It’s great to be back at Small Wars Journal. It’s been nearly a year since my last post. Since then, I returned to the United States after 24 consecutive months in Afghanistan and assumed command of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army). I’d like to take a moment to talk about this incredible organization.
Army North, as the Army Service Component Command (ASCC) for U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), has three distinct missions. Briefly, they are:
- Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) with the armies of Mexico, Canada and the Bahamas.
- Defense Support for Civil Authorities (DSCA)
- Joint Forces Land Component for Homeland Defense
A few of our Soldiers have already begun to blog about our role in the CBRN Response Enterprise. Today, however, we wanted to shift the discussion and talk briefly about our ongoing cooperation with Mexico, or more specifically, SEDENA (Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense).
Simply put, Mexico matters to the United States, well beyond that of a military to military relationship. Open-source research reveals that our two nations have a number of vital mutual interests:
- More than one million legal border crossings take place along our 2,000-mile border every day.
- With a Gross Domestic Product (adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity) of $1.7 trillion, Mexico is the 11th largest economy in the world, according to the World Bank.
- More than ten million Americans visit Mexico each year, making it the 10th largest tourist destination in the world.
- Eleven percent of U.S. auto imports come from Mexico, which is the 6th largest automotive exporter in the world.
- The U.S. accounts for 47 percent of all foreign direct investment in Mexico. Fifty percent of Mexico’s imports come from the U.S., while 80 percent of Mexico’s exports go to the U.S.
- Mexico is the 7th largest crude oil exporter in the world and one of the largest suppliers of oil to the United States. In 2010, Mexico was the second-largest supplier of oil to the U.S., with more than one million barrels of oil coming into the Uniteds States each day.
- Mexico is home to one million U.S. citizens, and 30 million Americans are of Mexican descent.
- Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner, just slightly behind China. Nearly $1 billion exchanges hands each day.
We look forward to building upon our recent partnership efforts with SEDENA, and working together to address our mutual security interests. In the long term, we envision our relationship with SEDENA as an enduring partner.
We look forward to your discussion and hope to explore a number of issues related to this valuable partner within the following weeks.
As always, thanks to Dave Dilegge, Bill Nagle, and Peter Munson for the opportunity to post.
Strength of the Nation!
Dear General Caldwell,
Thank you for the thumbs-up on México, Sir. I have been serving here for two-plus years after some time in Afghanistan and Iraq. México is on the threshold of becoming a global economic leader for several reasons:
> the narco-traficantes are beginning to falter and investors are coming back
> the national value-chain is migrating toward a convergence of the basic research and the maquiladoras
> being between the U.S. & Canada and Brasil, Colombia and Argentina on the one hand as well as Europe and Asia on the other
> participation in NAFTA giving European, South American and Asian investors a nice entree into a leading market
> more signed free trade treaties than anybody supported by a large stream of engineering graduates every year...
The hits just keep on coming! Thank you, again, for your optimism...yeah!
Seriously, Sir, I salute your service to my country.
Very truly yours,
Ned McDonnell III,
Peace Corps-México (Querétaro).