Which region is more deserving of our help? Do we help our southern neighbor solve their problems, or do we invest the money in a region where people hate us?
Sure, a lot of innocent people are being killed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but the bloodshed is part of a problem that we cannot fix. What we can fix is our border security and assist the Mexican government to overcome their problems which are spilling over into our country.
To understand the perspective behind the suggestions that follow, you need to understand the threats that our country faces. We have an unsecured southern border separating us from a neighbor under siege from the same forces of Islamic terror that we are fighting in Afghanistan. Let that one sink in; we don’t have to travel 10,000 miles to fight the war, it is waiting for us a few miles away.
Have you ever stopped to think why the drug cartels, which succeeded for decades by buying politicians and law enforcement, have adopted violent tactics that draw unwanted attention to their actions? Look at their previous method of doing business compared to how they operate now; what has changed? A better question would be who has changed. The cartels have been co-opted by Islamic terror groups backed by Iran. The terror tactics of Hezbollah have influenced the way the cartels do business, and they have become partners in the movement of drugs, weapons and more importantly, fighters into the US.
The existing structure and networks of the cartels have given terror a strong foothold in Mexico, and provided the perfect staging ground for the infiltration of our country. The newly strengthened cartels have moved weapons and manpower across the border in numbers that are staggering. While this is now our problem to deal with domestically, the problem is still growing in Mexico; the reality is that we can never be secure while terror has such a foothold so close.
We cannot avoid dealing with this subject; it is reality, and it will only get worse. Here is an eye-opening article about the impact that the cartel violence has already had here in the states. Border areas in Texas have become so dangerous that property values for farm and ranch land have been dropping drastically due to the fear of violence. This is just the start, and while economically painful to current land owners, it pales in comparison to the impact of the terror attacks in our country that will happen in the future.
The impact on the Mexican people to date is more staggering. In the last five years, it is estimated that over 47,000 people have been killed in drug related violence in Mexico. While the world demands action to prevent the killing of innocents in Syria, they are silent as the death toll in Mexico climbs steadily. The attacks are seemingly random, senseless, and with indiscriminant choices of victims; not the pattern of the old cartels. The attacks are designed to create the maximum impact on the people, law enforcement and the government; terror and intimidation are the key elements and purpose.
Back to my original question, who is more deserving of our help? Secondly, which region of the world has a greater impact on the security of the US?
As troops are removed from Afghanistan, rested troops and their weapons should be deployed to the border to prevent additional crossing of terrorists. It will eventually become a warzone, so let’s prepare now for that eventuality.
Next, Mexico needs to bolster the defenses on its southern border to eliminate the movement of terrorists moving up from strongholds in South America. We can assist in this effort with technology, intelligence, and financial backing. After Mexico has secured its own borders, and travel and cargo restrictions in place, they will need to systematically cleanse their country of the cartels and their Hezbollah backers.
The Mexican government, and its military and law enforcement, cannot do this alone. Their only chance of success lies in requesting the full cooperation of the United States military and intelligence agencies. This will not be an easy request for the Mexican government to make, and it will be difficult for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States to swallow.
I know the suggestion seems radical, but looking at the current situation and the trends, I do not see another way forward. The problem exists, it is getting worse, and neither Mexico nor the United States can ever be secure until we work together to cleanse the cancer of terror that has crept into both countries.
No, it will not be easy, nor will it be cheap. This may be a decade long project costing hundreds of billions of dollars. In the end though, we will have a secure southern border, a secure ally as a neighbor, an energy producing neighbor that will help eliminate our dependence on Middle East oil, and a united continent working together to fight terror.
With this perspective in mind, go back and answer my first question; who should we help?
by Jack Woodward 3/11/12