1. Amos, Gen James F., “Reshaping America’s Expeditionary Force-in-Readiness Report of the 2010 Marine Corps Force Structure Review Group,” Marine Corps Gazette, Quantico, May 2011, p. 13.
2. See http://www.hqmc.usmc.mil/PP&O/PS/psh/pshHome.asp; PSH mission statement:
HD Branch (PSH) coordinates, develops and implements HD, Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Security Force policies. PSH facilitates the interagency process by working with MARFORs [Marine Forces], Deputy Commandants, OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] and other Government Agencies to ensure the timely identification and deployment of those Marine Corps assets designed to detect, deter, defeat and manage the consequences of terrorism, asymmetric threats and weapons of mass destruction. PSH Branch coordinates its activities through the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for HD, the Joint Staff, Headquarters Marine Corps, Marine Component Commands, Marine Corps Security Forces (MCSF) Battalion, Marine Corps Embassy Security Command (MCESC), and the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF).
Long term PSH Branch objectives include “providing oversight of the Marine Corps’ Drug Demand Reduction and Counter-Narcoterrorism programs,” “creating policies designed to provide support to the National Strategy for Homeland Security while balancing the Marine Corps requirements to maintain operational readiness,” and integrating HD and DSCA planning considerations into Marine Corps training to prepare Marines to effectively operate in these mission areas.” One identified near/mid-term objective is to “update Marine Corps orders and doctrine pertaining to HD and Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” website accessed 30 April 2011.
3. Various DoD publications define security cooperation in different ways, but one of the most widely accepted joint descriptions explains that security cooperation:
Includes all DOD interactions with foreign defense and security establishments, including all DOD-administered security assistance programs, that build defense and security relationships; develop allied and friendly military capabilities for self-defense and multinational operations; and provide US forces with peacetime and contingency access to host nations.
Or, more simply, “. . . the means by which the DOD encourages and enables countries and organizations to work with us to achieve strategic objectives,” from the USNorthCom learning management system HD training module. Security cooperation has three main objectives: (1) promote U.S. security interests, (2) develop allied and friendly military capabilities for self-defense and multinational operations, and (3)provide U.S. forces with peacetime and contingency access to a host nation, U.S. Navy Warfare Development Command, Tactical Commander’s Handbook for Theater Security Cooperation, 2009, available at https://www.nwdc.navy.mil, accessed 30 April 2011.
4. Available at http://www.northcom.mil/About/index.html, accessed 30 April 2011. USNorthCom was established 1 October 2002 to provide command and control of DoD HD efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities. Security cooperation was recently added to the command’s mission statement as one of the three main priorities.
5. Statement of Commander, MarForNorth, LtGen Jack W. Bergman, before the Commission of the National Guard and Reserves, 19 July 2006, available at the Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, “Homeland Security: Roles and Missions for United States Northern Command,” by William Knight, 3 June 2008, p. CRS–3.
6. MarForNorth’s mission statement:
Marine Forces North executes antiterrorism program and force protection responsibilities; plans for the use of USMC Forces and advises on the proper employment of USMC Forces; coordinates with and supports USMC Forces when attached to USNORTHCOM within USNORTHCOM’S area of responsibility in order to conduct HD operations and provide defense support to civil authorities.
Released on 28 June 2007 by MarForNorth G–3/5 (Operations/Civil-Military Operations), accessed at, 30 April 2011.
7. Available at http://www.marines.mil/unit/marfornorth/Pages/Home.aspx, accessed 30 April 2011. The role of the Marine Corps in supporting HD has evolved over the years but still remains relatively small, particularly in comparison to the contributions of other elements of DoD. MarAdmin 589/05, 13 December 2005, defined “USMC Roles and Missions in HD and Defense Support of Civil Authorities” and clarified the vision for Marines supporting HD efforts. However, beyond examples, such as support for the 1992 Los Angeles riots and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Marine Corps has traditionally preferred to distance itself from domestic operations like HD, as shown by MarAdmin 589/05 statements, such as “the Marine Corps performs HD by operating from forward deployed locations throughout the world” and its highlighting of Marine Corps participation in HD with examples of tabletop training and our efforts in the global war on terrorism.
8. The National Military Strategy of the United States of America, released in February 2011, provides basic guidance on page 11 on these two focus areas:
Working with Canada and Mexico, we will remain prepared to deter and defeat direct threats to our North American homeland. We will also partner with Canada on regional security issues such as an evolving Arctic, and look to build an increasingly close security partnership with Mexico. As part of our shared responsibility to ensure security on both sides of our border, we shall assist Mexican security forces in combating violent transnational criminal organizations. Efforts to disrupt illicit trafficking sources and transit zones must be coordinated across North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
9. Most commonly seen is the phrase “Drug-Trafficking Organization,” or DTO. This has become insufficient as a label, however, as the criminal organizations today do much more than move and sell drugs. Some of the major TCOs found throughout the region operate in excess of 20 lines of illegal businesses, including kidnapping, arms shipping, human trafficking, extortion, money laundering, piracy, and black market sales of oil, cement, minerals, agricultural products, and even human body parts. Moreover, DTO does not reflect the true cross-border nature of this threat; hence “transnational.” Other labels often used include “organized criminal groups,” “transnational organized crime,” and the debatable moniker “cartels.”
10. Many journalists, academics, and political leaders have identified TCOs as a direct national security threat. Former senior intelligence analyst and border security expert Sylvia Longmire says that “Mexican drug cartels are arguably as dangerous and deadly as terrorists,” see “Drug cartels in U.S. as big a threat as terrorism,” available at http://edition.cnn.com/2010/opinion/12/09/longmire.mexico.drug.war/?hpt+..., accessed 10 December 2010. Several people testified with similar sentiments at the U.S. Congressional Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management’s Hearing on “The U.S. Homeland Security Role in the Mexican War Against Drug Cartels,” held 31 March 2011. At this hearing, Texas Representative, Michael McCaul, introduced a House resolution to designate several of the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations—a label, however, the Mexican Government does not approve of, for many various reasons.
11. Joint Statement on U.S.-Mexico Merida High-Level Consultative Group on Bilateral Cooperation Against Transnational Criminal Organizations, available at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/04/162245.htm, accessed 29 April 2011.
12. Actual estimates tend to vary from 230 to 270 cities. See chart, “Figure 2. U.S. Cities Reporting the Presence of Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations,” National Drug Intelligence Center National Drug Threat Assessment, 2009, at http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs31/31379/index.htm, accessed 30 April 2011; see also the National Drug Threat Assessment for 2010 at http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs38/38661/index.htm.
13. Strohm, Chris, “Hard Times South of the Border,” National Journal, available at http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/hard-times-south-of-the-..., accessed 30 April 2011.
14. The Merida Initiative is a “multi-year program to provide equipment and training to support law enforcement operations and technical assistance for long-term reform and oversight of security agencies” in partnership with the governments of “Mexico, Central America, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic to confront criminal organizations whose actions plague the region and spill over into the United States,” see http://www.state.gov/p/inl/rls/fs/122397.htm, accessed 30 April 2011.
15. There are a number of reasons for the differences in terminology between Mexico and the United States, but many seemingly minor nuances have ultimately strategic implications. For example, consider that “insurgents” does not translate equally on both sides of the border; Americans understandably tend to associate that word with the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, whereas, for many Mexicans it brings up more positive memories of heroic revolutionaries in their own nation’s past. (One of the main boulevards in Mexico City is Avenida de los Insurgentes, or Insurgents’ Avenue, named in honor of the Ejercito de los Insurgentes (Insurgent Army) that fought for Mexican independence from Spain from 1810–21.)
16. See “Cartel Territories and Drug Routes, 2008” available at www.stratfor.com, accessed August 2010.
17. U.S. Arctic Policy is included in National Security Presidential Directive 66/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 25, “Arctic Region Policy,” signed 9 January 2001. Also, see Arctic Boundary as defined by the Arctic Research and Policy Act and Arctic Boundary as defined by the Arctic Research and Policy Act-Alaska area close up. Maps author is Allison Gaylord, Nuna Technologies, 27 May 2009.
18. North American Air Defense and USNorthCom blog, “The Arctic Challenge,” 22 April 2011, available at http://northcom.mil/NNCBlog/default,month,2011-04.aspx, accessed 28 April 2011. Also, the new Unified Campaign Plan, 2011, Joint Staff, Washington, DC, signed by the President in early April 2011, shifted areas of responsibilities in the Arctic region, increasing USNorthCom’s portion; the Unified Campaign Plan also gives USNorthCom the primary responsibility to advocate for Arctic capabilities. USNorthCom is committed to an Arctic opened in a manner that “strengthens international cooperation.”
19. Nilsen, Thomas, “The future history of the Arctic is now,” 2 September 2010, accessed at www.barentsobserver.com, 10 December 2010.
20. Navy Oceanographer RADM David Titley, as quoted by Andrea Shalal-Esa, “U.S. Navy Inviting Executives to Play ‘Shipping Game,’” Reuters.com, available at http://ebird.osd.mil/ebfiles.e20101209794408.html, 8 December 2010, accessed 9 December 2010.
21. A large number of sources use the “20 to 25 percent” number, derived most often from a U.S. Geological Survey 2008 estimate, which pointed to potentially 412.2 billion barrels of oil and “oil equivalents undiscovered” in the Arctic. However, some authors cite the “high levels of uncertainty surrounding” these numbers, see The Future History of the Arctic by Charles Emmerson, Public Affairs, New York, 2010, p. 191.
22. One example is the Antarctic cruise ship with 160 passengers that declared an emergency in early December 2010 after sustaining damage from a monster wave, “Antarctic Cruise Ship Damaged by Massive Wave,” available at http://www.foxnews.com, 8 December 10, accessed 2010 December 2010. Also, the cruise ship Polar Star with 115 people (including Americans) ran aground in the Antarctic in late January 2011 and had to be evacuated by Chilean rescue workers. Tourist visits to the Antarctic numbered 46,000 in 2008, so it’s safe to assume numbers will rise in the Arctic. Also, see http://www.adventure-life.com/cruises/arctic-cruises for representative examples of Arctic cruise options.
23. National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces, Committee on National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces, Naval Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, National Research Council of the National Academies, 11 March 2011, available at http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Environment/documents/2011/03/10/P..., pp. S–1 and S–4, accessed 30 April 2011.
24. Stewart, Joshua, “An Uncertain Future,” Navy Times, 11 April 2011, p. 18, available at http://ebird.osd.mil, accessed 18 April 2011.
25. McDermott, Jennifer, “Melting Arctic ice a challenge for U.S.,” 11 April 2011, available at http://www.theday.com, accessed 12 April 2011.
26. Fulghum, David A., “Danger Zone—Airlift chief points out diplomatic, military and modernization obstacles,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, available at www.aviationweek.com/aw/, 28 February 2011, p 53.
27. “Somali pirates zero in on oil tanker lanes,” available at http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Resource-Wars/2011/04/14/Somali-pirates-..., accessed 19 April 2011.
28. Google “MARFORNORTH” and look at the two sites: http://www.marines.mil/unit/marfornorth/Pages/Home.aspx and http://www.hqmc.usmc.mil/PP&O/PS/psm/cip/MARFORNORTHDocs.asp, “no files are available to view”.
29. Currently the home CAOCL page does not list USNorthCom, just Africa Command, Central Command, European Command, Pacific Command, and Southern Command, and subpages list only Southern Command and Northern Command jointly, but very little is listed about Mexico or the Bahamas, see http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/caocl.
30. The Security Cooperation Education and Training Center (SCETC) is made up of three branches:
International Programs, Operations and Training, and Civil Military Operations. SCETC is responsible for implementing and evaluating Marine Corps security cooperation education, and training programs in order to support Marine Component Command efforts to build partner capacity. SCETC also manages, coordinates and executes Marine Corps security cooperation and security assistance education and training programs, establishes security cooperation training standards, and establishes civil military operations training standards.
31. The MCTAG is a:
. . . relatively new command whose mission is to build Partner Nation (PN) capacity in support of Combatant Commanders’ Theater Security Force Assistance (SFA) and Security Cooperation (SC) objectives as designated by respective regional Marine Force Component Commands (MARFORs). We provide planning assistance to regional MARFOR staffs, coordinate service SC/SFA efforts (bringing the pieces together, not making strategic SC policy), and provide training and advisor support to Partner Nation Security Forces (PNSF), and/or training to General Purpose Forces (GPF) partnered with PNSF. MCTAG is a subordinate unit under United States Marine Corps Forces Command (MARFORCOM).
32. “From the Halls of Montezuma. . . .” Historical friction goes back hundreds of years between Mexico and the United States, and Marines would be well-served to restudy the story. Ulysses S. Grant said in his memoirs that the annexation of Texas and the U.S.-Mexican War (1846–48) was “one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation.” Animosity lingers to this day. However, professionals working together can easily overcome the past as well as politically sensitive overtones—witness the Anbar Awakening in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and progress in OEF. During Mexico’s assistance of the United States in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mexican Marine Elias Castellanos Jackson said:
For us, it’s very significant because some of these parts used to be part of our country. There’s been a lot of hardship. But when we talked with the American Marines, there’s been a lot of camaraderie . . . . There were no hard feelings. It was a good experience overall.
See “History put aside: U.S. military welcomes aid from Mexican Marines,” available at http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22033, accessed 30 April 2011.)
33. Our alliance with Canada is strong, but it can still be fortified with additional engagement. Canadians see the Arctic as their “top foreign policy priority” and as a “crucial ingredient to [their] sense of national identity,” so any combined training with the Canadian Forces further enhances our partnership. See Michel Comte, “Canadians prepared to fight for Arctic: survey,” AFP, available at http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hbF1ywPUUb6MyxssNj-cI..., 25 January 2011.
34. The eight Arctic nations plan to sign a treaty later in 2011 defining “who does what for search and rescue missions” in that region, see Bryn Weese, “New Arctic search, rescue treaty this spring,” available at http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2011/01/05/16773476.html, 5 January 2011, accessed 6 January 2011. Also, Russian military officials recently agreed to work with NATO on search and rescue at sea, see “NATO, Russia make safer seas,” available at http://www.barentsobserver.com/nato-russia-make-safer-seas.4877581-11632..., 27 January 2011, so this provides one more avenue for innovative cooperation with our former Cold War enemy and collaboration between Marine Forces Europe and MarForNorth, accessed 2 February 2011.
35. See Andrea Shalal-Esa, “U.S. Submarines Show Force Amid Race For Arctic Riches,” Reuters.com, available at http://ebird.osd.mil/ebfiles/e20110327811518.html, accessed 28 March 2011.
36. The Marine Corps should support efforts to reinstate appropriate language, similar to that in Section 1076 of the Fiscal Year 2007 National Defense Appropriations Act before it was repealed in 2008:
The President may employ the armed forces . . . to . . . restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition. . . .”
37. See “The Myth of Posse Comitatus” by MAJ Craig T. Trebilcock, USAR, October 2000, available at http://www.homelandsecurity.org/journal.articles.trebilcock.htm, accessed 28 April 2011.
38. Many remain wary of reestablishing any sort of Joint Task Force 6- type role for the Marine Corps, particularly after the political and legal fallout from the Redford Incident (accidental killing of 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez, Jr. by a U.S. Marine in May 1997 in Texas near the Mexican border) and also from the January 2003 midair collision of two AH–1Ws that killed four Marines assisting the Border Patrol conducting drug trafficking surveillance. Nevertheless, there is a need for increased manpower on both our northern and southern borders and a growing chorus for more whole of government solutions to a wide range of security challenges. As forces become available, a good first step would be sending Camp Pendleton-based helicopter units on short border mission assist/training detachments, as was done in the 1990s with great success.
39. Col Roger McFadden, NORAD-USNORTHCOM J30/GFM JOPES, states:
Currently and routinely over the past few years, the other Services have struggled to fill the capability requirements within the DCRF/C2CRE capability. These requirements include: Rotary wing units (medium/heavy lift) as well as aviation headquarters at the O–6 level; Combat Service Support; Communications; Transportation Companies; and Security Forces (Platoon Level).
Opportunities to support HD/DSCA missions, historically filled by other Services, are becoming increasingly available to the Marine Corps. As our force structure and other mission requirements permit, the Marine Corps should seek to fill these roles as much as possible.