— Volume IV No. 3: October 2008 —

New Requirements for a New Challenge: The Military’s Role in Border Security


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Bert Tussing

Bert Tussing joined the Center for Strategic Leadership of the U.S. Army War College in October of 1999. His focus areas include homeland defense, terrorism, and Congress and military policy. In 2004, at the invitation of the assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense, he served on a senior advisory group to examine the development of a comprehensive strategy for DoD’s role in homeland security. He is a senior fellow to George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute; a senior fellow and adjunct faculty member of Long Island University’s Homeland Security Management Institute; and on the Board of Experts of the University of California-Irvine’s Center for Unconventional Security Affairs. In July 2005 he was appointed the Center for Strategic Leadership’s director of homeland defense and security issues. Professor Tussing graduated with honors from The Citadel in 1975 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, where he served for twenty-four years. He holds master’s degrees in national security and strategic studies (from the United States Naval War College) and strategic studies (from the United States Army War College). Mr. Tussing may be contacted at bert.tussing@us.army.mil.

U.S. border security is not what it used to be. Over the last three decades America’s concerns have steadily escalated from what was once as much a humanitarian issue as a security issue, to concerns over paramilitary violence, organized crime, and international terrorism. The requirements to meet these concerns have likewise increased, to the point that anything less than an interagency and intergovernmental response will inevitably leave the nation’s citizenry vulnerable to a new and expanding series of threats. The new threats portend a new challenge for the military, both active and reserve components. From the United States Northern Command through to the individual state’s National Guard our leadership will be required to revisit its thinking, motivation, and ethos in addressing this particular “law enforcement” requirement. It will require our government to decide which entities from the depth and breadth of its capabilities are best postured, best equipped, and best trained to meet the trials that lay ahead.

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Tussing, Bert. “New Requirements for a New Challenge: The Military’s Role in Border Security.” Homeland Security Affairs 4, issue 3 (October 2008)