A: The Task In June 2011, Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples requested that two senior military officers, Gen. Barry McCaffrey (Ret.) and Gen. Robert Scales (Ret.), develop and recommend a military-style strategy and operational and tactical requirements to secure the Texas portion of the U.S.-Mexico border. He also requested specific information related to the financial, manpower, technology and other resources needed to secure the Texas-Mexico border; and ways in which the roles and resources of U.S. federal agencies could be optimally deployed to facilitate implementation of these recommendations” (15).
The first principle of Texas border security operations is to empower local law enforcement. Soldiers often say that bad strategies cannot be salvaged by good tactics— but bad tactics can defeat a good strategy. This saying simply reinforces the truism that no national strategy that seeks to defeat narco-terrorism can be adequately confronted unless tactical units, such as local police and federal border security stations, are properly staffed, resourced, competent and well-led.
“The Texas Rangers lead a cooperative program that brings together a ground, air and marine assault capability. Ranger Reconnaissance Teams are the tactical combat elements in the war against narco-terrorists. Each participating federal, state and local agency voluntarily adds its unique capabilities to the teams. The Texas Highway Patrol acts as an outer perimeter for the Rangers by funneling traffic toward Ranger border positions.
Tactical contact teams, deploying along the Rio Grande in small, concealed positions, are able to respond immediately to intelligence from Autonomous Surveillance Platform (ASP) units, DPS and National Guard surveillance helicopters, as well as calls to UCs from local police or citizens. DPS Dive Teams conduct SONAR scans of the Rio Grande and assist in recovery of vehicles and contraband in splashdown areas” (12-13).
Not coincidentally, State and Federal military strategy on the so-called ‘war on terror’ will increase endangerment and suffering to humanity in the Texas-Mexico border region, many who are Indigenous peoples–not immigrants–of the region and the Americas.
In the Texas-Mexico border region, it is racism, land dispossession, subjugation, exploitation effected through organized armed violence, militarization and militarism which have negatively affected human suffering, disease, poverty, hunger, health, biodiversity, and cultural revitalization. The accumulative violent impacts of war and armed conflict has impacted Indigenous peoples which in the above scenario are abstracted and distorted as minor factors. Once again, a resource war is being waged and Indigenous peoples are being crafted as ‘suspects’, ‘expendables’, and ‘foreigners’ in our own lands, and violence is key to the colonizers’ war.
The questions are who are the privileged ‘local’ decision-makers architecting the use of a military assault against the least privileged and most culturally, socially, economically, and legally disadvantaged communities along the Texas border? And, who are the so-called ‘local’ interest groups colluding at the table with the State and Federal government to destroy lands, cultures, families, heritage, histories, and existences? And, to what extent is their an entanglement or intersection between this war plan and uranium mining, oil extraction, water privatization, and mega-projects (border wall, highways, rail systems) in the region? What are the social relations at the decision-making table?
Those responsible for the architecting of neo-ethnocide are enabling the U.S. and Texas military industrial complex to ‘throw-away’ the Indigenous communities along the Texas border deemed retrograde, ‘savage’, in the way of elites’ development. The use of massively organized violence, and the construction of Indigenous peoples as ‘suspects’, and as expendable in the war against Mother Earth, i.e. colonialist ‘progress’, is a genocidal movement.