Rick Perry is at it again
Life on the campaign trail must be tough. Traveling from city to city, meeting new people constantly, glad-handing every potential political contributor, it can drive a person crazy. Is that what has happened to Rick Perry? Although he has had a colorful past as the Governor of this great state, his ambitions for the highest office sound like they are leading him to talk out of the opposite end.
Perry’s latest claim on the road to Washington is that once elected as President of the United States, he will, “consider sending U.S. troops into Mexico to combat drug-related violence and stop it from spilling into the Southern United States.” I do not recall hearing Mexico call us asking for help. Yes, they are having serious problems, but “invading” their country, guns blazing, and barking orders is not going to win the hearts and minds of the natives. The Mexican people are in constant danger from the drug cartels, and having the U.S. Army roll in to save the day is not the answer.
The Mexican government is rampant with corruption, with the majority of this being uncovered in the lower levels of the system. According to La Vanguardia (BCN), a Spanish newspaper, “There are more than 80,000 troops mobilized in the fight against drug trafficking, but…(their)…work is undermined by widespread corruption, the rivalry between the various security forces, and the inability of the army to win this fight without quarter, among other things, because the military was unable to gather evidence to incriminate the detainees. There are more than 120,000 drug traffickers in jail pending trial.” So the U.S. strolling in and adding to the confusion sounds like a great idea, right?
It seems that we as a country feel we can go anywhere in the world and solve problems with our mere presence alone. Colombia, the country at the top of the cocaine business for decades, has been given everything from funds, to personnel from the U.S. to help eradicate the drug cartels. Yet still, not much has changed. The price for cocaine has not skyrocketed because of the significant disruption caused by our presence in that country. The cartels have gone as far as making submarines to transport their products. These mini subs, which can carry 4-12 tons of cocaine with a crew of three, are launched in Colombia with Mexico as their destination. Street value in the U.S. for one of these sub-loads would be between $80 and $240 million U.S. dollars. At a cost of one million dollars per sub, the cartels are not feeling the losses if one or two are captured in a week. With the cocaine industry being valued at as much as $80 billion per year or more, the cartels’ pockets run deep.
The violence on the U.S. border in Texas is a daily occurrence, however. Daily articles in Mexican newspapers tell stories of decapitated heads left in front of elementary schools, and other atrocities, used to intimidate administrators. The La Vanguardian again sheds light on the subject, “Since 2006 when the government decided to declare war on drug trafficking with the direct intervention of the Armed Forces, Mexican organized crime has accounted for 35,000 deaths among criminals, police, soldiers and civilians. The death toll reflects the bloody capacity of criminal groups to defend themselves and fight among themselves for control of territory, and to maintain their rule of terror.”
The cartels are even arrogant enough to execute their victims in public and broad daylight. The introduction of American service personnel in Mexico will only offer more targets for criminals to target. As if our military isn’t having a difficult enough job in Afghanistan with insurgents, Mexico will prove to become just another counterinsurgency role for the U.S. forces. The National Guard has personnel in place on the borders assisting the U.S. Border Patrol with combating the endless wave of illegal immigrants attempting to cross into the U.S. on a daily basis. All the while, unmanned drones fly over the border keeping a watchful eye on the “line in the sand.” The D.E.A. has operatives working with Mexican law enforcement as advisors, as well, and through The Mérida Initiative, as known as Plan Mexico, distributes funds to help combat the effects of criminal activity. There is a security cooperation agreement between the United States and Mexico, along with the other countries of Central America, which aims to combat the threats of drug trafficking, transnational crime, and money laundering. Training, equipment, and intelligence are distributed between these governments to create a cooperative effort against crime in the Americas.
Maybe the U.S. can beef up the border, but sending the military across the border is a prelude only to more misery. Maybe the U.S. can avoid playing the role of big brother, and shore up its own side of the border instead; thereby providing the honest and hard working citizens of this great country with a little more safety of their own. Governor, please rethink, or possibly think-out your ideas before you place our soldiers in harms way unnecessarily.
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