Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the release of the DHS Northern Border Strategy (NBS). The NBS is the first unified DHS strategy to guide the Department’s policies and operations along the U.S.-Canada border - providing a framework for enhancing security and resiliency while expediting lawful travel and trade throughout the Northern border region.
From the press release:
“The U.S.-Canada border is the world’s longest common border. With communities and businesses that reach both sides of the border, the economies and security of the United States and Canada are inextricably linked,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The Northern Border Strategy provides a unifying framework for the Department’s work focused on enhancing the security and resiliency along our northern border while expediting legitimate travel and trade with Canada.”
To accomplish these goals, DHS will leverage resources to improve information sharing and analysis within DHS, as well as with key partners. The Department will also enhance coordination of U.S.-Canada joint interdictions and investigations, deploy technologies to aid joint security efforts along the border, and continue to update infrastructure to facilitate travel and trade.
The executive summary is below. The full document is here: DHS Northern Border Strategy.
I think one notable section of the document is under Section 4 “Measures for the Northern Border” — in light of the past controversy over DHS’s singular focus on security to the detriment of trade and tourism — and given that past measures of “control” of the border did not take into account joint Canada-US activities.
“4. Measures for the Northern Border
DHS will measure our success in the northern border environment partly on how many seizures,
interdictions, arrests, or investigations occurred but also will use measures that evaluate how well we facilitate trade and travel and how well we work with our partners to enhance security and efficiency.
Some examples of these measures would include: joint operations conducted with other Federal, state,
local, tribal, and Canadian partners; operations that resulted from shared information or intelligence; and
domain awareness expansion through shared data feeds and resources.”
The U.S.-Canada border is the longest common border in the world, and it joins two nations that enjoy
one of the world’s strongest relationships. With communities and businesses that reach both sides of the
border, the economies and security of the United States and Canada are inextricably linked.
DHS is focused on securing the U.S. northern border while expediting the flow of lawful travel, trade, and
immigration. Cross-border communities contain significant populations that commute across the border
every day and whose water or electrical power comes from the other country. Recognizing the crossborder nature of infrastructure and commerce is critical to DHS’s ability to effectively manage the
This 2012 DHS Northern Border Strategy (NBS) takes a Department-wide look at the northern border,
considering all of DHS’s authorities, responsibilities, and capabilities in developing a cross-cutting allmissions approach.
The Department’s three goals for the Northern Border are:
1. Deter and Prevent Terrorism, Smuggling, Trafficking, and Illegal Immigration
2. Safeguard and Encourage the Efficient Flow of Lawful Trade and Travel
3. Ensure Community Safety and Resiliency Before, During, and After Terrorist Attacks and
To achieve these Goals, DHS will utilize five key means and methods:
B. Information, Intelligence, Interdictions, and Investigations
The NBS is based on, and consistent with, the released 2010 National Security Strategy.