Border Walls: Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India, and Israel

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A border expert told us why we keep building more walls and why they won't work

Jones' big claim is simple to encapsulate. Fence building and border wall construction stand as powerful exemplars of this desire to reinforce and filter out unwanted flows of migrants, terrorists, criminals and their associated paraphernalia.

Frontline Insight: Why build a border wall?

He is not alone in offering up this basic insight. Wendy Brown, in her book Walled States Waning Sovereignty is also interested in similar material and explores how sovereignty has become increasingly caught up with anxieties about the role of global capital in overwhelming a sense of the territorial state enjoying absolute sovereignty.

Using case studies based on fieldwork in the United States, India and Israel with research work in Mexico, Bangladesh and Palestine respectively , Jones takes the reader on a tour of how these states have invested heavily in trying to secure their borders, in the light of anxieties that they might be imperilled by porous borderlands and flows of unwanted people, ideas and materials.

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Jones' research — and data collected by Elisabeth Vallet at the University of Quebec at Montreal — has shown that just after World War II, there were fewer than five border walls in the world. Now there are This is false," Jones told Business Insider in an email. In the past, many cities had walls to protect resources, but long walls in remote frontier areas were extremely rare until the past twenty years.

The desire to protect a nation by building walls is a sentiment that has been particularly potent throughout Europe in the past year.

Kundrecensioner

The terrorist attacks on France, Belgium, and Germany — perpetrated in part by supporters of the Islamic State terrorist group who had entered Europe as refugees — exacerbated this feeling. But the aversion to having thousands of refugees entering a territory does not stem only from a fear of terrorism.

Reece Jones: Border walls are a flawed solution - Business Insider

Public support, cost, differences in cultures, religions, and mores, as well as fear of the unknown have driven countries to erect walls hoping to keep people from even trying to cross borders. Jones said that while the deterrence strategy had made journeys to the US and the European Union more difficult, the number of people attempting the journey did not diminish. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 10, people have died trying to cross a border since the start of Migrants from Mali, Bangladesh, and other countries waiting to be rescued on board a dinghy in the Mediterranean Sea.

Europe's refugee crisis, the biggest the continent has faced since World War II, has led to the erection of numerous barriers to keep out migrants. Austria, for example, is erecting a physical border to keep out migrants travelling through Hungary , while Norway is also building a wall to keep out immigrants from Russia and Slovenia has done the same on its border with Croatia.

Border Walls : Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India, and Israel

This and the lack of safe, legal routes has forced refugees to take increasingly dangerous routes to reach the continent. In alone, more than 4, people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean. All over Europe and even within the Schengen Area — which is designed to allow for the free movement of goods and people between countries that are part of it — police controls and new fences are almost commonplace. Politicians have said overstretched services and systems and the inability to control the identity of the thousands of people on the move were causes for the walls and police controls.

European governments have mostly described those measures as only temporary, yet many governments keep renewing the controls whenever the end date draws close, citing a situation still not under control. However, in the longer term, the walls are not very effective at preventing movement. They just divert it to other more dangerous crossing points and they are expensive to build and maintain. Jones added that he thought the border walls inside the Schengen Area would not become a permanent fixture in the European landscape.


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