillion-plus budget. But it garners substantial attention because the project has polarized Americans.
    According to officials, $1.6 billion of that money would go toward materials to build the wall. That would initially be used for continuing the levy wall in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and replacing existing fencing in El Paso and in San Diego.
Planning the wall
    The remaining $1 billion would go toward planning for the rest of the wall and other security measures. Customs and Border Protection is selecting bidders to build prototypes through a competition in San Diego this summer.
    They are building sample walls that are made of both concrete and other materials. Companies are working on the projects in an area that is already government property.
Wall alternatives
    Mr. Trump has offered various estimates for how much of a wall will really be needed, but an Office of Management and Budget official made clear that the government would not be building along the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. “There are places where it doesn't make sense,” the official said.
    So the government intends to buy all sorts of equipment that will supplement or substitute for a physical wall. The budget request will allocate $239 million for aircraft and aviation sensors; $197 million for fixed surveillance technology, including towers, radar and cameras; and $202 million for what it described as “critical equipment” such as radios, computers and weapons. It also wants $111 million allocated for roads to gain access to parts of the border that are now hard to reach.

Glenn Spencer -- May 19, 2017
Competence and loyalty back in charge
   From last November to this April, apprehensions of illegal Mexican border crossers dropped by 76%.
    President Trump has already made terrific progress in securing our southern border, taking heat off building his 2,000-mile ‘wall'. According to the Times, of the $2.6 billion requested for border security in Trump's new budget, $1.6 billion would go for the wall, while $738 million has been earmarked for technical means such as aircraft, surveillance technology and related equipment.
    My bet is that, properly managed, the $2.6 billion will make great strides toward securing the border, especially against the drug cartels. I also bet that a year from now the idea of a 2,000-mile wall, or a solid wall of any kind on the border, will be a distant memory.
    With General Kelly heading DHS, we will soon learn that competence and loyalty are back in charge of securing our borders.