ALFI grew out of a powerful commitment to advocacy for land forces in small units — platoons and squads – that have borne the bloody burdens of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ground-based warfare historically has taken a huge toll on U.S. troops. Failure to pay adequate attention to improving equipment and training for small fighting units is only part of the reason. Preparation of ground forces for 21st century hybrid missions requires major improvements in the core competencies and human dimensions of squads, such as advanced situational awareness and cognitive capabilities. We call it “amplifying the wisdom of warriors”.
Through research, networking, conferences, publishing and other means, ALFI’s advocacy role will mobilize the expertise, insights and resources necessary to transform small unit performance in irregular warfare, increase warriors’ survivability and resilience, and develop in extremis leadership. ALFI’s leaders have spent years in advocacy roles seeking to inject lessons learned from modern warfare into decision-makers’ perspectives and priorities in support of America’s land forces. ALFI will take these efforts to new levels with a broad base of support from the American public.
A critical component of U.S. national security is border security. While we recognize that there is a separation between the military and law enforcement, there are a number of overlapping functions as well. In general, U.S. border policy does not adequately address the issues of porous borders. We lack adequate knowledge of and control over individuals, entities, and goods entering the United States.
U.S.-Mexico border security is critical to U.S. national security. Mexico – the nation’s third largest trading partner, the third largest source of U.S. imports, the second largest exporter of U.S. goods and services, and the recipient of more than $100 billion in direct U.S. investment – is, to a great extent, destabilized, if not controlled, by violent transnational criminal organizations engaged in illegal drugs, firearms, money and human trafficking.
Thus far the strengthening of controls to prevent illegal exports of firearms to Mexico, money laundering from the proceeds of drug sales, repatriated criminal aliens becoming cartel recruits, and other measures to bolster border security have not succeeded. U.S. national security, therefore, is more endangered than ever by our failure to adequately deal with a too-porous border.
ALFI is concerned about border security and about the domestic agencies charged with protecting our most vulnerable border. Domestic law enforcement and border security agencies and their personnel are facing, without adequate preparation, an unprecedented national security problem that hitherto they had assumed was primarily a U.S.-Mexico border affliction. Our border states, and the nation itself, no longer have just cartel-driven drug, human, cash and firearms smuggling problems. We face a new form of widespread criminal insurgency, orchestrated by an increasingly interlinked network of terrorist and criminal organizations, that threatens civil government in border states and communities in the U.S as well as the entire western hemisphere.
ALFI is committed to addressing this national security crisis, by working to influence policymakers to develop consistent policies and strategies across all agencies and to facilitate agency interaction and communication. We recognize that there is a separation between the military and law enforcement, however there are overlapping functions as well. The military and law enforcement can and should work together to complement each other’s capabilities. Due to the current threat, law enforcement agencies are being forced to operate in a manner more consistent with military small units than with traditional law enforcement procedures, and these agencies are in need of the same advocacy and support as our land forces.
National security concerns directly affect the roles and missions of our armed forces, their size and composition, and how they are strategically deployed and operationalized. One of ALFI’s primary goals is to engage in the arena of national security. ALFI will utilize research, advocacy and education to assist our nation’s leaders to develop effective national security and defense policies as they relate to America’s land forces – how they are recruited, trained, equipped, deployed, sustained and reintegrated into civilian life. Our intent is to maintain a position in the national debate as a strong advocate for our land forces in all branches of the military as well as in domestic law enforcement agencies charged with protecting our communities.
Our military cannot effectively function in a vacuum. An effective military solution to any national security issue, whether at home or abroad, must include the whole of government. National security and defense policies must come from a holistic, interagency perspective rather than just a military perspective. ALFI is committed to promoting the development of strategies and policies that ensure that we have a true interagency approach to our national security threats.
Through advocacy and research, ALFI will work to educate our nation’s policymakers and will promote stronger and more inclusive national security and defense strategies and policies.