Mexico Angry at U.S. Official's 'Insurgency' Remark

The Associated Press, via The Houston Chronicle, reports that Mexico is angry at a U.S. official's 'insurgency' remark. It seems Mexico's Interior Department took great exception to U.S. Undersecretary of the Army Joseph Westphal's comment "as all of you know, there is a form of insurgency in Mexico with the drug cartels that's right on our border" on Monday at the Hinckley Institute of Politics. Westphal has since retracted his categorization of Mexico's drug-related violence saying he "mistakenly characterized the challenge posed by drug cartels to Mexico as "a form of insurgency."" Mark Krikorian of National Review Online's The Corner says "the number-two civilian official in the Army committed a Kinsleyan gaffe Monday by telling the truth."

What say you?

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How do you think this will play out in the end? What does your circle of friends and relations think also?

With an estimated drug trade of 80B per year DTOs will never go away and if the government of Mexico thinks no one is corruptable with that amount in play on a yearly basis I have a bridge in China to sell them.

One man's insurgency is another man's DTO.

"You identify the primary problem as being demand for drugs in the U.S. Your solution for this problem is to make drugs legal in the U.S. Forgive me for not making the connection on how legalizing drugs reduces demand."

In addition to Robert C. Jone's points, I'd offer something a little simpler. Cartel profits are in part driven by their products' legal classification. Cartels can charge more for several reasons. One, as a tax for the risk they undertake in providing the product. Two, because the tight focus by law enforcement on drug activity helps eliminate competition from smaller fish. A cartel can afford the type of security and security-defeating operations necessary to operate in the current legal climate; a mom 'n pop grow operation doesn't--not for any significant period of time, anyway. Cartels' only financial competition is each other.

And the basic problem is money--the cartels have it in ridiculous quantities. I did a little napkin math a while back and realized that cartel profits for one year in particular (2009, I think) were within something like 5% of the entire budget for the USMC. Cartels exist because of that money, and are able to operate the way they operate because of that money. If we want to beat the cartels, or at least beat them into something a little more manageable, we have to cut into their profits.

I do not know much about politics or war, but I live here in Mexico and I can tell you what we are living here everyday. We live in constant fear, we have lost relatives, friends and family in this so called war on drugs. The battles are not only among drug carteles, also the army against the general population. Since when drug dealers and gangs use M16 rifles, RPGs, grenades, barrets and even 50 cal machineguns against the law enforcement and army?. These civilians have shot down military helicopters, they have killed mexican soldiers and they are infiltrated in our government. As I wrote before, I don't know about politics or war but this doesn't look just like a gang or drug smuggling problem. The WAR we are living in mexico is horrible. I have lived the pain of losing family in this war. Call it as you want, drug trafficking problem or insurgency, but mexico is sinking everyday and getting close to a fallen state.

Baseballers get to carry a club...

I want to be on the side playing football so i can wear a helmet.

Instead of the football analogy I like this (possibly non-linear) one:

Playing monopoly on a 3 dimensional chess board using rugby rules while one side plays football and the other side plays soccer (and a third or fourth side plays basebaLl, basketball, etc, etc)

All this warfare stuff is hard and complicated!!

The football analogy is still rather linear in the manner of 'conventional' conflict e.g. DESERT STORM, OIF, Fulda Gap, etc...a more insurgentic analogy for football might be if the orange boy start being late, turns up with substandard oranges and not enough of them...that's 'just a bit of discontent'; starting to supply the opposition while packing your jockstraps with menthol rub is subversion; and when your home crowd is taking potshots at you and demanding change, you've got an insurgency on your hands...we see it here ever year with our national cricket team...

Re: SJPONeill:

Maybe the SF doctrinal lexicon is as out of date as everyone else's...?

Quelle horreur!!!

Heh. :D

Dave and Bob, great insights, and you'll note in many of my past posts that I pointed out that I think doctrine is a sign of "small" thinking, not small wars (I coming to my own defense now). However, my sole point above is if we're going to use "doctrinal terms" to describe something, then we should use the doctrinal definition (words have meaning). The real issue as Dave and Bob stated is understanding the true nature of the problem, instead of applying a doctrinal template and trying to make it fit.

As for Mexico, I think the problem is more complex than simply organized crime and while SJPONeil may be right with his comment about scale, I think the nature of the problem exceeds criminal activity.

Bob's World,
It is not football but thinking about the situation as game can/would be a great advancement in thinking about war. You and I used to play Cops and Robbers, the folks in Mexico are playing Rich People vs. Poor People because the rules suck in that game if you are poor and have the wrong last name. Drug dealing/Family Gangs/Cartels is a way to beat them, it is a way to win the game.

I fully agree with Clausewitz that you have to understand the war that you are in. But I do not think he meant that we have to come up with a name. I am reminded of the scene in "Apocalypse Now" when Martin Sheen is in the BOQ and says something along the lines, "shit, still in Saigon. Everyday I am here I grow weaker, while Charlie is in the bush getting stronger." We spend more time arguing about to call something rather than understand the nature of the conflict. Rather than trying to assign a name to a conflict and shoehorn it into a doctrinal definition we should spend our time trying to understand the nature of the conflict and then figure out what can or should be done about. We need to try to understand the world (or conflict) as it really is rather than we wish it to be. Doctrinal terms should be aids to understanding and analysis and application of the right combination of orchestrated ways and means. But doctrinla terms should not be dogma and I am afraid that our arguments about whether something is or is not an insurgency takes us away from our understanding of the nature of the conflict. And if we shoehorn something into a specific doctrinal construct does that mean we just, for example, take FM 3-24 off the shelf and go to Mexico and employ it there?

Oh, and Bill, thanks for the supporting fires (slap always does his best thinking with a little helmet fire).

I guess to apply a sports analogy regarding where we draw lines as to when something "becomes" an insurgency a football comparison might help.

Most tend to think in terms of where the other team is on the field and what quarter it is.

If they are on their own 20, its probably just a bit of discontent; once they cross mid-field it is a subversion, and if they get into your red zone you have an insurgency. If by the 4th quarter they are expanding their lead an looking to win it then becomes a revolution.

The way I look at it, its all football, and the way I win is by playing good football throughout the entire game. We don't recognize that the insurgent is playing football until he's racked up a 14 point lead and we're sitting in the locker room at half time going "WTF?"

Our definitions trap us into this thinking. That is why I recommend identify the game you are playing early, and shape your operations to win that game. Don't just keep changing the game as the situation develops, never applying the right defense until the game is already lost.

(Or as my team Medic once said "whether you're pitching or catching, you're still playing baseball," but that was in a different context all together...)

Definitions are like a trail through a dark forest. Stay on the trail and you can move quickly, but you will end up whereever it takes you.

Sometimes you have to get off the trail and take a few sticks in the eye to get where you really need to be.

I prefer to break my own trail when I can see that the established one no longer goes where I need to be, or was cut by a well intended group that didn't fully appreciate where we really needed to go.

Our definitions on insurgency are dangerous in my opinion. They canalize our thinking. This is the problem with both Doctrine and the Law. One needs the black letter to facilitate day to day opertations, but one must never forget that that black letter interpretation was written by some guy or team of guys who was attempting to describe or define some subjective principle or concept as it was then understood by them. Most of ours were written by conventional guys coming home from Iraq. Not a dig, just a fact.

I prefer to see the black letter as merely illustative, but to find my own answers in the principles or concepts they sought to describe.

We have all seen, and most participated in, heated debates over definitions of such terms. This is because reasonable minds can differ. I happen to differ with the current official interpretation of what an insurgency is, and I can support my case. Most who have problems with my position can only point to the black letter and recite how it is different, but not explain why that is so.

I won't argue commas, but if one wants to debate rationale for one position or another I am alway ready to weigh in.



I'm not sure that they are overthrowing as just eliminating anyone who stands against them. They don't seem to be making any claim to much except the physical manifestation of control. There are street gangs in all our nations that do the same and they are just criminals. Maybe it is an issue of scale...?

Maybe an insurgency is an attempt to use coercive measures to achieve political change - violence optional? Gandhi certainly coerced the British into significant political change and if you remove the use of violence, he successfully applied many of the techniques we attribute to successful insurgents especially in encouraging Imperial forces to react disproportionately but that's another soapbox...the 2000 coup in Fiji, although it was nationwide and used violence with the aim of political change, was criminal in nature as were the bubble-ups in the Solomons in the early 2000s...

Maybe the SF doctrinal lexicon is as out of date as everyone else's...?


Slap, there are very few in SF that would argue what is happening in Mexico is not an insurgency. Bob is a real SF guy, and fortunately he has some unique views on this topic. This time of friction/debate is healthy, and in my view it our freedom to debate these topics that has enabled us to become a superpower, but that is another thread.

We have criminal elements who are violently overthrowing elected officials and in effect governing those areas (not effectively, but they are governing). Insurgencies have to use violence if words are going to have meaning. Insurgencies are not the only type of political movements, and I disagree with Bob that popular uprisings, etc. are necessarily insurgencies, they're political movements that "may" evolve into insurgencies.

Bob's World,
According to the article on "Defining War" which lists official Army Special Forces defintions....the situation in Mexico is and Insurgency.

It was expedient at the time to run with the term 'insurgency' as a simple word that every one understood (of course, not many of those understandings were the same!) and specifically focussed on resolving Iraq which, for now, it has done reasonably well.

Certainly by now, the US should be following the lead of some of its friends and allies (even we picked up on this by early 2008) to put COIN back in its small discrete box as a very specific subset of a broader discipline for which Irregular Warfare is the current term. My personal preference is to follow the UK thinking in favour of Countering Irregular Activity (but it has such an unfortunate acronym). Perhaps this is a ball that could be picked up and run with at the Ft Leavenworth COIN Symposium in early May? At least the IW Summit in May has a more 'correct' title.

Because COIN has been pushed so hard as the 'term'; possibly as an unintended consequence, due to the strong push for a comprehensive approach (Unified Action, I think, for rebellious colonies?); and because it has such a catchy acronym, COIN and insurgency are terms we are stuck with until there is a positive action towards some doctrinal purity...

Re Mexico, regardless of the semantics, Mexico should probably be appreciative that its larger neighbour is at least showing some sort of interest that may (will) turn into support for the 'official' government and not those who are probably controlling a good chunk of the country...


Fair question. Actually I said that illegality was half the problem. The other half is demand. Addressing the legality issue defeats the underground market and brings this problem into the the light and the law where it can be regulated, controlled and taxed.

Demand is a different problem. On other threads I have suggest one way to get at this, and that is to develop a broad range of jobs and professions that do not allow drug use, and mandate regular testing of those with those jobs. Perhaps a three strikes program with available rehab before one is fired or banned for some period of time. Testing and rehab all funded through taxation of these now legal drugs.

For those who want help treatment is available. Will some fall through the cracks? Certainly, they already do, and most can't get help unless they get arrested first, which over taxes our criminal courts and takes tax dollars away from other programs.

Under the current illegal system, I can be a judge, a cop, a school teacher, a truck driver, etc and do drugs, many with little chance of ever being caught. A little community service? No drama. Lose my job and have to work picking beans? That's another story.

That is just one readers digest version of one COA from one guy. This is not an impossible problem. One aspect in mine that is quite intentional is that it has a very liberal component(legalization) coupled with a very conservative component (mandatory testing and personal consequences). Congress is looking for something they can "reach across the aisle" on, this is a critical as any (and more so than much of what they quibble about).

For what its worth, similar logic works for illegal immigration as well. The problem is that we have so many illegals and that we do not effectively integrate them into society. first create a legal option that works, then fix integration. Publishing voters guides in 34 languages only enables a ghetto mentality and segregation. Make english the official language, integrate everyone into the system, and all move forward together as "Americans" regardless of where one was born or what their parent language was.

Robert C. Jones:

You identify the primary problem as being demand for drugs in the U.S. Your solution for this problem is to make drugs legal in the U.S. Forgive me for not making the connection on how legalizing drugs reduces demand.

There are, of course, logical arguments for making drugs legal in the U.S. For one it might very well reduce overall violence rates in the U.S. and Mexico as presumably legitimate businesses would take over the importation and distribution of drugs. That makes logical sense. What legalization won't do is reduce demand.

Don't forget that drugs like cocaine and heroin are extremely addictive, unhealthy, and fun to consume. As a former tobacco user i can tell you tobacco is addictive and unhealthy, but honestly after the first year or so use it isn't that fun to do. Just addictive. We've had decades of education on the dangers of tobacco use and, on the surface, it appears to have worked: use rates at the end of the 1940s was 44%-47% in the U.S. and it is now 20%-21%. Interestingly, the decline appears to have slowed or even stopped in the last decade, indicating we may have reached the limits of what warnings and education can do.

So let's be honest--legalizing drugs might reduce overall violence rates (of course it would reduce crime rates as a whole category of crime would disappear), but it won't reduce demand, and in fact it might even increase demand, perhaps dramatically.

A rigorous analysis of the problem requires us to use a cost/benefit analysis. On the benefit side of the equation is a(potential)reduction in overall violence rates. If you include Mexico in the equation, the drop might well be very substantial. On the other side of the equation you have to add the costs of increased drug use--such as increased medical costs for addicts, increased accident rates, increased property crime rates (unless you are proposing to give away the drugs for free or you know of someway to make a heroin addict reliable enough to hold a job). Don't forget that in an era of national health care you and I eventually bear the costs of jim bob's refusal to quit smoking or heroin. Is it cheaper to lock him up now or to pay his medical bill later?

Of course, this equation isn't a math problem that produces a number. It's a decision that we as a country should make and express through our elected representatives. And you know what, your result of legalizing drugs might just very well be the correct answer. I just don't buy how you got there-- legalizing drugs will not reduce demand.

Great argument on both sides.

I thank you all for providing such a fascinating discourse.


In that same vein, perhaps "Illegal business"?

I really need to put a little time into breaking this down into cogent categories. Most are satisfied with just dumping all of these problems in to two big buckets sorted by "violent" and "nonviolent." It's on my to do list.

Anytime powerful forces are opperating outside the law, be it for politics, profit, or power, it is destabilizing for a nation. The easiest fix for all of those are to simply bring the activity within the law. Often, for reasons of morality, inertia, tradition, greed, etc the government is unwilling or unable to make such a change. Sometimes something is feared to be even more dangerous legal than it is illegal. Drugs fall there.

I'm no fan of drugs. I worked in the Felony drug unit as a Prosecutor, and dealt with thousands of users from all walks of life in that capacity. My thinking is a synthesis of my Law enforcement and SF background, and study on insurgency.

Mexico is indeed a major problem for the US, I will not argue that. But we owe Mexico better than to just label this an "insurgency" and place the full onus on them. It's not fair, and it's not accurate either.

Like the GWOT, the "experts" are reading the signs wrong on this one, and we cannot afford running down another 10 year, multi-trillion dollar rabbit hole on their advice.

Bob's world,
Insurgency is a Strategy, a "method" of fighting to obtain an objective.So if Mexico doesn't have an insurgency what would you call it? In order to solve a problem you first have to identify the problem. Calling what is happening in Mexico an Insurgency is not insulting, it is simply an attempt to describe the situation. And one of the key factors of an Insurgency was often the fact that the Government often refused to believe there was a problem at all, until it is to late! So Bob if is not an Insurgency or "Illegal Polictics" as you describe it. What is it?


Ok, if one applies the concepts of insurgency shaped during the recent "COIN Renaissance", which are both overly narrow in some regards (only include violent movements) and overly broad in others (consider all organized, internal, illegal challenges to government, regardless of purpose), one could call Mexico an "insurgency."

However, those concepts are dangerously flawed in ways that lead to long, drawn out engagements that tend to flail at the symptoms of a problem, rather than get at the root cause.

For what I would call a "true insurgency" the root cause is the government itself and the form and nature of its domestic policies and how they are applied to the governed populace. It is then critical perceptions within segments of the populace that lead to the rise of organized resistance, and key leaders who will seek to adopt some ideology to help them motivate the already dissatisfied populace to pursue illegal change of governance. That change may be sought through either violent or non-violent tactics; as it is not the presence of violence, but rather the political purpose and illegality of challenge that are the critical factors of insurgency.

None of this is the case in Mexico. Causation rises out of demand for illegal drugs in the U.S.; and there are two components to that demand source. First, is the demand itself; second, is the illegality of the product. Both of those are problems that the US government has lacked the moral courage/political will to take on directly. After all, as Dr. Bunker offers, if it is only 6-7% of our populace that is affected, who cares if it causes 100% of Mexico to descends into violent chaos as organized criminal gangs compete for control of that insanely lucrative market???

When a problem is identified and categorized, the category should correspond with a family of curative treatments.

So if something is a "true insurgency" then its causation rests in the government and the focus of COIN is then on addressing those problems in the government itself. Classic American examples being:
1. Post-Revolutionary America is descending into insurgency under the Articles of Confederation, so the founding Fathers scrap the ineffective articles and craft and adopt the Constitution and the Bill of rights. Remove the proverbial thorn from the Lion's paw.

2. Post-WWII the African American populace, having tasted a degree of equality during the war, refuses to return to the pre-war status quo and an insurgency begins to grow in that segment of the populace that is still excluded from the good governance of the above mentioned Constitution. President Johnson pushes through three landmark Acts on Civil Rights, Housing Rights and Voting Rights. Again the thorn is removed from the Lion's paw.
(Note, in Afghanistan currently we have created a "functional sanctuary" for the Karzai government to operate from within, and pointedly refuse to take on the true source of causation there; opting instead to target symptoms in the country side; from counter-guerrilla operations, to development efforts intended to appease the populace to accept the form of governance coming out of the Karzai regime)
None of this is the case in Mexico. The problem fueling the criminal violence in Mexico is the demand for drugs and the illegality of those drugs in the America. The government at fault is the U.S. government for not taking on those two factors. Instead we shift blame to Mexico for not being able to control its problem, and we then assess that problem by its symptoms and brand it an "insurgency."

If I was a Mexican official I would be pissed as well.

Another way to look at this is to identify what must be "defeated" for the problem in Mexico to go away. The Drug Cartels? No, others will always emerge to take their place in this rich market. Some ideology? No, ideology is always a red herring, but doubly so in this non-political, non-populace based movement where the only motivation is profit and profit-based power. Governmental Corruption? No amount of idealism can stand up to the threat of violence and promise of riches that exists here. We insult our Mexican neighbors again when we imply that US officials would not act as theirs do if similarly situated.

No, what must be "defeated" is the demand for illegal drugs, and both of those targets are the duty and responsibility of the U.S. government to address. "Just say no" campaigns and building more prisons is no solution. We must take on the legality issue and we must get serious about demand reduction with a mix of punishment and treatment that does not punish the taxpayers in the process. Funds raised from legalization pays for treatment of those who cannot quit or abstain; and also for the widespread testing that will be required as we exclude a wide range of occupations from those who chose to use certain drugs.

The Mexican government has no influence over either of the causal factors and Americans would be outraged if they dared to assume that they did. All they can do from their side of the border is target the symptoms of the drug cartels and their internal corruption, but both of those are just symptom management.

So, I stand unabashedly unreformed. Mexico is not in insurgency, and Mexican officials are being far too gentle in their criticisms of the U.S.

My country right or wrong; but on this one, my country is wrong. (and so are those who think this is an insurgency... )

The Mexican cartels may not have the characteristics of insurgencies - although I personally think the jury is still out on this question - but some of their TTPs are those of insurgents, which implies that the government's response needs to incorporate some COIN TTPs.

I think the Zetas bear watching as an entity that seems to be morphing into something more than a traditional drug trafficking organization. They have brought a new degree of ruthlessness to their struggle against other cartels and the Mexican government, as well as military planning skills. They are also branching out into other areas outside of contraband smuggling.

I would argue that Guatemala is in an even more precarious situation than Mexico. With its weak and corrupt institutions, a significant part of its territory has fallen under the defacto control of Mexican cartels, specifically the Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel, both of whom are fighting for domination of Guatemala.

This is the key difference IMO they(criminal insurgents) don't want to overthrow the state, they want to infiltrate,subvert,coerce (control)the state. That is why NAFTA is so deadly, it undermines the very concept of a State. In traditional insurgencies the target is the population, in criminal insurgencies the the target is the Government and the elite ruling families of the country. They could care less about the people, they are nothing but an exploitable market to them, if they(the people) need to be controlled the corrupted Government that the criminals control from the shadows will take care of that for them.

"Can't agree at all. Not all internal illegal challenges to government are insurgency"

True...only the ones comprising organized and systematic uses of violence to acheive political results - like, for example, automomous zones.

Overthrowing the state as an objective in a 3 stage evolutionary process as a method of waging a guerrilla war is not required for a group of armed combatants to be considered an "insurgency". Certainly not historically. Or if it is, then we are arguing about the niceties of dogma here, not empirical reality.

"Insurrection" used to be very simply be defined, in statutory law as well as common understanding, as violent "combinations too powerful to be supressed" by local authorities -ie. law enforcement officers and courts - that required military force to put down.


I'll try to address some of your observations and queries in order with as few words as possible.

a. Not all internal illegal challenges to government are insurgency, and Mexico is not insurgency.

I think we are seeing the creation of shadow governmental structures in Mexico-- via assassination and other forms of violence coupled with the wide scale use of corruption--to create political environments favorable to that of the cartels. La Familia has taken this even farther with social programs providing "public goods". We are seeing dual governments in some areas of Mexico and some cities/towns fully under narco control.

b. "Post Modern" is supposed to mean what exactly?

It means post-nation state/post-Westphalian state. Our international system is based on this state form and hundeds of years old. Political forms are not static-- look back to the old city and fuedal states in Europe. I think we are seeing a transition from nation-states to a new state form with challengers/new warmaking entities arising. Lots of scholars are seeing the same thing taking place.

c. Re: both "post-modern" and "pre-modern,"

Yes-- during periods of epochal change we see barbarism arise/the breakdown of state institutions-- the future is post pre (barbarism, private warfare, rise of mercenaries again) and post (new battlespace developing-- cyber-- laser weapons, networks).

d. Mexico's situation, however, is caused by the American populace,

The desire for illicit drugs by a troubled segment of the American populace (~6-7%) is the basis of much of this-- but so is Mexican governmental profiting/corruption (pre-Calderon) which struck a deal with the early drug runners-- pre cartel/plaza days. Even after the rise of the cartels the Mexican government was profiting from this-- so enough blame to go around for both the US and Mexico.

Only have time to address a few-- sorry-- have to go. Hopefully John Sullivan or someone else will jump into this important discussion.

Dr. Bunker.

Can't agree at all. Not all internal illegal challenges to government are insurgency, and Mexico is not insurgency. "Post Modern" is supposed to mean what exactly? Every era is modern, and therefore every era is also both "post-modern" and "pre-modern," so I find that to be a bit of a distinction without a difference.

Certainly the advent of ever more rapid information and transportation technologies has made certain tactics that used to work no longer viable. The tactic of employing friendly despots to manage vital national interests in some country; or the ability to "separate the insurgent from the populace, being two such examples. Insurgency itself, however is a timeless dynamic between those who govern and those who are governed.

Mexico's situation, however, is caused by the American populace, not the Mexican populace and is profit driven, not politics driven. The politics fueling this situation are American politics, not Mexican politics. It is not an insurgency.


He did tell the truth-- the problem is politically the Calderon government does not want to hear it. These insurgencies have a criminal basis-- welcome to the post-modern era. If the Mexican state refuses to recognize what it is facing it is not going to be able to properly address the threat the cartels and the affiliated mercenaries and gangs represent.

Oops. anon post above is me.


Come on brother, there is nothing new about what is going on in Mexico, it is simple cause and effect.

The US creates a huge demand for an illegal product. Suppliers of said product become very rich and powerful, sparking violent competition between suppliers. To reduce interference by law enforcement large sums of money are given to officals as bribes, degrading the legitimacy of the government. Emboldened by the relative change of status between illegal suppliers and compromised officials, the suppliers work to assume greater control over government.

This is not G-anything, and this is not insurgency. This is also not a problem of Mexico's making or one that they can resolve completely until such time that the US is willing to address our role in this.

When US officials point at Mexico it is classic blame shifting. I would equate Under Secretary Westphal with Sitcom TV's Steve Urkel, creating a disaster then asking "Did I do that...?" Yeah, Urkel, you did do that. Until we get serious about targeting the illegality of the market and the volume of the demand in the US we are kidding ourselves.

The cure for Mexico's problems are in our hands and within our borders. We merely need to find the moral fiber to take them on.

In the grand scheme of things, the two countries most important to the US are Mexico and Canada. If the Mexicans prefer us not to use certain phrases, then we should accede to their wishes. What we call it won't make much difference in what the Mexicans do or how we help them.

If there are any Mexicans reading, I would be interested in your opinion.

The guys that everybody called crazy for calling it 4GW (Fourth Generation Warfare)may just end up being right after all!

Hate to say I told you so....but I told you so. Back when SWJ/SWC first started there was a thread called the Next Small War and I said it would be Mexico! Nobody believed me then, but things are changing.

This is what happens when we have an Army that doesn't know an insurgency from their elbow.

Exhibit A is FM 3-24; a great bit of insight on how to best usurp local legitimacy in order to best serve the interests of an intervening power, as derived from lessons learned from the past couple centuries of Eruopean and US Colonial interventions. Upon this foundation is built a shaky house of what we encountered in Iraq long before anyone has had time to assess the durability of those operations.

Exhibit B is the widely held belief that "Plan Columbia" is a proven fit for Mexico; even though Columbia was a nationalist insurgency that got into the drug business, whereas Mexico is drug business that is beginning to challenge government.

Didn't mean to sugarcoat it, but there you have it.



I say he should stuck with his original statement and rubbed it in like salt. To me, it would be worse to not be honest about what is really going on.