Wednesday, December 27, 2006

U.S. Applies Afghan War Tactics On Mexican Border

U.S. applies Afghan war tactics on Mexican border. Dec 20, 2006 By Bernd Debusmann, Special Correspondent

NACO, Arizona (Reuters) - The United States has begun to apply tactics perfected in the war in Afghanistan to tighten control of the border with Mexico, using a mix of age-old hunting techniques and high-tech spy-in-the-sky surveillance.

On the ground, U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback, on foot, and in all-terrain vehicles scour the desert for the footprints of illegal border crossers so they can pursue and arrest them. "Tracking and signcutting are essential skills for us," said Border Patrol Agent Jeffrey Smith. "They are as old as time. What we do here is a mix of the very old and the very new." The wave of illegal crossings from Mexico has become a contentious political problem. Last year, the U.S. border patrol made more than a million arrests and by some estimates for every crossing that fails, two succeed.

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