All entries for Thursday 21 September 2006

September 21, 2006

Armies, Frontiers, and National Security

Okay. So, most of my posts on this site have been related to my field/s of interest; that is, my current research. A quick glance at the title might suggest that I’m about to ramble on about the same old shit. Heck, I devoted about 90% of my 2 MA years back in Soviet Kanuckistan to the Roman Imperial army and its frontiers (there was some philology, mythology, and politics thrown in, but…not so much). But – and I urge you to brace yourself – this post is not about that.

For the last, well, let’s say, 150 years or so Canada and the US have had the longest undefended border in the world. There’s 1000’s of km’s of border with nary a border crossing in sight. I always took this as something to be proud of: granted, I’m naive about a lot of things, but most of the bad stuff that crossed the borders went through the major border crossings (south of Vancouver, Detroit, Port Huron, Niagara Falls, air- and seaports not included) anyway. In 3 years this incredible “oversight (if you’re a Republican)” will be no more as the US plans on spending billions on a virtual fence filled with un-manned drones, fences, and – cue references to the Rome World – towers.

So, is this where I say, “what is this world coming to”? No. This world came to that a while ago. But, as a fervently patriotic Canadian, I feel saddened that yet another piece of our ‘national sense of innocence’ has been chipped away. Are such steps by the US government necessary in an age of invisible enemies? Maybe, and certainly this could benefit Canada’s sovereignty too. Yet, – and here’s where the Romans come back into the picture – if any baddie really wants to get in, this won’t stop them; it’s more likely to keep the goodies out, then keep the baddies from coming in. Tis a sad day indeed.


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