National Security

Posted: 03/26/09


Mexico's Drug War and the Border - Obama Won't Send Troops... yet


After repeated appeals by Texas Governor, Rick Perry and Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer... the Obama administration has made the decision not to send National Guard Troops to the border, yet. The idea is "under consideration," as Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security pointed out on Tuesday as she released what the Department of Homeland Security has called a Major Southwest Border Security Initiative. Napalitano, who preceeded Jan Brewer as Arizona's Governor, plans to discuss the matter with Gov. Perry.


Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is meeting with Mexico's President Felipe Calderon today to discuss the ongoing territorial war between rival Mexican drug cartels as well as trade ties and immigration issues.


In an interview earlier with CNN, Secretary Clinton emphasized "America's insatiable desire for drugs" and the United States need to take responsibility for being the "market" that keeps the drug cartels in business. She urged greater education and support for programs that would make America more aware of the drug problem within our culture. Secretary Clinton did not describe the problem on the border to be an "immediate" national security issue but went on to say that the United States must support Mexico and President Calderon in his fight against the cartels.


Regarding the border crisis, to date the United States has committed $1.6B toward "crime fighting" under the three-year Merida Initiative. The initiative was announced on October 22, 2007 and signed into law on June 30, 2008. That makes it a Bush administration initiative.


This week the Obama administration did send more federal agents and law enforcement equipment to problem areas along the Mexico-U.S. border as announced by officials with Homeland Security and the Justice Department on Tuesday. According to the Wall Street Journal recent commitments include:


"...360 Department of Homeland Security agents heading to the border or crossing into Mexico to work with authorities there.


...In addition, the Justice Department will send at least 116 more of its own agents from two agencies -- the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- to help on the initiative."



Special attention is being given to traffic moving south out of the United States and into Mexico. It has been reported that Mexican drug cartels obtain many of their weapons from guns smuggled out of the United States and into Mexico. Up to this point the United States has concentrated efforts on persons and goods entering our country. Now, we are concerned with both. Checking those leaving the United States for Mexico is more difficult in that facilities at the border were not built to focus on outgoing but rather incoming traffic.


We need to watch the activities along the Mexican border very carefully. Not just from a standpoint of the cartels and the Mexican government but with regard to the Obama Administration's response. The problem of drugs within our country is real as is the violence along the border and that crossing into the United States. President Calderon deserves our help and we need to help rid America of the drug culture. However, let's be vigilant this time. Let's not let the Obama administration use another "crisis" to further their agenda. As you look ahead, the spin the Obama administration is selling blames the United States. Guns are the issue. Watch where they take this. Arizona and Texas are at the forefront... both have Republican governors.