Friendly Fire Incident Highlights Border Tensions, Strained Resources

By Janice Kephart on October 8, 2012

News continues to emerge concerning the death of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie. Current evidence has led Border Patrol Union President George McCubbin to conclude that Ivie was killed after firing on a pair of agents responding to the same tripped sensor. This unusual tragedy highlights just how high tensions are riding on the unsecured Arizona border.

After 40 years without any incidents of "friendly fire" within the Border Patrol, it is time to re-examine whether the Border Patrol has what they need to truly do their job safely and well. This includes intelligence, communication, border infrastructure, and personnel engagement policies. The review should also encompass how others serving the border in various capacities can lend more seamless support to the Border Patrol, which has the lead in securing the border between the ports of entry.

This tragic border incident highlights the dangerous environment in which agents patrol every day. The uptick in drug cartel activity in recent months, including the death of two agents in a car accident while chasing smugglers last year, indicates that failed border and corrupt gun-running policies have created an unsafe, spiraling national security concern.