GEOG 571
Intelligence Analysis, Cultural Geography, and Homeland Security

L5 Overview


Written by George Van Otten


Lesson Five is spread out over weeks six and seven. The extra time dedicated to this material demonstrates the degree to which I believe the porosity of the border is a serious national security issue. The U.S./Mexico Border Region is a dynamic and dangerous place. From my perspective, the current situation in the border region directly threatens the civil security of the United States. The region also has the potential to eventually become a dynamic place where cultures can intermingle to establish a new era of cooperation and prosperity in North America. Whether or not the region eventually prospers or instead becomes the site of open warfare and constant crisis depends on the vision and abilities of U.S. and Mexican leaders to crack down on smuggling, protect the natural environment, and work together for mutual economic growth and security.


Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. accurately describe the U.S./Mexico Border Region as a place;
  2. accurately describe the history of human occupancy in the U.S./ Mexico Border Region;
  3. accurately describe the cultures of the U.S./Mexico Border Region;
  4. accurately describe the natural resource base of the U.S./Mexico Border Region;
  5. accurately describe current demographic patterns in the U.S./Mexico Border Region;
  6. accurately describe the current geopolitical conflict associated with the U.S./Mexico Border Region;
  7. accurately describe the significance of the attitudes, values, and beliefs of the various cultural groups within the U.S./Mexico Border Region;
  8. provide an accurate discussion of the importance of the differences in the economic well-being of the people of Mexico and the people of the United States;
  9. accurately describe the current immigration and law-enforcement crisis that exists along the border between Mexico and the United States;
  10. accurately describe the evolution of the current border security problem;
  11. demonstrate comprehension of the importance of the economic, cultural, and security issues that both enhance and confound relations between Mexico and the USA; and
  12. describe and analyze the ways in which physical, cultural, demographic, political and historical geography have influenced the very different developmental paths of the United States and Mexico as nation states. 


If you have any questions now or at any point during this week, please feel free to post them to the GEOG 571 - General Discussion Forum. (That forum can be accessed at any time in Canvas by opening the Orientation / Resources module and then clicking on the GEOG 571 - General Discussion Forum link.)


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