Border Security: Observations on Costs, Benefits, and Challenges of a Department of Defense Role in Helping to Secure the Southwest Land Border

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 mandated that GAO examine the costs and benefits of an increased Department of Defense (DOD) role to help secure the southwest land border. This mandate directed that GAO report on, among other things, the potential deployment of additional units, increased use of ground-based mobile surveillance systems, use of mobile patrols by military personnel, and an increased deployment of unmanned aerial systems and manned aircraft in national airspace. In September 2011, GAO reported that DOD estimated a total cost of ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 17, 2012.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 mandated that GAO examine the costs and benefits of an increased Department of Defense (DOD) role to help secure the southwest land border. This mandate directed that GAO report on, among other things, the potential deployment of additional units, increased use of ground-based mobile surveillance systems, use of mobile patrols by military personnel, and an increased deployment of unmanned aerial systems and manned aircraft in national airspace. In September 2011, GAO reported that DOD estimated a total cost of about $1.35 billion for two separate border operations—Operation Jump Start and Operation Phalanx—conducted by National Guard forces in Title 32 status from June 2006 to July 2008 and from June 2010 through September 30, 2011, respectively. Further, DOD estimated that it has cost about $10 million each year since 1989 to use active duty Title 10 forces nationwide, through its Joint Task Force-North, in support of drug law enforcement agencies with some additional operational costs borne by the military services. Agency officials stated multiple benefits from DOD’s increased border role, such as assistance to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Border Patrol until newly hired Border Patrol agents are trained and deployed to the border; providing DOD personnel with training opportunities in a geographic environment similar to current combat theaters; contributing to apprehensions and seizures and deterring other illegal activity along the border; building relationships with law enforcement agencies; and strengthening military-to-military relationships with forces from Mexico."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 17, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Border Security: Observations on Costs, Benefits, and Challenges of a Department of Defense Role in Helping to Secure the Southwest Land Border, text, April 17, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300242/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.