Border Insecurity

When confronted with the challenges of border security and illegal immigration, government officials are fond of saying that our borders have never been as safe and secure as they are now. But ranchers in the borderlands of Arizona and Texas fear for their lands, their cattle, their homes, and sometimes their lives due to the human  and drug smuggling traffic that regularly crosses their property. Who is right? What does a secure border actually look like? More importantly,  is a secure border a realistic goal for the United States? Border Insecurity examines all the aspects of the challenge—and thriving industry—of trying to keep terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants from entering the United  States across our land borders. It looks at on-the-ground  issues and controversies like the border fence, the usefulness of technology, shifts in the connection between illegal immigration and drug smuggling, and the potential for terrorists and drug cartels to work together. Border Insecurity also delves into how the border debate itself is part of why the government has failed to improve information sharing and why this is necessary to establish a clear and comprehensive border security strategy.

Editorial Reviews

“Sylvia Longmire has done it again – written a highly readable, yet comprehensive, book about US border security situation with zero political agenda – hidden or otherwise – to cloud her observations, research or judgement. In a national atmosphere of near hysteria when it comes to “discussions” of immigration (both legal and illegal), terrorism, border control, law enforcement and the undeniable infiltration of Mexican (and other) cartels into American society, thank goodness we have a seasoned, and reasoned, voice to learn from. Sylvia writes about about what is real, what is practical and what is truly in America’s best interest. From one veteran border observer to another; thank you and bravo!”

          —Nicholas Stein, Former Series Producer, National Geographic Channel’s Border Wars

“In a conversational tone replete with entertaining and unsettling anecdotes, Longmire introduces readers to those guarding the border, those trying to cross it, and members of nearby communities…With practical suggestions for policing the borders, informed by experience on the ground, the book provides an easy, quick, energetic, and nonpartisan introduction to the subject.”

          —Publishers Weekly

“Sylvia Longmire’s riveting book tells the stories of the people on all sides of this complex issue. It challenged everything I thought I knew about America’s borders in a compassionate, fair, and fascinating way. These are the things we (citizens) need to know about our borders and how our approach and policies affect peoples lives.”

          —Christine McKinley, Investigator on History Channel’s Decoded and Author of Physics for Rock Stars

“Mesmerizing… Longmire’s approach transcends political ideologies. Border Insecurity provides an excellent description of why and how, in spite of the best intentions and billions of taxpayer dollars, there are still a tremendous number of problems centered on security along our Mexican and Canadian borders.”

          —Robert Lee Maril, author of The Fence

“With a sharp eye for detail and evaluation of all the intelligence available, Sylvia Longmire breaks through the tired clichés on border security to give us a fresh, enlightening and constructive vision on the issue. A great addition to security literature that can help bring about a more sane debate.”

          —Ioan Grillo, Journalist and Author of El Narco and Gangster Warlords



The drug war has claimed thousands of lives in Mexico and now the violence has crossed the border into the United States. Nearly 40,000 people have already lost their lives south of the border, and now the cartels have moved their operations north and into our cities. Having followed Mexico’s cartels for years, security expert Sylvia Longmire takes us deep into the heart of their world to witness a dangerous underground where people will do whatever it takes to deliver drugs to willing American consumers, including using armies of submarines that transport narcotics along the Central American coast, a network of secret tunnels used to smuggle tons of illegal drugs north, a no-fail system of transporting high-powered assault weapons south, marijuana farms inside our national parks, and meth houses in the Midwest. Drawing on her vast expertise in national security, Longmire offers real solutions to the critical problems facing Mexico and the United States, including programs to deter youths in Mexico from joining the cartels and changes that should be made to drug laws on both sides of the border. This is an important look at how Mexico’s drug wars are compromising our national security, and a pressing call to rethink our relationship with our southern neighbor.

Editorial Reviews

“Longmire offers fresh insights into almost every facet of the war on drugs…One-stop shopping for basic knowledge about U.S.-Mexican narcotics diplomacy.”

          —Kirkus Reviews

“Cartel, selected as a ‘Notable Title’ for Fall 2011, ‘offers an up-close and terrifying look at the massive crime organizations behind Mexico’s drug cartels, and what their growing power means for the United States.'”

          —Publishers Weekly

“Ms. Longmire has done a great job and a great service, as there’s a real need for an easy-to-read, one-stop-shopping overview of the myriad issues facing us from Mexico’s cartels. Her book allows people to finally have the context sorely needed to make sense of the huge amounts of news they consume… but, currently, with so little understanding.”

          —Nicholas Stein, Former Series Producer, National Geographic Channel’s Border Wars

“Great read from the eyes of an experienced cartel analyst and special agent.  A powerful and very comprehensive look into the broad scope of Mexican drug violence and impact to the security of our nation.  One of the best books I’ve seen to understand Mexican cartels, border violence, drug trafficking and the ramifications of spill-over crime into America.  I encourage you to read this book.”

          —Fred Burton, VP Intelligence, Stratfor, and author of Chasing Shadows

“In Cartel, Sylvia Longmire furthers our understanding of a very complex health and national security issue south of the border and within the United States itself.”

          —Malcolm Beith, author of The Last Narco

“Cartel is a well-balanced blend of organized crime 101 and thought-provoking analysis of the current violence in Mexico. It’s an important addition to the current body of work on the criminal underworld that continues to spread its presence and influence north of the border into the United States. Readers will find themselves on the front line of this decades-old drug war that has finally crossed our border.”

          —Samuel Logan, author of This is for the Mara Salvatrucha

“Sylvia Longmire’s insights are invaluable—and essential. Her depth of knowledge and analysis come in well-crafted prose that’s as thrilling to read as any novel and compelling for even the most casual reader.”

          —David Silverberg, Former Editor, Homeland Security Today