Obama's Open to Military Help for Mexico, Experts Urge CautionThis strikes me as a very bad idea, for a LOT of reasons. Firstly, there's the framing of the crisis as being primarily about drugs. It's not. It's about drugs and guns. Drugs going north, guns going south. In deference, i suppose, to the Second Amendment freaks, the drugs for guns relation doesn't get that much attention. But it is a crucial part of the dynamic. SoCal columnist Reuben Navarette describes it thusly:
Marisa Taylor And Nancy Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers: "As the Pentagon eyes a bigger role in Mexico's drug war, the military's efforts to open the door to a new relationship with its southern neighbor risks alienating the Mexican military, which has long had a strained relationship with its counterpart, experts said. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called for improved relations with the Mexican military in response to escalating drug violence along the Mexican border and in Mexico."
Meanwhile, along the Mexican border, much has changed since the days of Pancho Villa. Today, the outlaws don't have to steal machine guns and ammunition. They pay cash. And they find plenty of Americans eager to sell them all the AK-47 s, grenade launchers, shotguns, 9 mm handguns, and bullets the narcos can haul back to Mexico by the truckload. According to The Dallas Morning News, one of the must-have items for the cartels is a Belgian-made handgun known in Mexico as mata policias - cop killer - because the bullets penetrate the body armor worn by law enforcement officers.It should be noted that, by comparison with USer drones dropping munitions upon unsuspecting indigenes in Afghanistan, the Mexican drug killers, who are usually pretty careful only to kill-off soldiers of opposing groups, have a somewhat "better" record on collateral damage than does the USer military where it operates.
Or maybe the drug dealers use "straw" purchases where U.S. citizens can earn $100 per transaction to act as proxies by procuring weapons for the traffickers. But gee, that sort of thing is illegal, say the gun lovers I've been hearing from who want to downplay the role that U.S. weapons are playing in the Mexican drug war.
Illegal? You don't say. These are drug dealers! Get serious. Every aspect of their industry is illegal.
The gangs' numbers have swollen because of NAFTA, which mostly ended subsistence farming in Mexico, and stimulated the opening of 'maquilladoras,' along the border, which drew thousands of displaced former campesinos northward to the border. Once there, of course, the promise of jobs proved illusory, and many were recruited as soldiers in the cartel 'militias.' And many have died...