As regular readers of this blog know, I have been blogging about the Mexican drug wars for a while now. For some reason (perhaps because Barack Obama’s meeting with Felipe Calderón, which was a routine visit following a long tradition), now Memeorandum features a story on the ongoing drug wars in Mexico.
As you can read in the 2007 CRS Report for Congress on Mexico’s Drug Cartels, the Mexican drug wars represent a clear danger to the US.
Mexico is one of two countries that “bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse,” according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.
The command’s “Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)” report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. “In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.
While this may sound far-fetched, I have had conversations with Mexicans who don’t rule out the need for an invasion from the US military within the next five to ten years. Considering how territorial Mexicans can be, that is an astonishing statement on their parts.
Not surprisingly, then, that the U.S. Joint Forces Command may be contemplating the scenario:
“The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.”
The U.S. Joint Forces Command, based in Norfolk, Va., is one of the Defense Departments combat commands that includes members of the different military service branches, active and reserves, as well as civilian and contract employees. One of its key roles is to help transform the U.S. military’s capabilities.
In the foreword, Marine Gen. J.N. Mattis, the USJFC commander, said “Predictions about the future are always risky … Regardless, if we do not try to forecast the future, there is no doubt that we will be caught off guard as we strive to protect this experiment in democracy that we call America.”
I hope that those troops we’ll soon be able to bring back from Iraq won’t have to put their counterinsurgency and urban-warfare skills to work closer to home . . .
I also hope that the Obama administration does not decide to cut the size and funding of the US military.
The same issue, but discussed from the North American Union point of view.
The descent into chaos is a real possibility, all the more so because the new administration will struggle to meet the internal economic crisis and will have little time and few resources to look south. Unfortunately, that will only exacerbate the downward spiral there.
It is certainly not just Mexico. With Mexico will go Guatemala, Honduras and much of the rest of Central America. How it will play out in the so-far complacent states of Nicaragua and Venezuela, currently view the cartels as allies in their anti-U.S. coalition, remains to be seen.
The paper should be a starting point for far more serious discussions about a region where we remain largely blind to the threats that loom.