U.S. Military May Send Troops to Fight Drug War in Mexico

We knew this was coming but it's still jarring to see and it is the dead wrong approach to combating Mexico's drug problems.

The Pentagon and Homeland Security Department are developing contingency plans to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border under a $350 million initiative that would expand the U.S. military's role in the war on drugs, according to Obama administration officials.

...The initiative, which was tucked into a supplemental budget request sent to Congress this month, has raised concerns over what some U.S. officials perceive as an effort by the Pentagon to increase its counter-narcotics profile through a large pot of money that comes with few visible requirements.

The White House began briefing House and Senate Committees on the plan this week. I complained last month about the $350 million in the budget for the military's use in the war on drugs here, suggesting the U.S. War on Drugs abroad is getting its own stimulus package. [More...]

From the WAPO article above, here's one problem with it:

Joy Olson, executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America, which promotes democracy and human rights in the region, said the request lacks the accountability provisions...."They may say that this is for the National Guard, but the way it's written it is really a blank check for the Defense Department to do whatever it wants on counter-drug issues at the border -- and it doesn't say which side of the border," Olson said.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Right (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 07:33:42 PM EST

    ...it's still jarring to see and the dead wrong approach to combating Mexico's drug proble

    Prohibition is the driver.  The violence is a symptom.

    I hope (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jen M on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 07:52:24 PM EST
    they get their flu shots.

    Actually, that the CDC gets (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 08:15:24 PM EST
    a vaccine for this new flu, and fast.  The shots we had this year won't do it.

    What we may see is a repeat of WWII, when the need for penicillin was so great for the troops overseas that little or none was left in most areas in the U.S.  I know a family that lost members to pneumonia here in WWII for lack of penicillin.

    So if a vaccine for this new flu is developed, and if we send troops to the Mexican border, the military once again may get first dibs. . . .


    cough (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jen M on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:02:17 PM EST
    World War I



    They will (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 09:39:19 PM EST
    And anything else deemed experimental yet possibly/hopefully beneficial :)

    heck they do it on us first (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jen M on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:03:39 PM EST
    Most of the human testing is done on lab techs and soldiers here. (it's good money)

    I only volunteered for the Meningitis vaccine. Then they said they didn't want me anymore because I get migraines :/


    Would I have done any of this (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    for money?  Probably when I was younger.  The Anthrax vaccination is sort of creepy.  Of course I complain about it because Anthrax exposure is so easy to treat, and then husband has to tell me how you guys are not individuals and you can't have the whole fighting off the physical limitations of an Anthrax attack in the midst of battle and I shut up and he gets his shots.

    "War on Drugs abroad (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 08:30:35 PM EST
    is getting its own stimulus package."

    Part of the job creation program? At the rate we are going, the only jobs available for Americans will be in the military.

    Yeah, I figured (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 09:24:47 PM EST
    Nothing I heard going on in my general vicinity but I just figured.  My spouse plans on one more deployment before retiring.  Bet it gets changed to this.

    Not a good idea--espec. (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 08:12:33 PM EST
    As Iraq, Afghan. And Pakistan are so volatile now.

    They'll turn and burn Iraq in a heartbeat (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 09:33:37 PM EST
    now with this administation in office and with this going on.  I predict they will period.  I'm not much for crystal balls but the Kmart model I own is making that prediction.  They have drawn down the mission in Iraq bang zoom already.  There's just too much snapping right now that honestly has to do with national security, and blood letting in Iraq when they are gone won't have any of their immediate fingerprints on it.....prove it's their fault.  It's Bush's fault anyhow. Afghanistan and Pakistan will not take precedence over a failed state situation in Mexico and violence crossing the border and affecting our national security.

    I think that (none / 0) (#6)
    by maddog on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 08:44:31 PM EST
    Obama is lying.  Where is the evidence that there is a drug war going on in Mexico.  All of the news is fabricated.  Why doesn't he go to the UN to have them combat this issue.  I don't like the unilateral stance the US is taking in this fight.  Where are our allies?

    Sarcasm (none / 0) (#19)
    by maddog on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 02:17:17 PM EST
    Well, (none / 0) (#14)
    by catmandu on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:34:49 PM EST
    If it eases the violent crime here in the Phoenix area---I'm all for it!!
    We have kidnapped people showing up dead on a very regular basis.  The drug dealers are smuggling both drugs and people over the borders.  The drugs are sold, and the people held hostage until families can pay for their release.
    If they don't pay, they are killed and their bodies dumped.  The police and sheriff's offices are finding small houses filled with dozens of illegal aliens held hostage.  They are usually held without food and little water in houses without electricity and with boarded up windows and locked doors.  Usually the houses are abandoned forclosures.  It is a horrible situation

    This is just setting up (none / 0) (#15)
    by JamesTX on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:56:04 PM EST
    the reasoning for more of the same nonsense. They are next going to start making nonviolent drug use a "national security threat". More Draconianism on the way! Love this progressive new prez!

    What (none / 0) (#17)
    by JThomas on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 06:13:04 PM EST
    should he do?

    8000 dead in a year? Just back off completely and let the slaughter continue?

    Outside of just legalizing the drugs that come over the border, I do not see any easy answers here.


    This whole lesson (none / 0) (#18)
    by JamesTX on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 01:19:31 AM EST
    was learned in prohibition. Just because it is an inconvenient fact, politically unpopular, and dangerous to medicine and pharmaceutical companies, doesn't make it untrue. The price of drugs (and hence the profit available to drive these criminal enterprises) is directly proportional to the enforcement of contraband laws. No amount of force is going to solve this problem or make the criminal organizations go away. We have been directing force at the problem for decades, and the budget just grows, along with the problem. The problem is in the policy, not in lack of enforcement. We are now progressing to the point in time where the real cost of the drug war is going to start showing. The lie won't hold up much longer. Sooner or later we are going to have to go back and accept the facts learned during the Capone era. As long as there are laws that make the substances worth 10,000 times what they cost to produce, the criminal enterprises will grow. Money corrupts, no matter how much you threaten the corrupters. They will fight. They will kill. And they will never stop as long as there are fortunes to be made.

    It is sad when the only solution is unacceptable a priori, because that means there is no solution.