President Trump has said that without the wall there is no border security and that “the Tech ‘stuff’ is just, by comparison, meaningless bells & whistles.” He is correct, at least in part. Walls work. The U.S. southern border needs more walls. But walls alone are not enough. They must be backed up by an array of sensors that will allow the Border Patrol to know who is attempting to go through, over or under the walls. Moreover, there are significant portions of the U.S.-Mexico border where a wall is either unnecessary or extremely difficult and expensive to construct. These areas still need to be under continuous surveillance. A new capability that could prove useful in securing the border is an underground perimeter intrusion detection system. These are currently widely used in industry, including for security on long, remote portions of oil and gas pipelines. The administration can get a lot more for its border security money in the near-term by adding an underground intrusion detection system to its portfolio of capabilities. I have written about this new technology here.
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