Use of Military Force in Mexico Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1406 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

¶ … Military Forces in Mexico

American Military in Mexico

Mexico is embroiled in a drug war and a prolonged battle with the drug cartels. The country is the largest producer and the biggest supplier of marijuana, cocaine and met amphetamines to the U.S. Statistics show that 90% of these drugs are supplied to the U.S. from Mexico. [Colleen W. Cook, Oct 2007] There are seven main drug cartels in the country with Gulf, Juarez and the Sinaloa cartels controlling the major share of the drug trafficking market. Drug related crime and violence are on the rise in Mexico with the drug cartels actively involved in human trafficking, auto theft, violent sex crimes, and committing brutal crimes such as killing children and beheading people. Reports suggest that in 2008 more than 4000 people were killed in drug related violence and the number rose to 5800 in 2009. [Bernd Debussman] In an effort to control the growing violence and killings, the Mexican President Felipe Calderon ordered the national military into the battle against the drug lords in Dec 2006. The operation has now become a coordinated approach with the U.S. military supporting and training the mexican army in their fight against the drug cartels. A brief overview of the mexican drug crisis and the significance of the U.S. military involvement would provide better insight into the topic.

US Military Involvement in Mexico

It is important for the U.S. To have Mexico as a stable and flourishing democracy. This would solve most of the problems that the U.S. faces currently including high levels of illegal immigration, money laundering, the growing drug problem and increasing human trafficking across the border. The fact is that the mexican drug gangs are supplied by the arms purchased and smuggled from the U.S. A recent study by the Mexican government reported that as much as 2000 U.S. made weapons enter into Mexico everyday. The Mexican police force is not equipped to deal with the firepower of the drug cartels that get regular ammunition supply from the United States with liberal gun laws. So, the fact is that American supplied weapons are killing Mexican civilians every day. Thomas Mangan, a spokesman for the ATF says, "You're looking at the same firepower here on the border that our soldiers are facing in Iraq and Afghanistan," [Manuel Roig-Franzia]. The Mexican military is in fact fighting a full-fledged war situation in the country and to over power the powerful weaponry in the possession of the drug cartels the U.S. assistance including financial, technological, intelligence, arms supplies and deployment of surveillance systems is very crucial. This U.S. intervention has become a controversial issue in the political circles across the world particularly in context of the history of U.S. military interventions. However, as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says, "it is only being done at the request of and with the consultation and cooperation (of) the Mexicans. This is not the United States unilaterally going in." [Mark Memmott, 2010]

The Merida Initiative

As per the estimates released by the Bureau of international Narcotics, the annual value of the drug trade in Mexico is between $13 and $25 billion. Given this surplus of cash inflow into the cartels and their ease of access to sophisticated weaponry, fighting them in Mexico is by no means an easy task.. This is exactly the reason why the Mexican president Mr. Felipe Calderon sought the assistance and the cooperation of the U.S. government in tackling the drug cartels. The result was the U.S. congress successfully passing the Merida Initiative, that promised financial assistance to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars spread over a three-year period from 2008 to 2010. The Merida initiative assitance is aimed at dismantling the drug network by improving the sharing of intelligence information, by improving surveilance technology, and implementing community programs to engage and to train the local youth in healthy social practices. Part of the funding is used to stregthen the police training, investigational capabilities and improving prison management. [David T. Johnson, 2009]

Though overall, the Merida initiative was successfully passed and implemented by the Bush government and pursued vigorously by the current Obama administration, it also has some critics within both the democrats and the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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