Tag Archives: President Obama

What’s Happening on the 49th Parallel

Last month, Tactical Defense Media went to Detroit to take in a conference on the U.S./Canada border. Battling storms and power outages, the organizers ended up putting on an insightful show. Here’s a quick rundown:

The conference was based around the “Beyond the Border” initiative. Signed in 2011 by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama, “The Declaration estab­lished a new long-term partnership built upon a perimeter approach to security and economic com­petitiveness. This means working together, not just at the border, but ‘beyond the border’ to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services. Leaders called for the development of a joint Action Plan to realize this goal…”

One major theme discussed was “pushing the border out.” In other words, knowing what is coming into the two countries before it arrives. This entails pre-inspection in ports of departure and prioritizing containers to be searched before they arrive (thereby streamlining the loading and unloading process). The eventual goal is an “inspected once, cleared twice” outcome in which, for example, a container cleared by Canadian customs could be transported by rail into the U.S. without needing to stop at the border for a second inspection.

(more…)

Sequestration: Going Nowhere Fast

Otto Kreischer at AOL Defense wrote an interesting rundown of a sparsely attended Aerospace Industrial Association (AIA) briefing at the Press Club. Rather than just overtly defense-related company CEOs speaking on the negatives of sequestration, this press conference sported research university and health sector officials in an effort to show the broad-based evils of slashing the budget. The author’s verdict: With few Congressional aides and almost no major reporters in attendance and a changed political climate, it seems that “the fat lady is about to sing in the anti-sequester opera.”

Even a few months ago, we wouldn’t have believed that this would actually happen. Cuts of projected increases, sure. But given the military’s extremely vocal and virulent dislike of the Budget Control Act’s methods, the legislation as written being acted upon is pretty stunning. Now that the prospect appears more likely, bromides like “partisan dysfunction” and “broken Washington” give way to more targeted accusations.

(more…)