Small Wars Journal

Should U.S. Troops Fight the War on Drugs?

Should U.S. Troops Fight the War on Drugs? New York Times debate on whether the US military should be involved in the war on drugs.

Categories: El Centro


The commentators in my opinion had little substantial to say, they were either pro or con for the war on drugs, and wrote a short opinion piece absent of supporting data to make their case.

However, the comments by readers under their articles were interesting, such as:

"""Los Zetas (Zetas, Zs) is one of the most powerful drug cartels in Mexico and considered by the U.S. government to be the most technologically advanced, sophisticated, and dangerous cartel operating in Mexico."
Weren't many of the Zetas originally trained by our US Special Forces?
Can't you think of a more sensible approach than more training missions? Do you really think our past training missions led to stability in Mexico?""


""Or, we could go with the sensible option and actually listen to what the Latin American heads of state are telling us: The War on Drugs has failed miserably, and the only rational path forward is responsible decriminalization.""


""President Obama's drug czar says that this administration has ended the "war on drugs." The Times's reporting shows that the only thing they have changed is the rhetoric they use to describe the same-old failed, militarized approach. If this administration really wanted to treat drug abuse as a health issue like they say they do, they'd shift actual policies and funding, not just language.""

AND possibly the only pro comment on the effort out of all of them.

""My guess is this reporter is rather inexperienced to know that "sensible policing" is a term used by those with very sensitive skin. Our country is drowning in rot because of the softness of the younger generation.""

I suspect most of those interested in reading this have previously decided they were in the anti "drug war" camp, but it is still interesting (in the NYT) to see such an overwhelming negative opinion on the topic. If we're going to pursue the war on drugs in this manner, then I hope we can we find some public commentators that can explain it better to the American people than the commentators in this series did.