From the Right



Time To Protect America's Vulnerable Sea Borders

Austin Bay on

America's land borders are vulnerable.

Sad truth: Our sea borders are even more exposed.

America's land border vulnerability has become a shared fear, for good reason. Drug cartels smuggle narcotics and traffic human beings across American land frontiers. TV cameras following reporters who actually visit the southern border document the onslaught.

Given the federal government's failure, several states have acted to defend their citizens, most notably Texas and Arizona. Texas and Arizona state police, National Guard troops, and sheriff and local police departments confront the criminal cartels 24/7 and try to stem the flow of illegal migrants. Other savvy states have helped fight what amounts to a form of economic and social attrition warfare our deadliest enemies encourage.

The land border situation has so deteriorated that federal policies might be forced to change. If they do, credit Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to bus illegal migrants to northern "sanctuary cities" as the instructive riposte to their regressive foolishness.

America's land border disaster is costly. Unfortunately, America's shorelines, territorial waters and offshore Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) are also vulnerable to piracy, smuggling, terrorism (to include environmental terrorism) and enemy attack in war.


This fact illustrates the overall vulnerability. From 18% to 20% of America's energy comes from the Gulf of Mexico, most of it produced by platforms offshore Louisiana and Texas. In 1942 these platforms did not exist, otherwise they would have been easy targets for Nazi U-boats. In 2023 they are easy targets for Russian and Chinese subs or for terrorists seeking to create an environmental disaster or criminals seeking ransom. Think 2010's Deepwater Horizon oil spill writ large.

Our enemies could use proxies -- pirate proxies. Pirates already operate in the Gulf of Mexico, specifically in the southern Gulf of Mexico also known as the Bay of Campeche. These 21st century pirates -- cartelista marine thieves is the sound bite identifier -- target Mexican oil production and drilling platforms and offshore support boats.

The pirate threat spikes gas prices at the pump because it directly puts major oil and gas resources in the Western Hemisphere at extreme risk. Given their geographic proximity to the U.S., they present a border security issue of economic and military significance as well as a sophisticated 21st-century physical threat to seaborne trade.

Protecting offshore resources, especially the energy-producing assets, is a vital national economic and military security issue.


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