Mar 23 2009

The Deteriorating State of Mexican National Security

Category: Mexico,national securityharmonicminer @ 9:11 am

In the last year, 150,000 men have deserted the Mexican military forces.  Read that number again.  What do you suppose they’re doing now?   If even 10% are now using their military training for other purposes, we have a big problem, and indications are that the percentage is much higher.  Mexico is in the midst of an insurgency, not just a crime wave.  It’s safer in Baghdad right now.  Is Mexico about to become the failed state on our border, our Pakistan-style “no go” area, providing a safe haven for gangs preying on the US population?  Well, no, it’s not about to become that…  it’s already happening.

American Sentry

Three sources underscore the severity of the situation in Mexico and its potential near term and far reaching effects to US National Security

As our operations wind down from the successes in Iraq, and the National Command Authority is ramping up our presence in Afghanistan with an additional 17000 combat forces, little has been addressed in the mainstream policy wonkery about Mexico’s instability and brush with Civil War between the brave, but by all measures ineffectual, Mexican security and law enforcement forces, and the ruthless, well funded, well equipped, and increasingly brash Drug Cartels. I have been monitoring this for several weeks, and there are those within the periphery of National Strategy and Policy that recognize this as a serious emerging problem, but is just now getting some greater play within the Mainstream Media. What coverage it does get focuses on the crime and corruption aspects and doesn’t link the severity and scope as a National Security issue for the US. I am more and more convinced that this is in fact a serious challenge to US national security, and three recent reports substantiate my position.

The first of these predictions that got considerable play back in January came from the outgoing Director of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden. He commented in numerous interviews that the CIA concluded that after a potential development of a nuclear weapon from Iran, the possibility and ramifications of Mexico failing as a state as a result of the inability of the Federal government quelling the violence perpetrated by the Cartels in their continued fight for smuggling routes and market share was the second most threatening issue to US National Security. With Al Qaeda lurking around, having found proof of their desire to weaponize a biological or chemical agent to unleash on innocent Americans, let alone a dirty bomb, that is quite a statement on Hayden’s part…and ominous.

The second such report was from the Department of Defense in the form of the 2008 Joint Operating Environment Report, or JOE. It concluded that a failed state in Pakistan, the chance of nuclear technology or weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, was most disconcerting. The JOE, however, listed Mexico as a failed state was also the number two threat to US National Security. (

The third, and in my assessment, the most concise and telling (at least in an unclassified venue) was a recent trip to Mexico and a report conducted by retired Army General, Barry McCaffery in December 2008 while he attended the International Forum of Intelligence and Security Specialists which acts as an advisory board to the Mexican Federal Law Enforcement leadership. ( Though McCaffery’s report goes beyond the standard USG reporting that is swaddled in a law enforcement perspective, it has some stark and convincing statistics and conclusions that highlight this issue, for me anyways, as a national Security challenge, and beyond the single scope approach as a law enforcement challenge specifically relating to the drug trade.

Much more at the link.

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