Friday, April 29, 2011

It is Time To Pay Attention to Mexico

There is a lot to worry about these days. Serious trouble all over the Middle East from Libya to Syria, a shooting war in Afghanistan, Iranian covert aggression and nuclear ambitions, a mentally unstable regime in North Korean and China’s continuing military build up are just some of the things that give us all sleepless nights. And that is without even discussing the debt, raising gas prices, unemployment and the upcoming 2012 Presidential Elections. Honestly, it is enough to give us all hives. But there is one on going problem that I think is being under reported and which could be just as devastating to our security (both actual and financial). That is the degenerating situation in Mexico’s war on the drug cartels.

The violence all over the country on our southern border just keeps getting worse. Do you realize that there were more civilian casualties from drug-related violence last year in Mexico than from war in Afghanistan and Iraq combined? The drug cartels, desperately locked in wars of dominance with each other, and with one for survival with the Mexican government, have turned to open guerilla warfare and terrorist activities, including the increasing use of IEDs and beheadings. The targeting of police and political officials has now become the regular massacre of dozens of civilians at a time. The cartels have even turned to enlisting groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah to train their “soldiers” in terrorist tactics and to help them secure arms and ammunition.

We hear reports of the success of the Mexican military against some of the smaller cartels, but the fact remains that more territory in Mexico is now under control by various drug cartels than is controlled by the Mexican government! We have even started hearing rumors that the Mexican President is considering coming to some sort of “an accommodation” with the Sinaloa Federation (a drug cartel which will very likely dominate Mexico's drug traffic very soon).

The US policy towards or southern neighbors has been one of concerned tolerance. In spite of our proclivity to get involved in places like the Middle East, we seem reluctant to do or say very much about what is happening right next store. I believe this is going to change, and soon. I am afraid the situation will degrade over the next year to the point where whomever resides in the White House next will have to seriously consider direct US intervention.

It is time for our leaders (Napolitano and Holder) to stop talking about how our southern border is more secure now than it has ever been, and start worrying about what is going to happen when the Mexican government comes to “an accommodation” with the drug cartels and they turn their attention to their distribution network –here in the United States!

One reason we went into Afghanistan is because we wanted to fight the terrorists there, not here. I think we should start thinking along those same lines when we talk about the violence in Mexico. At the very least, it is time we start having a more open debate about the situation and stop trying to pretend that it is not out of control.

Live Long and Prosper....


Ted Leddy said...

The level of violence there is frightening. If it continues to deteriorate we could be looking at something similar to a failed state. I really don't know what the US government could do then other than turn the border into something like the DMZ in Korea.

Gary said...


Yes, it is a hard question but the US still has some time to act. First, we should be pressuring the Mexican government to accept more direct US assistance - including more law enforcement professional aid and they should allow US agents to be armed in Mexican territory (currently our people can not carry weapons in Mexico making it super dangerous for them investigating the drug cartels).

Whatever we do, it must be soon. If the Mexican government enters into "an accommodation" with one or more of the cartels (which it might do just for it's own survival) the problem will escalate and become unbelievably complex.