Feature

Mexico’s ‘failed state’ threat

The U.S. military says Mexico's drug war puts it at risk of sudden collapse.

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.

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