Republicans Propose Bill to Treat Mexican Drug Cartels as 'Terrorist Insurgency'

Republicans Propose Bill to Treat Mexican Drug Cartels as 'Terrorist Insurgency' by Elizabeth Harrington, CNS News.

Calling the situation along the U.S. border a “threat to national security,” a House committee Thursday took up a bill sponsored by Republican congressmen that would treat Mexican drug cartels like terrorists and apply a counterinsurgency strategy to the growing violence along the Southern border.

Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) introduced H.R. 3401 the “Enhanced Border Security Act” on Nov. 9 to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, stop criminal access to U.S. financial institutions, and work with Mexico to implement counterinsurgency tactics to undermine the control of the drug cartels in the country.

The bill would also double the number of Border Patrol agents, and provide additional infrastructure to secure the border, including “tactical double layered fencing"...

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A couple of comments reference this article.

1. Due to federal military intelligence oversight and PC the military is restricted in the intelligence it can gather and or provide to US law enforcement.

2. In some aspects the DTOs are now taking a position that is 200% similar to insurgent groups of say Iraq and AFG---meaning they are in fact competing with the exisiting government---a couple of days ago even the Mexican national government has admitted that there are large areas of Mexico proper that the national government has no authority over.

3. With over 1000 US Lantino gangs in literally the entire US we have long since lost any ability to create a firewall---so is the military to run COIN, counter guerrilla or FID operations INSIDE the US against these 1000 gangs---and the numbers are climbing.

4. US military personnel have be arrested working in Mexico for the DTOs---the US military needs a far stricter control over this problem which seems for right now to be ignoring as isolated cases--isolated yes but growing.

The DTOs currently have an estimated annul drug profit flow of over 40B USD--add the massive amounts being earned on the internal/external criminal activity outside of drugs-- ie weapons, human smuggling, money laudering, fake goods, extrotion via providing protection to goods being shipped to the US, illegal taxation etc---they have an estimated budget of over 80B per year

So any article discussing this topic needs to really do an intensive review of the problem before discussing COIN, Counter guerrilla, or FID.

IMO---

The situation with Mexico's Drug Cartels is indeed a complicated situation, but what should outline our strategy in combatting it is the difference in relationships our governement and the Mexican governement have in regards to the Drug Cartels.

1st off, a counterinsurgency strategy against the Drug Cartels from the U.S. standpoint is inaccurate, as the cartels aren't trying to actively overthrow/ remove our Federal or State governments, which would identify an "insurgency". Infiltrating our borders with illegal drugs and even "hostile" aka terrorist actions against U.S. Law Enforcement is not designed to have a "politically/ ideological Strategic or tactical effect" (as insurgents/ ideological terrorists typically seek)to undermine our legitimacy or sovereignty. Their violence in the U.S. is designed for pure criminal profit motives, and the coercion or punishment of those who interfere/ interdict the sale and flow of illegal drugs.

From Mexico's standpoint, a Counterinsurgency strategy makes perfect sense as the Drug Cartels are esentially running an insurrection in all but name in the Provinces they originated from and indeed are "actively" spreading. For those who are still skeptical as to whether the Cartels are actually waging an insurgency; BLUF, the cartels are attempting to monopolize the use of violence and combatting the "state's" sole right to monopolize the legitimate use of force, internally within the State and especially at the local level, where "effective" local law enforcement is next to non existant, because of their overbearing coercion.

Where does that leave the U.S.: Well we have learned much in 10 years of fighting Irregular Warfare: Counter Guerrlla and Counterinsurgency Expeditions (yes I said Counterguerrilla, which is an accurate term to describe certain phases that Iraq and Afghanistan have undergone or are still undergoing.)

A much more para-militarized USBP (wrking for US Dept. of Homeland Security), would do much, that is doubled in size (as U.S. Military downsizes) and executes operations along a military scope with resources (UAVs and military level surveillance equipment). This ought to be the force that bridges the gap between Conventional Military and Law Enforcement Operations alog the border, essentially a "Land Based Coast Guard". The U.S. Military is and needs to remain focused on traditional foreign defense. My argument is FBI and DEA "PTT teams" are created to train and work alongside Mexico's Law Enforcement, which needs to be putsched and rebuilt from the ground up. I argue with special compounds to protect police and their families from Cartel reprisals which is what corrupts good cops to begin with. Obviously the cartels armed and resourced as well as they are, need the Mexican Army to be the strong arm until local law enforcement is strong enough.

In addition, to support our neighbor to the south,the U.S. needs to truly crackdown on our own citiizens and traffickers with measures that really reflect our committment to fighting drugs; my argument would be the death penalty for Dug Traffickers caught bringing in certain quantities and specific notorious narcotics; such as heroine, Chrystal Meth or cocaine.

The death penalty for trafficking still displays our traditional self-deception when it comes to the nature of the problem. We keep pretending that supply drives demand: that "pushers" create users, and that users are some kind of victim that has to be treated gently and rehabilitated, while the full weight of the law lands on suppliers.

In reality, of course, it's demand that drives supply. Coddling users while punishing pushers gets us nowhere. We don't decrease demand, and we cut supply only enough to keep the business obscenely profitable. That profitability pulls people into the supply chain, offering an incentive that's so out of proportion to their circumstances that it's effectively irresistable.

Only options I see are to legalize and regulate, or impose penalties on possession and use equal to those we now impose on trafficking. Either would require political will, but until we face up to the reality that the problem is fundamentally driven by demand, not supply, anything we do will be a stopgap measure.

I thought we did this once before in the late 80s/early 90s, when we put men in prison for a year and conficated their vehicles if they were caught with small amount of weed, which in turn flooded our prisons and resulted in violent criminals getting paroled early. Furthermore it destroyed the lives of those we imprisoned, which in turn put a greater on our economy since we reduced the economy viability of those imprisoned.

Users are in fact supporting the Cartels (and other criminals), and should be held accountable, but finding an affordable option to do so is easier said than done. Legalizing weed may not be a major problem, but what about the other drugs that are clearly dangerous to the user and those around them? If we legalize weed, is there any guaruntee that will undermine the established illicit trade?

There might be a hybrid solution: legalize weed and impose some more compelling sanction on those caught in possession of crack, coke, meth, etc.

Obviously there would have to be a great deal of attention paid to the specific mechanisms involved, it's not something to be approached casually. The key point to start with, though, is recognition that the central problem is demand, not supply, and that any "solution" that focuses solely on supply will be a stopgap at best and is likely to be counterproductive at worst. So far all our efforts at constraining supply have done little beyond keeping the business enormously profitable, which just brings in more suppliers.

There is a difference between a counter guerrilla strategy and counter terrorism strategy. Why would the gov't seek a counter guerrilla strategy
when dealing with the Mexican drug cartels. The strategy should be of counter terrorism. The difference is terrorists target the civilian population. Insurgents are trying to overthrow the Gov't. Insurgents are revolting against the gov't. At times Insurgents/Guerrillas, will use terrorists tactics to instill fear in the populous. But an insurgents role is to overthrow the gov't. It is nothing more than subversion.

hitman,

Your proposed artificial division between terrorists and insurgents may fit some politically correct American assumptions, but they are far from being correct. I can't think of any insurgent group that didn't target civilians as part of their overall strategy. The debate over CT versus COIN strategy for Afghanistan was a debate empty of reason, just as determining whether COIN or CT should be applied in Mexico to counter the Cartels. Strategy shouldn't be based on tactical/operational level doctrines, but unfortunately we have been doing that for the past 10 years.

There is a difference between a counter guerrilla strategy and counter terrorism strategy. Why would the gov't seek a counter guerrilla strategy
when dealing with the Mexican drug cartels. The strategy should be of counter terrorism. The difference is terrorists target the civilian population. Insurgents are trying to overthrow the Gov't. Insurgents are revolting against the gov't. At times Insurgents/Guerrillas, will use terrorists tactics to instill fear in the populous. But an insurgents role is to overthrow the gov't. It is nothing more than subversion.

problem. what problem? Billions of Narco-Dollars still flow through the pipeline daily and most of the killings still take place in Mexico. Isn't that what we all wanted? Money for nuthin and chicks for free?

If those who supply the drugs are to be labelled and treated as terrorists when will those who buy their product in the USA be treated as terrorists too?

IIRC a Mexican minister has commented recently the real problem was north of the border.

A classic example of political partisanship and ignoring the real problem.