04 January 2021

Why cover the border wall with razor wire?

Nothing about Trump's border wall makes sense to me, but this recent photo offered a new conundrum.  The United States side of the wall here is covered with an insane amount of razor wire.  I can understand that this shows Americans viewing the wall that "we are very very badass," but I don't see how this component adds to security.  A healthy young person reaching the top could just jump past the wire, or let down a 20-foot segment of hallway carpet and then slide to the bottom.  It looks like security theater to me.

Photo credit Alejandro Prieto, from the World Press photo contest.

Addendum:  Thanks for all the comments.  I didn't realize that this razor wire is also being deployed in urban areas such as Nogales -

- where having it at ground level is considered by local authorities to be a health and safety hazard.

2022 addendum:
Smugglers have breached the Trump administration’s border wall along the US-Mexico frontier more than 3,000 times, government maintenance records obtained by the Washington Post reveal...

Part of the border wall is constructed using posts cemented in concrete at the base which support a long lintel at the top. Smugglers are easily able to saw through the posts and swing them open, then continue using the same breach until the damage is detected by the border patrol... Smuggling organizations have sawn large enough holes to pass an SUV through.


  1. It's all about contractors money. supporting the local economy with useless contracts.

  2. The wall has been security theater since the beginning. Yes, it lines contractors' pockets. So do dams and sewage treatment plants, but they don't send a Message. The previous four years have seen an endless parade of such stunts, from Muslim bans and caging immigrants to "lock her up" rallies and the Space Force. The Message is "We're the biggest, baddest, SOB's around, so don't mess with us!" The reality of course is the precise opposite, but it's grand gestures, not reality, that keep the base fired up and ensures that no one will think to look behind the curtain.

  3. I saw a report a while back that said they'd put razor wire on the Mexico side as well, but that folks in the bordertowns had been stealing it and using to protect their own homes and businesses.

  4. I see roadrunner. Where is Mr. Coyote?

  5. The "wall" was a fence from the 1970s until the late 1990s, when the Clinton Administration's Operation Gatekeeper (1994) sought to tighten border controls by deploying more U.S. agents in more visible spots and with clearer instructions to crack down on illegal crossings. The border fence also got a makeover. In the late 90s they started to replace the wire fence with enormous metal beams that were welded together. The giant beams sealed off 306 of the 362 miles in the Naco sector of the border, completed in 2007. The remaining 60 some miles were completed during the early years of the Obama Administration. Most of the wall near Naco (there is a town of Naco on both sides of the border) was reconstructed and strengthened beginning in late summer of 2016 when the border crossing there was moved some 10 miles away. Trump may be responsible for the wire (which was indeed on both sides of the wall), but it is certainly not his wall. I would suppose that plenty of wall was built during his administration, as it was during at least the last 3 administrations.

    Gathered from univision.com, Ayusa.org, Tuscon.com, and other sources.

  6. Obviously it is there to stop the people leaving should Trump's sedition find enough support with the Republicans and Proud Boys for him to swing/cheat the election and stay on The Apprentice ... no, I mean ... as the President.
    Sort of like the Iron Curtain but in this case, as Knobgobbler says (bet he regrets that name choice all those years ago) more of a Steal Curtain.

  7. If there were a politically connected manufacturer of rubber ducky bath toys due a favor the wall would be lined with them.

  8. Here is your answer: https://qz.com/1544360/what-the-us-army-does-when-a-25-foot-high-border-wall-just-doesnt-seem-like-enough/

    1. Thank you. I didn't realize the photo and this addition to the wall was over a year old. I found more articles that are not behind paywalls:





  9. The darker interpretation is that they are anticipating having to keep us in.


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