A Threat from Mexico?
Does Mexico pose a threat to the United States? I wouldn't think so. But when the departing CIA director talks about the threat from Mexico, I pay attention. Recently Michael Hayden said that Mexico poses the second greatest threat to U.S. sec urity after Al Qaeda. When you consider all the other possible threats to America, that is quite a statement from a man who has looked at more intelligence briefs than just about anyone else on the planet.
John Fund (with the Wall Street Journal) says that Mexico is essentially in a civil war right now with the government doing all it can to fight powerful drug cartels armed with powerful weapons. More than 200 Americans have been killed in the last five years in Mexico. At least half of them were innocent victims (tourists, businessmen).
Consider what is happening in the border towns of El Paso and Juarez (on the other side of the Rio Grande River). The U.S. Consulate in Juarez is warning Americans to stay away from their city. Why? A total of 153 people were killed in Juarez last month alone, and kidnappings and daylight robberies are routine. Give them credit. They are trying to do what they can. The local government has deployed a security force to create safe commuter routes for U.S. executives traveling to their work in industrial parks. But they can't even begin to fight off these powerful and well-armed drug cartels.
State Department statistics show that more U.S. citizens suffered unnatural deaths in Mexico than in any other foreign country (other than military killed in combat zones). Rarely are the killers captured. Official estimates are than only one in five are even arrested for these murders.
Last month as he left his post as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza said: "We're not trying to scare anybody off, but we sure as heck want people to be aware of the dangerous conditions that they might encounter in certain parts of the country."
President Obama has lots of issues to address in the domestic arena and in the foreign policy arena. But he better focus some attention on Mexico. We share a common border of nearly 2000 miles with this country and can ill afford to ignore our neighbor to the south.
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