The U.S. military says Mexico’s drug war puts it at risk of sudden collapse.
This is from the magazine, The Week—which I think is a great publication. It is dated 2009, but I saw this topic revisited today on MSNBC, and it’s still a possibility.
Violence in Tijuana: What is the United States’ responsibility?
A new Pentagon study “concludes that Mexico is at risk of becoming a failed state,” said Joel Kurtzman in The Wall Street Journal, thanks to its ongoing “vicious drug war.” The violence and corruption are so bad that Mexico, like Pakistan, could see a “wholesale collapse of civil government.” President Felipe Calderón, “to his credit,” has sent 45,000 troops and 5,000 federal police to fight the drug traffickers, but the U.S. needs to do more, too.
The U.S. has already pledged $1.4 billion to “professionalize Mexico’s military and civil forces,” said Investor’s Business Daily in an editorial. But “in an era of big bailouts,” we can give more. We should also prepare “a military surge” to protect our southern border. “A collapsed state will bring millions of Mexicans spilling over our border,” probably including criminals, so this is more than a Mexican problem.
“To paraphrase an old saying, Mexico’s closest ally in this pursuit, the United States, also happens to be its worst enemy,” said Raul Yzaguirre in Arizona’s Tucson Citizen. Mexico’s drug lords are winning only because of America’s “huge demand for drugs” and easy supply of powerful weapons. Until the U.S. curbs its addiction problem, “the killing in Mexico will continue.”
Worse, while Mexico and Colombia “bleed themselves to death fighting ‘wars on drugs’ driven by the United States,” said Mexico’s La Jornada in an editorial (via WorldMeets.us), the U.S. “political class” focuses on “persecuting” Latino immigrants and profiting from the “voluminous trafficking in weapons.” So when the Bush administration talks of a Pakistan-like “failed state” in Mexico, it does so “with obvious exaggeration and bad faith.”
No, “I’d bet money,” said Rod Dreher in Beliefnet, that President-elect Obama “will have to fully militarize the US-Mexico border before he leaves office.” And he might even have to “invade Mexico” to “fight the narcotraffickers and prop up the government.” The only questions are how and when.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon has repudiated the premise that Mexico is at risk of becoming a failed state. He also blames the US for its production and sales of guns, as well as for our large market for drugs. “To say that Mexico is a failed state is absolutely false,” Calderon said. “I have not lost any part _ any single part _ of Mexican territory.”
Calderon, a Harvard-educated conservative, said smuggling cannot be eliminated as long as Americans continue to use drugs, but hopes he can beat back the cartels by 2012 to a point that the army and federal police can withdraw and leave the problem in the hands of local law enforcement. He declined to give a specific timeline for winning the war against drug gangs. But then, how could he? By all estimates, he us doing an heroic job, considering that the cartels have infiltrated local governments and police.
If Mexico fails—and I really don’t know at which point that becomes a reality, or even how that is officially determined—it has huge and serious implications for illegal immigration. I wondered if anyone has thoughts or more information about this.