Active 4-Star General: Obama’s Border Crisis Threatens America’s Existence

From Capitalism Institute

The ongoing crisis at our southern border is more than just unaccompanied illegal immigrant children crossing in search of family or amnesty.

It is a matter of national security, as our already overworked and stretched thin Border Patrol has been overwhelmed trying to deal with the flood of immigrants, leaving stretches of the border undefended for criminal cartels, gangs and terrorists to conduct their operations, sometimes with a little help from corrupt Mexican military units.

Texas has initiated a ‘border surge’ to increase security on their own, and numerousmilitia units are filling in the gaps where they can, but that isn’t enough.  It has become increasingly clear that we need to begin deploying US military units on the border to effectively shut it down.

Now a very high-ranking active-duty Marine is weighing in on the subject.  SOUTHCOM Commander John Kelly is in charge of all US military in Central and South America, and he says the current border crisis could actually threaten America’s very existence, according to WND.

America’s porous southern border and the recent surge in illegal immigration is more than just a “humanitarian crisis,” claims the top U.S. general in charge of Central and South America, it’s a threat to the United States’ very existence.

Particularly in regards to the drug trade, murder rates and terrorist activity brewing in Central America, Kelly says, the waves of Latin Americans sweeping through Mexico and illegally into Texas presents a threat to the U.S. every bit as serious as Iran or North Korea.

“In comparison to other global threats, the near collapse of societies in [this] hemisphere with the associated drug and [illegal immigrant] flow are frequently viewed to be of low importance,” Kelly said in an interview with Defense One. “Many argue these threats are not existential and do not challenge our national security. I disagree.”

General Kelly has actually been warning about this for some time now, as he has testified before both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.  He says that budget cuts and furloughs have tied the hands of his Command, preventing him from effectively defending the country against hostile criminal and terrorist entities.

“Last year, we had to cancel more than 200 very effective engagement activities and numerous multilateral exercises,” Kelly said, explaining that a full 74 percent of “actionable illicit trafficking events” simply go unanswered, because he doesn’t have the funds or resources to do anything about it.

“I simply sit and watch it go by,” he continued. “And because of service cuts, I don’t expect to get any immediate relief, in terms of assets, to work with in this region of the world.”

Worse yet, he continued, with smuggling routes wide open for business, it’s far more than cocaine or children seeking a better life getting a free pass across the border.

“Clearly, criminal networks can move just about anything on these smuggling pipelines,” Kelly said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee in February. “Terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even quite easily bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States.”

“Supporters and sympathizers of Lebanese Hezbollah are involved in both licit and illicit activities in the region,” Kelly told Congress. “Members, supporters, and adherents of Islamic extremist groups are present in Latin America. Islamic extremists visit the region to proselytize, recruit, establish business venues to generate funds, and expand their radical networks. Some Muslim communities in the Caribbean and South America are exhibiting increasingly extremist ideology and activities, mostly as a result from ideologues’ activities and external influence from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Mr. Chairman, we take all these activities seriously.”

Kelly also points out that the bulk of the immigrants are coming from countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, three countries known as the “Northern Triangle” that are routinely found at the top of the lists for murder rates, drug trafficking, and criminal gang activity.

“Although there are a number of other countries I work with in Latin America and the Caribbean that are going in the same direction,” Kelly told Defense One, “the so-called Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras) is far and away the worst off.”

“Chairman, gone are the days of the ‘cocaine cowboys,’” Kelly testified. “Instead, we and our partners are confronted with cocaine corporations that have franchises all over the world, including 1,200 American cities, as well as criminal enterprises like the violent transnational gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, that specialize in extortion and human trafficking.

“The FBI has warned that MS-13 has a significant presence in California, North Carolina, New York, and northern Virginia, and is expanding into new areas of the United States, including Indian reservations in South Dakota,” he concluded.

The General finished his testimony with a clear warning against further disengagement from the dangers we face, and warned that the bad guys are watching us pull back, leaving ourselves undefended.  He stressed the need for armed US military units to defend the border against criminal elements and terrorists seeking to infiltrate the country.

“Some of my counterparts perceive that the United States is disengaging from the region and from the world in general,” Kelly said. “We should remember that our friends and allies are not the only ones watching our actions closely. … And in the meantime, drug traffickers, criminal networks, and other actors, unburdened by budget cuts, cancelled activities, and employee furloughs, will have the opportunity to exploit the partnership vacuum left by reduced U.S. military engagement.”

Sadly, the General is right.  Our enemies are taking full advantage of our porous and lightly defended southern border.  Drug cartels, gangs, smugglers, and even terrorists are moving back and forth with ease, as our federal border enforcement is concentrated on the humanitarian crisis brought about by the tens of thousands of sick children entering the country.

Now more than ever, we desperately need to deploy the National Guard or regular US military troops on our border.  We cannot allow our national security to be threatened by people who wish death and destruction upon us, just because some politicians are trying to score political points or are afraid that they might upset their voter base.

We cannot allow border security to be a political issue.  It is much more important than that.