The seemingly sudden interest in building a physical barrier along nearly 2,000 miles of hostile desert terrain raises interesting questions, some of them political, and some of them technical. We're not at war with Mexico. But the added focus on the border we share might point us to warfare technology's next front.***Wall building in the modern era is a relatively new phenomenon, said Reece Jones, a professor of geology at the University of Hawaii and author of Border Walls: Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India, and Israel.
If the consideration is armed conflict, a wall is as useless as the proverbial knife in a gunfight
Right now, about 652 miles of the border is actually protected by a physical fence, thanks to the Secure Fence Act of 2006. These efforts, in addition to the aerial support pledged (including nine $12,000 an hour drones Border Patrol has at its disposal) may be as good as it can get along the southern border until the government decides to spend billions to build Trump's Great Wall."Walls in the mind often stand longer than those built of concrete," the German Chancellor Willy Brandt once said. A Great American Wall is probably a fantasy, but fantasies of security have their place, erected right between us and them.All Fronts is a series about technology and forever war. Follow along here.
A high tech wall—say, one equipped with autonomous robots, outfitted for surveillance and defense—could deter immigrants and even bolster the line of defense in a modern war