Military Role at the U.S.-Mexico Border Research Paper

Pages: 6 (1912 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military

Military role at the USA – Mexico Border

This paper explores the reasons why the military should be involved in guarding the border between the US and Mexico. The paper considers the relations between the two countries from a historical perspective, chalking down the progress till date, so that the rationale for the deployment of military can be gauged from that viewpoint. The thesis of This paper; therefore is that ‘the Military should be involved in guarding the Mexico and the USA border.

The paper indicates that Mexico and USA had historically been embroiled in conflict for Texas, as the Spanish colonialists, who then ruled Mexico indicated that the land was part of their territory, while the US insisted that it was part of Louisiana.

The two countries have warred over this land from 1846 to 1848, which also started the issue of where the border of Texas was demarcated. This war ended in 1847 with the US winning the land, and forcing Mexico to also relinquish their hold on their Northern Territories. Relations had improved till 1853, when the US bought additional land from Mexico under the Gadsden Purchase.

The war has long been fought, and in recent years the two countries share close economic ties, where Mexico is the USA’s third largest trading partner since 2010, whereas USA is Mexico’s largest trading partner.

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Given the recent close ties, it therefore is a debate whether the military should be involved in protecting the boundary as military deployment could result in conflicts that could impair the economic ties between the countries. But the paper argues that the military should be present at the boundary, as the land mass is the same, and the absence of the military could result in infiltrations that would harm the economic ties in a more adverse manner.

Research Paper on Military Role at the U.S.-Mexico Border Assignment

the rationale for the military to be present can also be found in the fact that much of the illegal drugs smuggling trade occurs at the US Mexico border, with around 80 -90 percent of cocaine in America arriving from Mexico. Therefore in order to control this, as well as the illegal immigration of people from Mexico, the role of the military is vital.


Abstract    1

Outline    4

Introduction    5

Reasons for and Against Military Involvement    5

Addressing the Disadvantages of Military Involvement    8

Conclusion    8

References    10

The main aim of this paper is to prove that ‘the Military should be involved in guarding the Mexico and the USA border’. The paper starts with an introduction of the historical relationship between USA and Mexico, and then goes on to state how the two share close economic ties. Following from the logical sequence, the next topic addressed is the advantage of posting the military on the border, which will then be succeeded by some arguments against the involvement of the military.

The paper will then address the concerns on the critics against military involvement and will then go on to the conclusion summarizing the reasons for and against military involvement, in consequence addressing the concerns of critics of military involvement and stating the need for implementing the thesis of this paper in practice.

Military intervention, taken in the context of the War on Terror gives a negative outlook, but it has to be borne in mind that the function of the military is to protect the boundaries of its country from external threats, and in this regards, the external threat does not necessarily have to be armed conflict. The nation can also be threatened by issues and phenomenon such as illegal drug trade as well as the infiltration of the country by unauthorized people. Although efforts have been made by the governments on both sides of the border to curtail this trend, there needs to be an execution arm to the policy statements, and that necessitates the fact that ‘the Military should be involved in guarding the Mexico and the USA border’.

It is of added importance to state here that the border between USA and Mexico spans four American states and has nearly twenty crossings that need to be managed as they are currently proving to be quite porous as far as smuggling is concerned. 

Reasons for and Against Military Involvement

The reasons for military involvement are plenty. Foremost the economic ties of the two countries are strong and the two being trading partners, it is imperative that the interests of both sides be protected, in fact it is in the interest of USA as well as Mexico that the military, which specializes in protecting the borders is employed as it has the technologies available to help with the requirements. To give an indication of how important the economic ties are to both the countries, consider some of these figures, “Exports accounted for 32% of Mexico’s GDP in 2010 and over 80% of Mexico’s exports are headed to the United States” (Villarreal, 2012, p. 2) and as far as the importance of Mexico to USA is concerned, USA is an import dependent economy and the trading figures from USA’s perspective were, “In 2010, 12% of total U.S. merchandise exports were destined for Mexico and 12% of U.S. merchandise imports came from Mexico.” (Villarreal, 2012, p. 3)

Having said this, the case for protecting interests proactively arises, as the two countries cannot afford a diplomatic breakdown of their ties due to unforeseen events which might include the USA’s aggressive stance on the drug trade. This aggressive stance has initially led to a breakdown of ties in 1969, when President Nixon’s Operation Intercept caused the cross-border trade between the two countries to nearly shut down. Given the economic interdependency of the two countries, this can be afforded neither by the USA nor by Mexico. Therefore, proactive protection measures coming from the military are needed in order to control the drug trade without adversely impacting legitimate trade operations. (Doyle, 2003)

If the military is employed in controlling the trade from the onset, there will be no need for radical measures; instead, it will be a gradual process, which will benefit both the countries.

The second reason for employing the military at the border is that there is great income disparity between USA and America indicated by the per capita GDP figures of $47,190 and $9950 in 2011. These figures indicate the vast difference between the incomes of the two countries and are also indicative of the fact that the Mexicans feel that there are vast opportunities to be availed from working in America, those which are not as fruitful or as well-paying in their own countries. Moreover, the level of American income also indicates a demand for goods and services, and hence more employment opportunities as compared to Mexico. A case in point are also the maquiladora factories that have emerged on the border between the USA and Mexico which employ cheap Mexican labor to produce cheaper goods and services for the American market. The conditions in those factories however are pretty bad, and workers are on the lookout for opportunities, legal or illegal to migrate to the USA. This further implies a brain drain from Mexico along with the fact, that many of the illegal immigrants find themselves in worse situations. Some of these illegal immigrants are trafficked as bonded labor or as sex workers, an industry which is huge in America. (National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 2011) Therefore, it is in humanitarian interest to have the military safeguard the borders to prevent situations that could warrant aggressive actions.

 Military involvement is generally looked at as a situation of last resort when diplomatic ties break down and conflict seems apparent. The same is the case with Mexican American ties, where if one of the two countries starts building up military on the border, the other might take it as a signal that the other is preparing for military intervention. This in turn can spark off an unintended actual conflict which can be demeaning to the interests of both the sides.

Another reason as cited by many for the involvement of the military, is that the military comes at a cost, and the weapons and the people that will be employed as a part of this exercise will be an additional burden for the tax payers, who are already paying for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as for the international conflicts that the country has been intervening in.

The third reason for not allowing military involvement lies in the fact that the military is already stretched by being involved in conflicts all over the world, and that to employ additional people and resources might cost the national exchequer more than it can currently afford, given  that the recession is expected to worsen.

Finally the military is by… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Military Role at the U.S.-Mexico Border" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Military Role at the U.S.-Mexico Border.  (2012, March 4).  Retrieved May 11, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Military Role at the U.S.-Mexico Border."  4 March 2012.  Web.  11 May 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Military Role at the U.S.-Mexico Border."  March 4, 2012.  Accessed May 11, 2021.