Barack Obama meets Mexican President Calderon this week. When he does so, he will come face to face with a chilling idea: the Mexican war against drugs that the government is losing is a “fundamental threat to U.S. national security.”
By Diana Washington Valdez / For the Las Cruces Sun-News
Former U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey contends that millions of people from Mexico may overrun the border attempting to cross if security conditions worsen and lead to a governmental collapse in that country.
“A failure by the Mexican political system to curtail lawlessness and violence could result (in) a surge of millions of refugees crossing the U.S. border to escape the domestic misery of violence, failed economic policy, poverty, hunger, joblessness, and the mindless cruelty and injustice of a criminal state,” said McCaffrey in an after-action report based on the Dec. 5-7 International Forum of Intelligence & Security Specialists in Mexico. The report portrays a scenario eerily reminiscent of ex-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s 1998 fictional book “The Next War,” which includes a chapter on a U.S. military intervention in Mexico following a regime collapse due to warring drug cartels.
McCaffrey, a retired four-star general who visited Juárez in 1999 while he was the White House drug czar, recommends in his report for the incoming Barack Obama administration to “immediately focus on the dangerous and worsening problems in Mexico, which fundamentally threaten U.S. national security.”
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Battling with spiraling drug murders and an economic crisis, Mexico’s Felipe Calderon will urge U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on Monday to support his drug war and stick to the NAFTA trade deal.
Their meeting in Washington, days before Obama takes office, comes after years of complaints of neglect from Mexico and much of Latin America as President George W. Bush’s foreign policy focused on the Middle East and the war on terror.
By Catherine Bremer, Reuters
Members of a drug gang are shown to the media at the Attorney General’s office in the suburb of Escobedo, on the outskirts of Monterrey December 20, 2008. The Mexican army arrested 13 men in a wealthy neighbourhood of this northern city early Saturday in possession of drugs, weapons and uniforms of the federal agency of investigations, according to local media. The capture is part of the Nuevo Leon-Tamaulipas joint operation against drug trafficking.REUTERS/Tomas Bravo (MEXICO)
With Mexico’s drug violence exploding and fears that Obama could tamper with the North American Free Trade Agreement to protect U.S. workers, Calderon will try to persuade the Democrat to give Mexico some attention.
Following a tradition that new U.S. presidents meet their Mexican counterparts, Calderon will be the first foreign leader that Obama sits down with since he was elected in November.
Calderon, a dour and strong-willed conservative, is expected to ask Obama for more help fighting the drug cartels who worry foreign investors and are destabilizing Mexico, especially along the U.S. border.
Mexico wants Washington to do more to curb drug-taking in the United States and gun smuggling from north of the border because drug hitmen buy automatic weapons and other guns legally in the United States and bring them back to Mexico to use in the turf battles that killed 5,700 people last year.
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