Border and Port Security

Ask CFR Experts

Is the South China Sea, like Taiwan, a core national interest now for China?

Asked by Michael, from University of St. Gallen

Spanning from the Singapore and Malacca straits to the Strait of Taiwan, the South China Sea is one of the world's most hotly disputed bodies of water. China lays claim to nearly the entire sea, overlapping with the maritime claims of Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines. With sovereign territory, natural resources, and national pride at stake, this dispute threatens to destabilize the region and even draw the United States into a conflict.

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See more in Asia and Pacific; China; Taiwan; Border and Port Security

Teaching Note

Two Nations Indivisible

Author: Shannon K. O'Neil

In this book, CFR Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies Shannon K. O'Neil discusses how beyond the narrative of violence that dominates the headlines is a more hopeful Mexico with a globally competitive economy, a rising middle class, and increasingly influential pro-democracy voters--a country the United States should see as a partner, not a problem. Teaching notes by the author.

See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; Drug Trafficking and Control; Border and Port Security

Primary Sources

Schengen Agreement

The Schengen Agreement is a convention between Germany, France, and the countries of the Benelux Economic Union and was signed on June 14, 1985. The treaty allowed for "gradual abolition of checks at common borders" and was integrated into EU law in 1997.

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Primary Sources

National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy, January 2012

The U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy released the National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy in January 2012. The press release states,

"The Strategy outlines new actions that seek to reduce the two-way flow of illicit drugs between the United States and Canada by increasing coordination among Federal, state, local, and tribal enforcement authorities, enhancing intelligence-sharing among counterdrug agencies, and strengthening our Nation's ongoing counterdrug partnerships and initiatives with the Government of Canada and Canadian law enforcement agencies."

See more in United States; Border and Port Security; Drug Trafficking and Control

Must Read

Vanity Fair: Smoke Screening

Author: Charles C. Mann

As you stand in endless lines this holiday season, here's a comforting thought: all those security measures accomplish nothing, at enormous cost. That's the conclusion of Charles C. Mann, who put the T.S.A. to the test with the help of one of America's top security experts.

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Primary Sources

U.S.-Canada "Beyond the Border" Action Plan, December 2011

This U.S.-Canada "Beyond the Border" action plan was released in December 2011. The White House press release states,

"The BTB Action Plan sets out joint priorities for achieving a new long-term security partnership in four key areas, guided by mutual respect for sovereignty and our separate constitutional and legal frameworks that protect individual privacy:

• addressing threats early;
• promoting trade facilitation, economic growth, and jobs;
• strengthening cross-border law enforcement; and
• protecting shared critical infrastructure, including enhancing continental and global cybersecurity."

See more in Canada; United States; Border and Port Security; Trade