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Mark Wiggins for KVUE writes:

It’s been over a year since Mexican pirates armed with automatic weapons gunned down David Hartley, an American jet-skiing with his wife on Falcon Lake.

The senseless casualty remains part of a vicious war for control of the international border. In fact, some 40,000 Mexican civilians are believed to have died since their government adopted a harder stance against the powerful drug cartels five years ago.

Now U.S. border security is almost synonymous with national security, and on Thursday, Texas unveiled a new tool.

“Our adversaries, the Mexican drug cartels, are leveraging military tactics and weaponry and terrorist tactics,” explained Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven C. McCraw.

CNN writes:

Next month, the state’s Department of Public Safety will deploy the first of a fleet of six gunboats on the Rio Grande, the river that forms the border between the state and Mexico, CNN affiliate WFAA-TV reports.

The 34-foot-long boats, each powered by three, 300-horsepower outboard engines, will have bulletproof plating and six machine guns apiece, not unlike the river patrol boats the U.S. Navy used during the Vietnam War.

The vessels will be able to operate in as little as 2 feet of water, according to the report, and will work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to combat drug smuggling coming across the Rio Grande.

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Image: KVUE Mark Wiggins for KVUE writes: It's been over a year since Mexican pirates…