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Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

Increased Border Security
I think a border wall would be good for a number of reasons. First of all, to keep the crazies out. ninja

Second of all, it could be fairly beneficial. Some 90% of the illicit drug and guns trade, responsible directly and indirectly for the bulk of crime, come from Mexico. The Mexican drug cartels have established smuggling roots into our country which bring in cheap, unlicensed goods from China, from Iphones to counterfeit medicine, to exotic animals, to drugs, to guns. It's not as if your average criminal is making drugs, guns, and Chinese replicas out of thin air, and it's not like the gangs in our country have some elaborate way of getting ahold of these materials all on their own. Sweatshops producing illegal goods in China are a major concern, but their primary issue is that they are not within the U.S., and thus cannot be legally restricted by the U.S. It's the same drug smuggling routes used to transport the same general goods, in charge of by the same people causing most of the problems. And then give their goods to local gangs, to distribute as how they feel (say, on street corners, like with drug dealers).

Supposedly, other countries, known for the rampant corruption and connection to the Drug cartels (even Mexico) are on top of this, even though we know the drug smuggling routes.

In essence, it's a political disaster. The countries that we have allowed to take care of the problem themselves, are allied with the drug cartels. Any kind of forced invasion would be seen as a threat of violence against them, so if we say "hey, you can't do that!", that is stand up to these people, we are suddenly the bad guys. And that's an international issue we want to avoid, on top of the problems with yet another invasion in a foreign country, let alone against corrupt leaders but maybe not corrupt military and police (albeit potentially misguided). We simply need more evidence connecting high established officials to drug cartels and yet technically we aren't even supposed to be there, let alone surreptitiously investigating/spying on these corrupt officials, and we aren't even supposed to be there in the first place. So, basically, directly confronting cartels would require us going outside our Jurisdiction, so we have to wait on other people to do it/allow us, and that's assuming the resulting power vacuum doesn't just get filled!

Venezuela for instance has largely cut ties with American law enforcement, which has increased cocaine trafficking, particularly in Europe. Mexico even claims that their objective is to fight the cartels and the U.S. is simply to prevent their entrance into our country. It seems that no matter the issue, the U.S.'s only potential strategy, barred by politics, to a problem which originates in a foreign country, is to control what happens at home.



The Cartels
Organized crime has always been a problem in the U.S. Roughly 80% of the homicides, and around 50% of the violent crime, are perpetrated by organized crime. Since not all jurisdictions record the association with organized crime, it's estimated that violent crime levels are likely higher than what recorded figures estimate, and organized crime possibly contributes to over 90% of the violent crime of the U.S. From the mafia, to the Colombian Cartels, to the Russian mafia, organized crime has been a persistent problem in the U.S. for quite some time.

Particularly pressing currently are the Los Zetas. Created when over 30 special forces units from the Mexican military deserted and formed their own mercenary body guard organization, they have now more or less taken over the Gulf cartels. It's hypothesized that there are more Ex Mexican military members within the cartels than active Mexican military. Among their ranks are Guatemalan special forces, Mexican special forces, and even Russian. They've begun actively recruiting military members in other countries, and form a relatively well trained and equipped paramilitary organization. They have submarines, tunneling equipment, and a plethora of firearms, and have a relatively easy time smuggling millions of pounds of drugs, firearms, and other contraband.

1/8th of the Mexican military deserts annually. They Mexican government is at a point where the military is actively fighting in the streets against these cartel members, and they're losing, partially due to high desertion rates; as it stands, more or less, even though they keep refilling their ranks, they lose them just as fast, due to the high stress, violence, and threats by the cartels. More or less, their military wasn't strong enough to fight them, and now that they're recruiting, they're stuck in a cycle where they keep losing troops, mitigating the benefits of Military Expansion. With the Los Zetas just now recently taking over the majority of the cartel business, things are only going to get worse. Over 1700 special forces have deserted the Mexican military, almost as many Navy Seals as the U.S. has, and the Los Zetas have started recruiting Guatemalan Special forces, as well. There's no limit to Russian Spetsnaz troops currently seeking business, as the Russians trained over 40,000 of them, and many of them deserted when the soviet union fell (although most fled to the Russian mafia). With their specialized skills, it's easy to see why over 50 million pounds of marijuana, of which if just 1% of which were guns in terms of weight could fuel the violent crime we see today, get smuggled every year annually.


So what do we do?!
So what do we do? Well, building a giant reinforced wall could help. Some 700,000 to 1.5 million illegal immigrants make it across our border every year. The minimum number may be 300,000.

While I support immigration, and immigration reform, and allowing practically any immigrant who wants to enter, to enter, within these immigrants, hidden among them, comes the smugglers, with basically 90% of what's being carted into the U.S., from drugs, to guns, to exotic animals, coming from somewhere within these groups.

Illicit trade with illegal contraband is occurring because our border can literally be crossed by anyone on foot who feels like it. For an illegal immigrant, this sucks, because once they get over here they have no job, no prospect, no bargaining rights, no immediate food or water; it's hard. If we had a wall, to at least direct them the right way, for that purpose alone it would be great (that is, the people who are on foot, or otherwise are poor etc.) I understand wanting to let immigrants into one of the greatest countries in the world, but some convoluted scheme where if you happen to manage to escape and not get caught you're allowed to stay in constant fear you might get deported without bargaining rights?

No, not really a good solution for immigration. Hence a border wall can't hurt in that respect.


As for a border wall, I think it should be able to stop anything up to a tank. No seriously; if a bunch of tanks decided to approach our border, what would we do? If a million drug cartel members tried to cross our walls, what would we do? If a million people suddenly decided to swarm our border, what would a few dozen border police at best, even do?

As of now, we have little to no protection against an invading force, even if they just decided to attack us on foot. 6 hours could mean the difference of getting hundreds of miles inland, or being stopped in their tracks. If allowed into populated areas these people could cause a cluster foxtrot the military would have trouble settling for years. We're talking a few hours difference would allow paratroopers with soldiers, tanks, and everything else to enter. It was the difference that made WWII possible, with french spies cutting communication right before D-Day, on the Germans. In the U.S., we may need more time. Since stalling our enemy is the goal, which could successfully repel an invasion, based on those few hours alone, (since you can't just bomb them in a populated area and they could kill millions), rather than suffer destruction.

How many Korean special forces soldiers do you think are already in the U.S.? There's over 200,000 special forces commandos whose very goal is to invade a country to cause havoc "behind the lines" before an invasion, including targeting grocery stores, churches, schools, and other places.

The Navy Seals have a 1 to 200 kill ratio against armed opponents, not using anything more than crappy U.S. M16's and M4 carbines. What could a bunch of North Korean commandos do against unarmed civilians, who literally want our entire country to burn? I mean it is literally so likely that thousands of these people have entered the U.S. that there is likely some huge plan to kill president Obama already in the works. I wouldn't be surprised if assassination attempts start to increase and, it would be incredibly possible that thousands of Korean soldiers, with illegal cartel weapons, could rush the white house and try to kill everyone, and it's not like much could stop them. What with the protection we do have it wouldn't take much to rush the white house.



So, preventing an invasion, the illegal drug and guns trade, sounds cool to me. Stop violence, kick out the bulk of where crime is getting their stuff from, other countries, seems legit.

How hard would it be to build a border wall?


A matter of Cost
Really, the only issues to this comes from ethics and money. The ethics of stopping an enemy invading force or illegal smuggling seem pretty legit, and we can change our immigrations laws, all that it comes down to, now, is cost. Some border wall designs, from Boeing for instance, could range from around 2.4-3 million per mile[1][2], while other estimates predict that a border wall could be up to 25 million per mile[3][4]. This would be around 18-187.5 billion dollars total, for a 7500 mile U.S. border.

The Mexican border is some 3,169 km (1,969 mi) while the Canadian U.S. border is some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi) long, including 2,475 kilometres (1,538 mi) shared with Alaska. Added together, this makes 7,494 miles of border, or around 7500.

So, at 3 million per mile, simple math tells us that's 22.5 billion dollars. Over 20 years that would be maybe 1 billion dollars a year. Assuming double that, maybe 2 billion a year. Double again, 4 billion. Using mostly the Corps of Engineers and the National Guard to construct the fencing, the cost to build a wall was about $2.8 million a mile, while the fencing constructed in 2008, using mostly private constructors, cost about $5.1 million a mile. [PDF]; given the sheer sense of scale of this project, it's size combined with potential difficulties, it's probably best to use the Army Core of Engineers. Furthermore, while some trouble areas are predicted to cost up to 25 million dollars per mile, these were far from frequent, and largely due to increases in costs from private companies; if an organization that was not expected to be paid extra for difficult built it, it could be considerably cheaper even still. Additionally, this wall may come under attack; some medical marijuana fields have been targeted by cartel members in the past, so their likelihood of attacking a border wall designed to keep them out may happen. Thus building it with predominately military forces may additionally remove issues of protection from construction. Additionally, the military builds things like levies or dams all the time, so large concrete structures are right up their alley.

But this would be a wall largely like boeing's design. A dug trench, with a decently flat dirt road, some cameras, a few lights, razorwire and two relatively sturdy iron/steel fences. This could be theoretically moved by shifting mud, dirt, sand, and other things, as well as bad weather or heavy rains. It likely wouldn't stop rampaging vehicles or completely stop people from crossing and likely parts of it would fall over or be removed due to shifting ground issues, like run off with mud. In my opinion, it would be great, but it's only a good start. It also provides baseline for the costs of flattening an area, adjusting for costs in rugged terrain, digging a trench, and a walk/drive way for vehicles.

A "border wall" is exactly that, a wall. Some giant piece of concrete; and a wall is useless without defenders. Obviously, there would need to be border patrol agents, guard towers, surveillance equipment (including tunneling observers), and cars and shiz. This estimate includes everything from 40mm bofors and 155mm howizters to stinger missiles. The concrete wall itself would be between 75-150 dollars per cubic yard of concrete; fiberglass, which can increase the strength and resistance to water tremendously, can be anywhere from 50 cents to 2 dollars per pound. Bridges often contain 1-5% fiberglass depending on the construction needs; assuming .5-1% fiberglass, per cubic yard, which is approximately 3400 pounds when it comes to concrete, this would only cost an additional 8.5-68 dollars per yard, although this would determine the price of the wall significantly; it would however, increase the life of the wall, potentially lowering it's annual cost within this respect, and reduce maintenance. Rebar, steel webbing, and other such reinforcement qualities, which typically increase the life and strength of the wall, as well, typically do not increase the price of the concrete very much, and thus 75-150 dollars per cubic yard seems pretty standard. For an absolutely gigantic 30 x 9 foot wall, this comes out to about 4 million per mile. Over-all costs range to about 8 million dollars a mile when all considered.



Not bad, considering the costs could easily be alleviated if this kicked out illegal gun trade from the cartels. In fact, we spend 9 billion dollars on policing illegal drugs, but 30 billion annually on rehabilitation. The price of policing and rehabilitation alone far exceed the cost of a border wall even at 12 million per mile, and easily at 3 million, let alone annually. This estimate, includes howitzers, concrete blocks 30 feet thick, 10 feet tall, cruise missiles, hum vees, guard towers, tunneling detectors, UAV's, and a host of other things, would only be like 4.5 billion a year.

So imo costs aren't a considerable factor. Compared to the 3.6 trillion dollar budget and 725 billion we spend on defense every year, what would a few more actually defending our borders really hurt? I mean I think it would be easy enough.


As far as immigrants are concerned, we can put several entrances and exits where, if they have no birth certificate or previous identification, can get new documents in the U.S. but that require bioemtric stuff so they're easy to track, like finger prints and stuff.

It's not a real harm for immigrants, and we could set up places for shade, or warming if they're waiting in line. Since many people have traveled hundreds of miles on foot, this shouldn't be so bad. We could have buses bring people to sights and, for the people worried about immigrants? Well, if they were all legal, and in the system, and had a card and stuff to get a job, they would pay taxxes. On the other spectrum, they would have to be treated well since they're officially in the system, having to be paid fair wages, this *also* meaning they won't steal American "jarbs". So it's a win-win. Immigrants are treated well, get to come here, and if they commit crimes or don't pay taxes they'll be easy to track. Seems legit. Since a good immigrant won't do either of these things there's really nothing against them so, it's annoying for the entrance, to go through maybe 30 minutes to a few hours of stuff to make sure you aren't carrying guns, drugs etc., but otherwise you're fine.



Effectiveness
Island Nations, such as Japan, Australia, and Britain all supposedly have less smuggling. This is because it's harder to sneak weapons into their country, particularly since most cartel activity occurs over ground.

Most organized crime haven't gotten much past foot activity, since criminals are largely, just on foot (it's not like we're seeing jet packs on your average street thug). As a result you have to be really motivated and well equipped to get into the country, and smuggle in illegal weapons and contraband. Thus, it's easier to control the flow of illegal arms and drugs into your country when it takes a criminal Navy or Airforce just to get in.

Thus, creating an artificial geographical strong point, such as a mote, or a large wall, could easy re-route these people through common, and heavily regulated POE's, where they're more likely to be caught. Hence catching more criminals, stopping the flow of illegal goods into the country, and destroying the strength of organized crime, which is largely in smuggling. As long as the walls could simulate a natural barrier, it would be fine!

Most smuggling occurs through overland points, including POE's and through open areas. With a proper border wall (including radar systems, tunneling detectors, anti-air guns etc.) much of this should be alleviated. Without complete border restrictions however, legal point's of entry will still be available; you would, essentially, be funneling illegal traffickers through these points of entry.

Since there's roughly a 30% chance (PDF) of catching people at legal POE's per year, and this would force most smugglers to go through legal avenues essentially to get into the U.S., where we have a much higher chance of success for capturing these people, it would actually be beneficial.

In 3 years, this means 90% of their forces would be caught. Since it's believed that the cartels don't replenish their forces any more than a few percents per year *and* we're talking about cartels with highly specific individuals that have military or special forces training (such as the Los Zetas, a premier drug cartel mercenary organization, made up primarily of ex-special forces death squads and military units from Mexico) if they had say, key members removed, or their core base, the organization would fall apart, thus ending their reign of terror. Without the ability to continue making money in the U.S. without it being uber risky, and the fact that scarcity would result and costs would sky rocket for black market goods, use would largely do down. Thus, we could cut out the majority of illegal arms in this country, which could help reduce violence of the effectiveness of violent perpetrators.


Tunneling and whatnot
Since October 2008, more than 70 sophisticated tunnels have been found, mostly concentrated along the California and Mexico border. 150 tunnels have been found since 1990, most of them incomplete. However, tunneling equipment detectors can be utilized that will provide approximately 1 mile or or more in range, and over 1500 feet deep. For the tunnel to get into America, it would have to, theoretically, cross our border, which would all be covered in border walls. Even with portable tunneling detector equipment, or cave finders/mappers, several miles can be monitored. With a large stationary wall and guard towers, it should be easy to locate and apprehend potential tunnelers. What about people who fly; same story. Presumably, they must fly over the border, to get past the border into the U.S. With active monitoring things, radar, visual peoples, etc. they will not only be able to see these individuals come across, but be able to apprehend them. With border patrol cars on each side of the wall, 4 spaced out every mile or so, they should be able to respond to these individuals. With the current border patrol given now, this should be relatively easy to do assuming they have the ability to monitor what comes across the border, which will at least take radar/cameras; protecting these monitoring structures, so they can't simply be destroyed/sabotaged, will take say, idk, a giant housing of concrete, walls to make sure they can't reach it very easily etc., so it would require a border wall, essentially, for aerospace monitoring to occur. And, again, this type of activity is fairly rare.

Furthermore, a wall works both ways; just as it can keep drugs and illegal firearms out of the country, it can keep money from leaving. If it becomes incredibly risky to leave or enter the country with illegal contraband or gains from them, than it would become significantly easier to stop the flow of money out of the country, which is what fuels the drug Cartels. If profits become increasingly more difficult to make, then the power and even motivation for the drug cartels will diminish. This will work two fold to prevent the spread of their goods into the U.S., and the spread of money out.


So in Conclusion
Even if you believe that the U.S. is actually smuggling drugs and guns to the cartels, for whatever reason, this would cease, as well. By having a wall to prevent physical trespassing, to protect guard towers, anti-air guns, and tunneling detectors, we can more or less stop illegal trespassing, and thus, probably, the majority of crime. Criminals who can't get drugs can't get money, and individuals who can't get guns probably can't be very effective, and thus we would greatly hamper crime in the U.S., and even our bordering country's.

When the cartels would begin to lose power, due to a lack of illicit drugs being smuggled into the U.S. Mexico would benefit as well. So this would solve a lot of issues. Not only can we stimmy the flow of illegal contraband into the U.S., but more importantly, money out (or vice versa).
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

TL;DR

In short a border wall, at 3 million dollar per mile, would only be some 22.5 billion, which over 20 years would be like 1 billion a year, on top of the 725 billion dollar military budget and 3.6 trillion dollar annual budget. Since it could keep out drug cartels while simultaneously streamlining immigration, we could solve two birds with one stone and honestly, it wouldn't be that expensive; we also could kick out say, Korean special forces, or stall an invasion for like say, 24 hours, so as we could respond to it appropriately and prevent the several year war that would devolve mostly into ground battles if a large force ever reached populated cities.

So it would be great! But what do you think ED?
Suicidesoldier#1
TL;DR

In short a border wall, at 3 million dollar per mile, would only be some 22.5 billion, which over 20 years would be like 1 billion a year, on top of the 725 billion dollar military budget and 3.6 trillion dollar annual budget. Since it could keep out drug cartels while simultaneously streamlining immigration, we could solve two birds with one stone and honestly, it wouldn't be that expensive; we also could kick out say, Korean special forces, or stall an invasion for like say, 24 hours, so as we could respond to it appropriately and prevent the several year war that would devolve mostly into ground battles if a large force ever reached populated cities.

So it would be great! But what do you think ED?
They have been using self made u-boats for years now.
They could (and did) dig tunnels.
They can smuggle via plane (something the size of a small Cessna) via small airfields. Or drop the goods via parachute before they land, so they won't have to intimidate the guys at the airfield.

Edit: Narco-Subs.
EnglishTrain's avatar

Familiar Genius

Noble suggestion.

They'll find other ways to get across no matter what unfortunetly.
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

The20
Suicidesoldier#1
TL;DR

In short a border wall, at 3 million dollar per mile, would only be some 22.5 billion, which over 20 years would be like 1 billion a year, on top of the 725 billion dollar military budget and 3.6 trillion dollar annual budget. Since it could keep out drug cartels while simultaneously streamlining immigration, we could solve two birds with one stone and honestly, it wouldn't be that expensive; we also could kick out say, Korean special forces, or stall an invasion for like say, 24 hours, so as we could respond to it appropriately and prevent the several year war that would devolve mostly into ground battles if a large force ever reached populated cities.

So it would be great! But what do you think ED?
They have been using self made u-boats for years now.
They could (and did) dig tunnels.
They can smuggle via plane (something the size of a small Cessna) via small airfields. Or drop the goods via parachute before they land, so they won't have to intimidate the guys at the airfield.

Edit: Narco-Subs.


If every criminal has to start using u-boats and cargo planes to get into America it's fine by me.

Do you know how many criminals use U-boats? Not that many. xp

So we'll be kicking out 90% of crime. xp


For not a whole lot of money.
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

EnglishTrain
Noble suggestion.

They'll find other ways to get across no matter what unfortunetly.


Hehe yeah. xp

But if we can stop 90%, job well done imo. ninja
Wouldn't this wall keep us in as well?
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

YahuShalum
Wouldn't this wall keep us in as well?


I suppose.

But there are a lot of ways out of the country. xp


Just they can document you leaving or going. xp
Suicidesoldier#1
YahuShalum
Wouldn't this wall keep us in as well?


I suppose.

But there are a lot of ways out of the country. xp


Just they can document you leaving or going. xp
And if you haven't the money to provide them with documentation and you are refused to leave the country on your own will?
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

YahuShalum
Suicidesoldier#1
YahuShalum
Wouldn't this wall keep us in as well?


I suppose.

But there are a lot of ways out of the country. xp


Just they can document you leaving or going. xp
And if you haven't the money to provide them with documentation and you are refused to leave the country on your own will?


Money? Usually you're born with information.

If the government doesn't allow people to leave the country than a wall isn't the thing stopping you. xp


If some kind of quasi tyrannical government results in not being able to leave the country we'll riot and stuff.

Then they lose their power; it's not a big issue. xp
Heimdalr's avatar

Mega Noob

Most of the smuggling is done through the actual checkpoint, and by air. A wall would do nothing.
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

Heimdalr
Most of the smuggling is done through the actual checkpoint, and by air. A wall would do nothing.


You can't smuggle in the air.

We'd at the very least see it. xp


They usually keep low to the ground so they're hard to see. ninja
Heimdalr's avatar

Mega Noob

Suicidesoldier#1
Heimdalr
Most of the smuggling is done through the actual checkpoint, and by air. A wall would do nothing.


You can't smuggle in the air.

We'd at the very least see it. xp


They usually keep low to the ground so they're hard to see. ninja

They're hiding in plain sight. Yes, you can see them. As in, you'll see seemingly legitimate border crossings by people in cars and people in planes.
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

Heimdalr
Suicidesoldier#1
Heimdalr
Most of the smuggling is done through the actual checkpoint, and by air. A wall would do nothing.


You can't smuggle in the air.

We'd at the very least see it. xp


They usually keep low to the ground so they're hard to see. ninja

They're hiding in plain sight. Yes, you can see them. As in, you'll see seemingly legitimate border crossings by people in cars and people in planes.


Well, we supposedly catch somewhere on the order of 30% of those.

Since most of it tends to go unnoticed I imagine most of it's not going through there when so much more gets through than an extra 70%. xp
Heimdalr's avatar

Mega Noob

Suicidesoldier#1
Heimdalr
Suicidesoldier#1
Heimdalr
Most of the smuggling is done through the actual checkpoint, and by air. A wall would do nothing.


You can't smuggle in the air.

We'd at the very least see it. xp


They usually keep low to the ground so they're hard to see. ninja

They're hiding in plain sight. Yes, you can see them. As in, you'll see seemingly legitimate border crossings by people in cars and people in planes.


Well, we supposedly catch somewhere on the order of 30% of those.

Since most of it tends to go unnoticed I imagine most of it's not going through there when so much more gets through than an extra 70%. xp

30% seems rather optimistic. Considering the large amount of trucks that pass through with only a 2% chance of getting inspected.

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