Reorganization for Border Enforcement

DefenseDaily has a report of a pending reorganization of the Department of Homeland Security’s oversight of the border interdiction problem based on a 20 November memo from DHS Secretary Johnson. I was a bit surprised I did not see this reported anywhere else.

Johnson on Thursday directed the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Citizenship and Immigration Services to stand up within 90 days Joint Task Force East, Joint Task Force West, and Joint Task Force Investigations, DHS said on Friday afternoon. In the memo Johnson said at the end of the 90 days each task force should have a headquarters and relevant personnel should be “realigned.”

There will be two geographically defined operational task forces and a supporting investigative task force headed by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). It appears that the geographic divide roughly equates (but not exactly) to the split between the Atlantic and Pacific Areas. The Eastern Task Force (JTF-East) will be headed by the Coast Guard (presumably COMLANTAREA) and the Western Task Force (JTF-West) which apparently includes all the land border with Mexico, as well as he Pacific coast, will be headed by Customs and Border Protection (I presume COMPACAREA will be the Deputy).

Would be nice if all the Homeland Security agencies had common territorial divisions so that coordination could be simplified.

Thanks to Lee for the heads-up.

African Fisheries–Only Bad Choices has an excellent post on the problems of managing fisheries off Africa. While they talk about illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, that is only the beginning.

Among other problems, there are so many countries in Africa (54 countries, at least 32 with coast lines) that their individual EEZs are too small to manage fishing stocks. If one country attempts to rebuild stocks by reducing fishing, a neighboring country may take advantage of their sacrifice and undo their efforts.

Protecting the Exclusive Economic Zone–CIMSEC

CIMSEC is taking a week to look at Ship Design and one of their first posts deals with Offshore Patrol Vessels. It is a two parter. You can read it here and here.

The posts include an extensive bibliography and notes that some might find interesting. This is the information on the author, “Dr. Alexander Clarke is our friend from the Phoenix Think Tank in the United Kingdom and host of the East-Atlantic edition of Sea Control.”

gCaptain has an interesting discussion of the potential economic consequences of offshore drilling beyond the 200 mile EEZ. It seems UNCLOS has a provision (Article 82) that a UN agency is owed a percentage of the revenue from such drilling.

There is apparently some ambiguity in the treaty, in that it is not clear if the fee is to be based on gross or net revenues, and it is also unclear where continental shelves end, but apparently the existing provisions make it possible to claim sea floor as deep as 5,000 meters, far deeper than what I thought of as continental shelf, and an area as large as Africa (which is really much bigger than it looks on a Mercator projection, roughly four times the land area of the United States).

There is also a chart (map) of where continental shelf claims are currently being made. There are number of potentially “interesting” (eg contentious) areas being claimed.

—There are claims off Antarctica.
—There are claims between Argentina and the Falklands.
—Claims in the Arctic.
—Claims in the South China Sea. I wonder if the Chinese don’t hope to avoid fees all together by claiming it is theirs under a different status.