Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Intelligence Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Jose E. Mora


The United States has a border security problem along the Southwest border. National attention is focused on securing the 2,000-mile land border but the Southwest maritime border (SWMB) along the California coastline is generally neglected. This thesis presents an exploratory study to determine what is necessary for the United States to secure the SWMB. Because any efforts to secure the land border are insignificant if the maritime domain is easily exploited, the SWMB requires national attention. National strategies charge border security agencies with creating a whole-of-government approach to their missions but do not provide the legislative mandates or fiscal support necessary to enhance interagency coordination. This thesis proposes using the successes of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South and lessons from the Goldwater-Nichols Act to create an Interagency Task Force along the SWMB. As maritime smuggling increases, the SWMB presents an opportunity to generate the collaboration needed to secure the border.



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