Protect the American People From Terrorists, International Criminals and Drugs by Securing Our Nation’s Borders
Donald B. Smith
Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Sheriff of Putnam County, New York
June 30, 2016
This week’s jihadist suicide bombing in Istanbul, coming close on the heels of the ISIS-inspired massacre in Orlando and other recent mass casualty attacks, should be a warning to the world. The situation is going to get much worse before it gets any better. The United States and other countries in the crosshairs of terrorism are going to be victimized by even more attacks in the months and years ahead.
I just spent several days with my colleagues at the National Sheriffs’ Association Conference in Minneapolis, studying and sharing information on critical law enforcement issues including international and domestic terrorism, radicalization and the national epidemic of narcotics-related deaths. We conducted after-action reviews and discussions about the recent terrorist threats and attacks, and concluded there was more to come. The tragedy in Istanbul confirmed what we had predicted.
The issue of border security was a frequent topic of discussion. Featured speaker philanthropist Howard Buffett offered his view that securing our nation’s borders is not and never has been an immigration issue. It is a matter of national security, keeping out terrorists and drug traffickers who wish to prey on Americans and harm our way of life. Mr. Buffett made the case that border issues affect not only the sheriffs in border states, but law enforcement throughout the country. “International criminal organizations have claimed space in every county across the country,” he said. “They are not in Afghanistan; they are in Atlanta. They are not in Syria; they are in Chicago. They are not in Yemen; they are in Los Angeles. They are here now.”