United States Border Patrol (USBP) operations are dynamic. They encompass everything from static line-watch operations and narcotics seizures to serving high-risk warrants; yet, the most important mission of the USBP is preventing the entry of terrorist and terrorist weapons between U.S. ports of entry. This research provides an understanding of the USBP law enforcement culture, border security mission, and intelligence enterprise that will support the evolutionary development of its intelligence-driven, border security operations between U.S. ports of entry and abroad. This research focuses on the USBP and the challenges in synchronizing a law enforcement culture with intelligence and building intelligence based decision-making processes to drive all planning and execution of border security operations. The research question to answer is, how does the current USBP intelligence architecture provide the necessary intelligence support to more effectively plan, collect, identify, analyze, and disseminate intelligence-related information to all stakeholders while addressing emerging threats within its border security mission on the domestic and international fronts?
The flow of information between intelligence agents and operations is critical to situational awareness. Understanding the perceptions, perspectives, and requirements of intelligence agents and operations can reveal opportunities to enhance information sharing. The Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis division and Customs and Border Protection Office of Intelligence could be considered the central nervous system of the homeland security friendly force ecosystem. If so, then the USBP and its Border Patrol Agent-Intelligence (BPA-I) personnel are the nerve endings and the sensory inputs into the friendly force information sharing network. With that said, it is recognized that there are a host of friendly force stakeholders that comprise the friendly force information-sharing network, but no single law enforcement agency has the intelligence collections human capital capabilities of the USBP.