Pakistan, Mexico and U.S. nightmares

By Bernd Debusmann
January 7, 2009

Bernd Debusmann - Great Debate– Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –

What do Pakistan and Mexico have in common? They figure in the nightmares of U.S. military planners trying to peer into the future and identify the next big threats.

The two countries are mentioned in the same breath in a just-published study by the United States Joint Forces Command, whose jobs include providing an annual look into the future to prevent the U.S. military from being caught off guard by unexpected developments.

“In terms of worst-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico,” says the study – Joint Operating Environment 2008 – in a chapter on “weak and failing states.” Such states, it says, usually pose chronic, long-term problems that can be managed over time.

But the little-studied phenomenon of “rapid collapse,” according to the study, “usually comes as a surprise, has a rapid onset, and poses acute problems.” Think Yugoslavia and its 1990 disintegration into a chaotic tangle of warring nationalities and bloodshed on a horrific scale.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan, where al-Qaeda has established safe havens in the rugged regions bordering on Afghanistan, is a regular feature in dire warnings. Thomas Fingar, who retired as the U.S.’s chief intelligence analyst in December, termed Pakistan “one of the single most challenging places on the planet.”

This is fairly routine language for Pakistan, but not for Mexico, which shares a 2,000-mile border with the nightmare-pakistan_mexico-wUnited States.

Mexico’s mention beside Pakistan in a study by an organization as weighty as the Joint Forces Command (which controls almost all conventional forces based in the continental U.S.) speaks volumes about growing concern over what’s happening south of the U.S. border.

Vicious and widening violence pitting drug cartels against each other and against the Mexican state have left more than 8,000 Mexicans dead over the past two years. Kidnappings have become a routine part of Mexican daily life. Common crime is widespread. Pervasive corruption has hollowed out the state.

In November, in a case that shocked even those (on both sides of the border) who consider corruption endemic in Mexico, former drug czar Noe Ramirez was charged with accepting at least $450,000 a month in bribes from a drug cartel in exchange for information about police and anti-narcotics operations.

A month later, a Mexican army major, Arturo Gonzalez, was arrested on suspicion he sold information about President Felipe Calderon’s movements for $100,000 a month. Gonzalez belonged to a special unit responsible for protecting the president.


Depending on one’s view, the arrests are successes in a publicly-declared anti-corruption drive or evidence of how deeply criminal mafias have penetrated the organs of the state.

According to the Joint Forces study, the possibility of a sudden collapse in Mexico is less likely than in Pakistan “but the government, its politicians, police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state.”

It added: “Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.”

What form such a response might take is anyone’s guess and the study does not spell it out, nor does it address the economic implications of its worst-case scenario. Mexico is the third biggest trade partner of the United States (after Canada and China) and its third-biggest supplier of oil (after Canada and Saudi Arabia).

No such ties bind the United States and Pakistan but the study sees a collapse there not only as more likely but also as more catastrophic.

It would bring “the likelihood of a sustained violent and bloody civil and sectarian war, an even bigger haven for violent extremists, and the question of what would happen to its nuclear weapons. That ‘perfect storm’ of uncertainty alone might require the engagement of U.S. and coalition forces into a situation of immense complexity and danger … and with the real possibility that nuclear weapons might be used.”

It is not clear where on the long list of actual and potential crises around the world Mexico and Pakistan will rank once Barack Obama takes office as U.S. president on Jan. 20. During the election campaign, Obama repeatedly criticized Pakistan for not cracking down hard enough on terrorists inside its borders.

Since then a new Pakistani president came to power. Not long after, tensions between Pakistan and India, also a nuclear power, rose sharply after gunmen attacked two luxury hotels and other sites in Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, and killed 179 people. India described the attack as a conspiracy hatched in Pakistan and carried out by Pakistanis.

Closer to home, the U.S. economic crisis looks likely to slow down a $1.4 billion assistance program (military equipment, training, technology) to help the Mexican government gain the upper hand over the drug cartels and re-establish control over what some have called “failed cities” along the border, places where shootouts, beheadings and kidnappings have become routine.

It would take a very rosy outlook on the future to expect rapid progress.

For previous columns by Bernd Debusmann, click here. You can contact the author at


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MJ Akbar (Editor, Deccan Chronicle) writes: Times of India Jan 14, 2009 on/Columnists/MJ_Akbar/Blood_does_not_sl eep_stays_awake_as_nightmare/articleshow  /3961870.cms
poor governance has created a knowledge deficit; and knowledge is the key to strength. An Arab friend sent me some startling statistics; the email was captioned ‘A time for introspection’. Here are just a few: there are only 500 odd universities in the Muslim world. The United States has 5,758 and India has nearly 8,500. Literacy in the developed world is 90% against 40% in the Muslim world. If you removed Turkey from the list, the comparison would look grimmer. High tech goods and services constitute only 0.9% of the exports from Pakistan, and 0.3% from Algeria. They add up to 68% of Singapore’s exports.
Azad DP: Syed- What did Pakistan contribute in its 60 yrs of miserable existence.Please ask Mr Akbar and other Indian Muslims to enlighten you. Wake up.

The solution to this problem is FREEDOM.Let the American people purchase whatever they like to put into their own bodies.Addictions, like obesity, a malfuctioning toaster, or a grouchy spouse are PERSONAL PROBLEMS, not national problems that require a war.Booze and drugs have been with us for ages.They will be here when this dying nation is just a footnote in a forgotten history book.If our meddling government does not have the wisdom to see this then perhaps its time to break our addiction to our poisenous little god.As the late Ronald Reagan said “government is not the solution, it is the problem”.Its a pity he did not follow his own advice.

“What did Pakistan contribute in its 60 yrs of miserable existence.”
Its not the question of what we have contributed, it’s a question how much we have been given the breathing space. When you have 30 years of dictatorship out of 60 years of independence to fulfil western agendas then what you want us to contribute with? When you use mujaheeden and Pakistan military rule to defeat Russians what you want us to contribute with? When you crush democracy in this country every 3 years and bring military rule to have one sole power in the country so your agenda will be unfolded easily, what you want us to contribute? When you want 1000 innocent Pakistanis to be handed over to US so they can be slaughtered in the name of terror like chickens then what are we crying for? When you are punishing and encircling Pakistan for manufacturing nuclear arsenals then what the hell this country will contribute? By saying this I don’t mean that we are innocent but this is true as well that Pakistan is used again and again by the feudal lords, military rules, western world and that this country has never been given a chance to do something productive.
“Please ask Mr Akbar and other Indian Muslims to enlighten you. Wake up.”
I don’t care about secular Indian muslim opinion at all unless it really does make any sense to me. Its not about having jihad in your blood or that if muslims are fond of having war with everyone. It’s the genocide we are watching in front of our eyes to wipe Palestinians from Palestine, afghans from Afghanistan,Iraqis from Iraq and arabs from middle east. Israel is the only country in the world whose boundaries are not defined and after their birth in 1948 they have an agenda to build an empire which will go beyond the middle east. I can bet on this that Israel will not stop until they wipe the whole middle east including Iran, Syria and then Pakistan and reshape the maps on this planet. Its actually in their blood. First there was Crusade and now they are hell scared of the concept of political islam which they consider a major threat in the from of so called Jihad. You can tell your Akbar to do some research and find some facts and figures and then write something like this.

Posted by A Syed | Report as abusive

The only part of our international borders that is relatively peaceful is the one with Iran, because hostile intelligence agencies cannot foment trouble from Iran as it is being done from across our borders with Afghanistan. The border with India is also militarily peaceful and there is no foreseeable threat of a conventional war because of the nuclear deterrent that we possess. In this situation Indian policymakers consider it more prudent to foment trouble in Pakistan’s explosive north by using Afghanistan as the launch pad for subversive activities. This Indian policy is devastating for Pakistan because it pins down the Pakistani Army, pits it against its own people and limits its operational options elsewhere, aesides subjecting it to war fatigue and attrition.

The violence taking place in NWFP, coupled with more than a quarter of a million people getting displaced from Bajaur, Swat and South Waziristan can only spell disaster for Pakistan. In order to contain things the cold-hearted killing of the Pakhtuns must come to an immediate end, or else it will start breeding anti-Pakistan feelings amongst the Pakhtuns. Those orchestrating the covert war against Pakistan’s integrity must have this as a high priority objective.

The violence spreading in NWFP needs to be controlled on our own terms and conditions. Military operations, aerial bombings, strafing by helicopter gunships, drones and missiles flying from across the borders are a recipe for sure disaster. The victims of these actions are our own citizens, even if they are disoriented because of the machinations of hostile intelligence agencies and the effects of the controversial international war on terror, which is being fought only in the Pakhtun belt of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is imperative to bring peace in the NWFP and all over Pakistan, through an indigenously prepared strategy and through negotiations with all fighting factions. Once that peace is achieved world powers, essentially the USA, will understand that Pakistan’s being at peace within itself is essential for bringing about peace in the region.

The US can remain in Afghanistan for any number of years and it can multiply its forces to any level. But Afghanistan will still never be at peace. What I am saying is borne out by the fact that in 2002 we saw President George Bush declare, from the deck of an aircraft-carrier in the Arabian Sea, a total military victory in Afghanistan. Where is that victory in the year 2008? Six years down the road why do we still see intense fighting in Afghanistan? In Afghanistan the war will rage on at varying intensity and endlessly until the occupation forces finally make peace with Afghanistan, withdraw their armed forces and then lay the foundation for a peaceful and developmental relationship with Afghanistan, just like the post-World War II Marshal Plan in Europe. Europe shows no signs, or ugly scars, of the bloodiest of battles fought there more than 60 years ago. Afghanistan can be a similar story of harmony. If war stamina was the criterion for being a superpower then no country would be able to match Afghanistan. It is time for US policymakers to understand that the dictates of humanity and world peace can only spell out that a withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq is long overdue.

The US is the big brother to everyone in the world. It needs to change strategy and start exercising diplomacy and influence through magnanimity, and not the military. Millions of human beings are dying of hunger all over Africa and Asia. If the Americans shower magnanimity, generosity, kindness and developmental activities on the undeveloped world they will achieve diplomatic influence that will derive from the gratitude and the future needs of the needy nations. Trying to do so using its military might will only earn them enemies and protracted conflicts. Diplomatic advantage obtained through the use of military power is never long-lasting. Scars are ugly and painful, whereas dams, hospitals and schools built in countries like Afghanistan will show themselves for generations and have a positive effect. A defenceless country can be carpet-bombed, but eventually even the mightiest of armies have to fight with their boots on the ground. That is where the trouble actually starts. Why should all that avoidable fighting be necessary when a nonviolent and benevolent policy can get far better results at a much smaller price in all respects including peace amongst humanity at large? This magnanimity and benevolence towards poorer nations will also help redeem America’s lost image.

To illustrate this point let me recollect how in 2005 the US military was being disliked and fought against in Afghanistan, while in Azad Kashmir, only three hundred miles away, the same US military and air crews from Bagram airbase in Kabul were looked upon with so much respect, simply because they were providing relief to the earthquake victims there.

Coming back to Pakistan, I must say that the grim situation that we face requires a very apt and brave handling of matters keeping nothing but our own interests in mind. This is a situation that will require from the political leaders of today to draw on the last ounce of their political courage, personal courage, political acumen, farsightedness and their sense of patriotism so that they act only in the interests of Pakistan without caring for any political fallouts. Pakistan has to be put back on the road to peace, harmony and progress within the country as well as at peace with all its neighbours and the world at large.

The writer is a former director-general of the Intelligence Bureau and was previously a member of the PPP’s central executive

Posted by raz | Report as abusive

By the evening of 9/11 President Bush had begun to make his initial outbursts about being at war, without having ascertained who the enemy was, and that this was a “crusade.” Although he almost immediately retracted the word, his inner thinking had been revealed.

The American response to 9/11 was not well thought out. Apparently, it was more emotional than pragmatic. Knowing, beyond any doubt, that the American Establishment is certainly not naïve the only conclusion that can be rightfully drawn is that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq had motives other than those openly stated. The 9/11 incident itself has been widely disputed and documentaries contesting the events of that day have been made.

I quote from my 2001 article captioned “The American Reaction”: “There are many powers in the world that will love to watch USA getting stuck in quicksand for years to come and the USA, most of all, should not forget that Afghanistan is worse than quicksand for all invaders…Super Powers of various eras have vainly tried to subjugate Afghanistan…each time every new invader, hoping to go against the dictates of history, has been humbled by Afghanistan, it’s terrain and it’s proud and rugged people.”

The American establishment at the time of planning the Afghanistan invasion had probably gone wrong in estimating a walkover. It was a world totally dominated by the USA itself with no rivals. Has that equation changed? Have not China and Russia come a long way since 2001? What are now the chances that the Russian establishment may contemplate clandestine measures to keep the USA bogged down in Afghanistan as long as possible in order to limit the US military option of manipulating Russia’s energy-rich neighbouring states? What are now the chances that the world may soon witness the shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) phenomenon once again in Afghanistan with the US Stinger missiles being replicated by similar missiles produced in Russia, China and other places? We must not lose sight of the fact that the world has a very lucrative gun-running business infrastructure.

In my article written prior to the Afghanistan invasion I had written “Pakistan’s support can only be time oriented and not indefinite because an indefinite deployment of US forces in Pakistan or the indefinite use of its airspace can only rekindle the fundamentalists in Pakistan into staging a very sharp and violent reaction. These fundamentalists who are stronger, richer and better equipped than those in Afghanistan will then certainly retaliate and no regime, military or non military, will be able to stop them. The world will then have two Taliban countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

What is happening in the north of Pakistan is clearly visible to even the blind student of political and military affairs.

A huge initiative needs to be taken by Pakistan to prevent widespread civil war and an eventual break up. A grand and immediate ceasefire has to be brought about if Pakistan has to survive in its present shape. Yes, this is achievable and once achieved the rest will follow if the intentions are there to truly find the ultimate solutions.

This is how I had ended my article written in the period between 9/11 and the Afghanistan invasion: “Let me condemn in the strongest of terms all terrorist activities that take place anywhere in the world whether sponsored by individuals or States. We must condemn such terrorist activity irrespective of whether they result in the loss of one precious life of any caste, creed or color or in that of thousands of lives of multiple castes, creed and colour…Let us all resolve to help make the world a peaceful place. Let us do it by deeds that support professed beliefs. America has to lead the way in this by bringing about drastic foreign policy changes.” Seven years down the road this still holds true.

Being the enviable democracy that the US is, the American people must never allow their administrations to wage unwarranted wars in their name.

Posted by Raz | Report as abusive

The world’s sanity and equilibrium should be restored through an equitable new world order. Let’s take a bird’s eye view of the world we hope will become terror-free. Impoverished Pakistan and India are militarily nuclear powers and maintain two of the world’s five largest standing armed forces. They have fought three wars over the last six decades. The animosities thus caused have denied normalcy and prosperity to the people of South Asia. Tensions are up once again because of the atrocious attack in Mumbai. Ironically, while Mumbai is shell shocked, the Indians are extremely busy in enhancing their covert activity in Afghanistan aimed at fuelling the insurgency and bloodshed now raging in Pakistan’s northwest. The Peshawar blast of Dec 5 is a horrible example of that covert Indian activity in Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, wars have been imposed on that nation by the past and present super powers. Iran and Iraq fought a ten-year war that was kept fuelled by the world powers. The Middle East is in a state of perpetual war because the Palestine problem is deliberately left unresolved and Israel continues to occupy Palestinian lands and the Golan Heights. Sri Lanka has been fighting the Tamil Tigers for years and it is not a secret that the Tamil Tigers have thrived on all kinds of support from India, including military. While India supports terrorism in Sri Lanka and Pakistan it complains about it in Indian-held Kashmir. India has its own assorted crop of homegrown terrorists and insurgents and needs to look inwards and resolve its internal issues rather than meddle in the affairs of all its neighbours.

North Korea’s isolation makes it a potential hotspot. Chechnya has seen intense fighting. A war to get Taiwan reunited with mainland China has been averted only due to the collective wisdom and farsightedness of the Chinese leadership.

The European continent, in recent years, saw genocide of Muslims in Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina. Africa is the lost continent where food is scarce but weapons are in abundance. Spilling of human blood in Africa is meaningless to the world, which has largely remained indifferent to the horrendous genocides of the recent past in Africa.

In 2001, due to 9/11, a new kind of war was imposed upon the world. Called the War on Terror by an angry USA it now has no combat boundaries. In 2001, the world was given an ultimatum “you are either with us or against us.” What followed is too well known. The Afghan and the Iraq wars are still raging even after seven years of 9/11 and after the deaths of many hundreds of thousands of human beings in those two ill-fated countries. Every man killed as part of “collateral damage” gives birth to thousands of angry people and while a majority of these angry people may not even resort to peaceful protests a small percentage takes to fighting back and thus the vicious war circle is perpetuated.

The war on terror has now spilled over into Pakistan and many thousands of military men and civilians in Pakistan have been killed. Half-a-million grief-stricken Pakhtuns from within Pakistan’s northwest are now refugees in their own country due to the intense fighting in FATA. Pakistan’s sovereignty has already been torn apart and its remaining intact is becoming increasingly questionable. The Pakhtuns, for no fault of theirs, are paying the biggest price in the war on terror when they have never had anything to do with terror anywhere in the world.

Can such a conflict ridden world ever be terror free? The answer is a big NO. My contention is that the world can never be peaceful and terror-free unless the world community decides to bring to an end all unresolved disputes and armed conflicts raging around the world. Peace is instinctive to all human beings while war is not. Peace will beget peace while wars in the future will always snowball into wider conflicts in which terrorism and insurgencies, with no defined geographical boundaries and battlefields, will be the major ingredients.

Humanity now wants to see a magnanimous and neutral role played by the developed world to end conflicts worldwide. More support by the developed world to under-developed countries in terms of transfer of technology for the sake of development rather than loans meant to purchase weapons and military technology will have a salutary effect on making the world a peaceful place. Foreign policies of the developed world must not differentiate between nations on the basis of their religion or demography if we are to move towards a harmonious and terror-free world. The imposition of unrepresentative governments on the countries of the Third World will always give rise to discontentment degenerating into terrorism or insurgency and, therefore, must not be resorted to by world powers.

In the modern age the only way towards a terror-free world is through statesmanship of the world’s powerful leaders leading to a just dispensation of international justice between nations, races and religions. I stress on this because the bulky and highly visible military might of any superpower in the future will never be able to fight the agility and the indefatigable war stamina of the terrorists, militants and freedom fighters of the future.

The bottom line, therefore, is that terrorism can only be relegated to the history books if international justice takes over from international military power and adjudicates fair solutions to the ongoing conflicts in the world, thus enabling widespread prosperity which will bring about a world that is content and abhors violence.

Posted by raz | Report as abusive

Simon, I almost agree with you.

You said:
“1) Drug users will always find a way to get high, regardless of what is criminalized.”
Humanity has sought altered states of consciousness for recreation and meditation for as far back as our history stretches. Just because our government, who boasts they are the guardians of freedom, creates unconstitutional laws that restrict some desired substances from the populace upon baseless grounds and in an inconsistent manner is not going to overcome evolution.

You said:
“2) Terrorists will always find a way to fund their operations, regardless of which consumer habits are mitigated.”
Gangs/Terrorists are currently funded through four main sources: Drugs, Arms, Oil and Antiquities. As long as these markets can generate vast amounts of profits, those profits will be used to support interests that are counter to the US. We can have an impact on the drug black markets, the major funding source to these entities. As we did once before with alcohol prohibition, we can strip this funding away from these entities by legalizing these substances. By freeing the law enforcement agents from drug enforcement, they can be used to enforce the Arms import and export laws and Antiquities laws to put a dent in these illegal operations. Oil profits need to be kept to a reasonable level to stop countries like Saudi Arabia from funding terror. Oil need to drop to between $25 and $30 per barrel. This will radically cut into the money going to the terrorists. The US needs to convert its transportation industry and get it off of oil based fuels. This could be done if instead if bailing out industries unresponsive to the needs of the people or this nation, we would use this money to build the infrastructure to support a non-oil transportation industry.

Of course there are other means of funding but none as lucrative as the ones I mention above. Implementing this strategy would take Billions out of the hands of terrorists. Without this wealth their power is dramatically curtailed.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

John Michael McConnell, the United States Director of National Intelligence, in a speech at Harvard University, soon after Mumbai massacre said that the same group responsible for the 2006 Mumbai train bombings was behind Mumbai attack of 2008.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is the jihadi terrorist wing of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. There is no question of Lashkar terrorists operating independently.

The strategy of Pakistan army / ISI against Indian and Afghan civilians stands on one solid single pillar- PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY. This time in Mumbai they messed up in the execution and have been caught red handed.

They had gotten away so many times. Indians have to really thank Ajmal Amir Kasab, the Pakistani terrorist caught alive and the brave police man belonging to lower cadre of Mumbai police who was responsible for the capture of Mr.Kasab and died in the process.

LET terrorist group was involved in attacks in New Delhi in October 2005, and in Bangalore in December 2005. Examples of recent major terror attacks conducted by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan include a coordinated series of bombings in market and temple areas of the tourist city of Jaipur, Rajasthan (May 2008), an attack on a government paramilitary facility in Uttar Pradesh (December 2007), coordinated bomb blasts at court facilities in three cities in Uttar Pradesh (November 2007), an explosives blast in a cinema hall in Punjab (November 2007), two explosions at a popular park and restaurant in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (August 2007), an explosion at the main mosque in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (May 2007), the detonation of explosive devices on a train northwest of Delhi (February 2007), simultaneous attacks on Mumbai commuter trains (July 2006), simultaneous attacks on a train station and places of worship in Varanasi (March 2006), and simultaneous attacks on several markets in New Delhi (October 2005).

Contrary to some popular rumors, false hopes among Pakistanis the issue will not go away anytime soon. This is not an India-Pakistan issue, but an international one. India is going to blow hot and cold with revelations and media releases, to keep it going; and the international community is going to go along with India.

Time has arrived to tackle global terrorism sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Sponsorship of terrorist groups and using them as a proxy army to wage war was a policy of Pakistan since its birth. 9/11 has shown the extend of damage Pakistani training, Saudi money and a crazy ideology can do to this world.
Now with a stockpile of WMDs (thanks to Chinese) within the reach of Jihadis and an establishment ready to sell it to rouge states like Iran, N.Korea, Pakistan makes the worst case scenario.
Mexico will never be even closer to Pakistan in terms of the damage it can do.

Posted by Vinod | Report as abusive

MrRaz and MrSyed

The same Mr MJ Akbar, an Indian Muslim, wrote over a decade ago ( before pre internet era) in a Deccan Chronicle editorial:
Quote-its not because muslims demanded but its because the hindus wanted that India remained secular-Unquote.
Its not that blacks demanded it but that whites wanted that Obama became US president.
Indian Muslims, overwhelmingly are peaceful, proud to be free, Indian and moreso secular. The Indian Muslims are the only hope for the muslim world along with the likes of Turkish. They most certainly don’t need your leadership. BTW Indian Army is the only army in the world that has for its soldiers a Hindu temple, a Mosque, Gurdwara and a church standing next to the other. Eg. Hyderabad contonement.
Pakistan blames US and Russia and other countries for its problems all 60 years. Iraq after 5 yrs of liberation from cruel Baath administration can not live in peace. Why- USA or something else. Introspection and lot of self criticism is needed to become a freestanding nation.

MrRaz and MrSyed.
A LIVE Example for you: All Indians are watching in silent horror the happenings in SriLanka. Indians want united SriLanka to live a peaceful life. Mighty India could have created a havoc by sending arms to Tamils(hindus). Nothing of that sort is happening.
India leads not by the example of its strength but by the strength of its example.

Well, although mexico in terms of security has worsened over the past two years, i think the content of this study is quite exaggerated.

First of all, violence has escalated because the government has done a better job on fighting narcotics production/trade.. such as there have been some of the largest drug busts in history including the largest one. so, narcos (drug bosses) now go to other methods to obtain money such as extorsion, kidnappings, etc.. the problem is that previous administrations closed their eyes against these problems so now its harder to solve them.. and americans, as the largest drug consuming nation in the whole world (by a WHOOLE LOT) you have a certain amount of responsiblity in this.. u make drug bosses earn hundreds of millions USD a year.

Second, what i found the most exaggerated was this “Kidnappings have become a routine part of Mexican daily life. Common crime is widespread.” i’m a mexican citizen that lives in mexico and in my lifetime i have never been robbed, extorsioned, etc (and know very few people that have been victims)also i only know one person that was almost kidnapped (he evaded the kidnappers) That statement makes Mexico look even worse than it already is regarding security.. and speaially in the eyes of people who lack knowledge on mexican lifestyle (and I mean Mexican as in people who live in Mexico, not as in Mexican Americans in California, etc.. it’s very different)

Posted by daniel | Report as abusive

the US needs to continue to send aid to Mexico to fight the cartels as the US does bear substantial responsibility

It’s been said before by hundreds of thousands of people — I say it again. Legalize all drugs. Make them easily available. Let those who would destroy themselves with drugs do it quickly and easily.

The crime and chaos that comes from trying to suppress drugs to save somebody (I don’t know who) from themselves is not worth the hundreds of billions and social and national instability.

Why are drugs illegal? To stop what? What is being made better by declaring certain forms of intoxication not allowable while at the same time alcohol and tobacco are given away to children. It just doesn’t make sense.

The only rational for illegal drugs is that it keeps the price up and make certain people richer. I think people should look closely at the money trail of those who run for office on an anti-drug platform. If you looked hard enough, you would find drug money….

Posted by DemonDuck | Report as abusive

I do not drink, smoke and neither take any type of illicit drugs but I have been very concerned with the question of drugs from my early teen years as I grew up in an environment where many of the young adults were hooked on hard drugs. Even if the idea of legalising drug consumption might seem unethical, it is likely to be the decision that makes the most sense today; as consumers will consume no matter if the drugs are illgelly traded by cartels, government run or private sector and easily accessible in any drug store. The amount of money that can be generated from legalising the drug trade would create an enormous parallel income for all the countries of the world and it would also cause the quality of the drugs that are reaching the end user to be much higher. The drug consumers would all have value for money and quality drugs does not harm the consumer as much as low quality ones. I have heard stories of cocaine being mixed with rat poison which is also a white powder. Can you imagine the consequences of injecting that in your veins? To come back to my point, legalising drugs even though it is unethical would be the most interesting way of taking the drug trade from the streets and into the hands of the government or private sector. There would be no more shootings, no more drug lords, no more hitmen and only happy consumers and governments making huge money on the legal drug trade.

Posted by Taking the drug trade out of the streets! | Report as abusive