Friday, March 13, 2009

Drug War

The next war with Mexico is ramping up and this is one could make the Afghanistan and Iraq anti-terror campaigns look like picnics.

Those who are in the business of studying and assessing threats to these re-United States and our allies have been warning anyone who will listen, and not many decision-makers are, that aside from Pakistan, the nation, critical to our national security interests, that is most at risk of political implosion and violent explosion is our neighbor to the south. Some are going as far as to say that Mexico is rapidly becoming a Narco State, with drugs and drug money the political, economic, and military driver. With a trillion dollar appetite for marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs either produced in or trans-shipped through Mexico, the people of these re-United States are directly responsible for the pain and suffering of the Mexican people at the hands of the drug cartels increasingly in control of their country.

Currently, Mexican drug cartels are estimated to have a combined para-military capability of over 100,000 men armed and equipped with modern infantry weapons systems. Flush with far more cash than the Mexican government they are rapidly supplanting, these cartels easily pay their soldiers, many of whom are former members of the Mexican army, much more than they could make in any other occupation, and easily pay off the members of the Mexican local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Those they can't buy, they kill.

The Mexican Army has been called up to combat the cartels, but, in all likelihood, the Army has been infiltrated by the cartels to the point that most operations against them will be marginalized. Again, the cartels pay a whole lot better. Watching footage of Mexican soldiers in the attack this week reminded one of the anti-insurgency operations conducted by the nascent Iraqi Army. When the soldiers of your national army are wearing masks to conceal their faces from recognition by the bad guys, you have a serious problem.

My, not so wild and somewhat educated, guess is, just as was the case with the post-Saddam Iraqi Army, the Mexican Army will not be able to eradicate the cartels' fielded forces on their own. My further prognostication is that U.S. decision-makers will dither while the Mexican Army flounders, and will only commit U.S. forces in support once the Mexican Army starts to crumble. At that point it will be too late. At that point we will be facing a failed state on our southern border run by people whose one and only goal is supplying the American drug habit.

Frankly, the magnitude of this threat is greater than any economic recession. And, much easier to successfully combat--if we act quickly. The first step is to SECURE OUR STINKING BORDER!!! That we haven't done this at all post 9-11 is one of the most egregious lapses of our government in its most important function--national defense. We have the most capable military the world has ever seen--this would not be a very difficult mission!

The second step is also a no-brainer, and, since we have the printing presses making cash at the speed of heat, should not be very difficult, either. The Mexican drug cartels wield power and influence primarily because they pay better. Let's outspend them. Let's give the Mexican government enough money to make heroes, very well-off heroes, out of every private in their army. I'm talking serious cash--not just a ten percent pay raise. Let's create a Mexican middle class to rival our own in one fell swoop. Let's give the Mexican government enough money to build a half million-man army, each soldier in which makes six figures. Heck, let's recruit a couple of divisions of Mexican citizens right here in the re-United States and send them home, well-paid, to make their country great like ours. The cost would rival only that which we have wasted trying to keep GM afloat.

Or, we can wait until Mexico collapses and spend untold trillions in treasure and a hundred thousand lives trying to turn back an invasion of up to a quarter of our neighbor's 110 million people attempting to escape the chaos.
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