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.

DESCENT INTO CHAOS?

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 Debusmann@reuters.com.

115 comments

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“Poor Mexico so close to the U.S. and so far away from God” reads a popular saying. And on top of that, vast corruption and drug wars. If that is not a recipe for chaos,then what?

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive

Mexico is the victim of the American War on Drugs. In our own declaration of independence we complained about laws that were foisted on us by the king of England. Yet we now have laws foisted on us by our own legislatures. As Robert Heinlein said in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, we pass laws to tell us what we don’t want to do anyway. But “we” (as opposed to our elected officials) clearly don’t support the anti-drug laws by virtue of the number of people who ignore them. Having laws that are not widely supported is a sure recipe for corruption. Mexico is quicker off the mark than the US but corruption is increasing in the US as well. The current situation is a train wreck waiting to happen and nobody seems to either care or have a better idea than pushing the car back up the hill to see if it does it again (also known as “cracking down”)

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

Dear Bernd Debusmann:

Don’t worry about Pakistan. Indeed Pakistan have many problems. I am very optimistc about the future of Pakistan. In your column, I did not see a single word about those countries who created these problems in that region. You should talk about those countries as well. As far India is concerned, India must look into his own backyard for “Hindu Terrorism” as well as “Independence Movements.” You also need to read the book of President Nixon and the columns of Prominent Indian Writer
Arundhati Roy. You will find the truth about India very clearly. May God give you the courage to be honest with your profession.Thank you.

Posted by M. Z. Mustafa | Report as abusive

Pakistan is on brink of economic collapse. The administration and the people live in a state of denial. They do not have any industries. A vast majority of the population is illliterate, there is no scientific mind set among the people. The reason for this their past governments , who had no vision for future of Pakistani people and country as a whole. Each administration was better than the previous administration in only one thing- corruption.
The money comes in to Pakistan only as aid and loan and from hardworking Pakistanis overseas. There are no internal accruals.
The world as a whole and Pakistanis should take a careful look at themselves and realize that Nuclear arms(the technology and parts for which was smuggled) is not going to take them anywhere. There was time when China was equal or worst in development and standard of living than Pakistan. Look where China is now and where is Pakistan. However, the world can just sit and watch and protect itself from Pakistan. There is only god who can help Pakistan. But god has clearly stated that he is willing to help only those who are willing to help themselves.

Posted by Tyvek | Report as abusive

What the west need to do is:
1-Help Pakistan and its general population get self sustainable and build a sustainable economy and businesses for themselves.

This alone will take most of the idle minds off the wrong paths implanted on them by shrewd individuals.

Nothing is wrong with the country- what is wrong is all the time and no money situation which is fueling the idle minds with no reason jihad workshops.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Though what Dave suggests seems the right thing to do but its not smart thing to do. The reason is simple. West has already done this. The result-nothing. Money went to the leaders and politician.
The only solution is let them live the way are living. Don’t bother them.
Don’t talk about them because if you do then they start comparing themselves with neighboring India. By the way comparing themselves in each and every level with India is national pass time. Please leave them alone.

Posted by Tyvek | Report as abusive

I think before we pass judgment upon others, we should examine our governments actions and identify whether or not they have been forms of terror. Fortunately for the victims of our bombs, our economy is in collapse as well and we will not, much longer, be able to sustain such activity.
Our nation throughout it’s history has grappled with the societal ills caused by narcotic, alcohol and pharmaceutical abuse. Perhaps we should have examined the failure of our wars on poverty, drugs and terror at home before we carried it around the world.
All of these issues will be exacerbated by drought, famine and flooding caused largely by unsustainable use of resources by industrial societies. We as a nation would be well advised to find different solutions to our problems at home. The ones we have been employing have clearly not worked.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

I think Mr. Debusmann has been on a theme for his last three articles. The gross amounts of illicit income financing the criminal elements south of the boarder are causing sever problems. As has been stated before, if you legalize pot and cocaine you cut off that illicit income. Then the money we give those governments can be spent on cleaning up the criminal elements and you no longer have a critical problem.

As for the “bad” elements in the Middle East like al Qaeda, this is much more troublesome. They are funded by opium and oil. We can deal with it but it is more complicated. Europe and the US will need to legalize opium and it’s derivatives. There is precedence we can follow and improve on. Then we need to make sure that oil stays between $30 and $40 while we move our transportation industry away from oil. With oil at this level the states providing support to al Qaeda will no longer be able to do so and still maintain their current standard of living. The only reason OPEC want oil higher ($80 – $100) is to fund Iran’s and Venezuela’s military expansion plans and so Syria, Saudi Arabia, Arab Emirates and Kuwait can fund al Qaeda, Hamas and other such groups. All the US has to do is open the oil pumps. To sustain the effort the US needs to drill the fields we know about that are on land. It costs $23 to lift oil from on shore wells and $60 from off shore. You make the call. The oil companies do not care about peace or life. They care about profit. They are very big and very powerful. The US oil production has decreased over the last 5 years while demand up until 08 has remained steady. And you thought we were trying to get off foreign oil?

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

The real shame here lies with the citizens of the United States. As the consumers of illegal drugs, we feed the drug cartels that have gutted Mexico’s government. The best thing America can do to bolster our economy and protect our national security, is work on our own drug addiction.

Posted by Thane Eddington | Report as abusive

The USA is burning other countries with its so called war on terror after the 9\11.
Pakistan is one of the victims not from terrorist but from USA so called war on terror.
If USA wants to be the contractor of peace then what Israel is doing must me condemned as well. You also need to give the suggestion to the USA that it should be more concerned what is going on with in its own borders rather taking keen interest in other countries matters. The time has arrived finally for the MUSLIM nations to unite together to face the biggest terrorist nation in the world the United States of America.

Posted by saqib | Report as abusive

I Guss we have already Forgotten that millions of Taliban, formally “Mujaheddins” are the creation of the Unites States, to destroy the Soviet union.America supplied them with 3+ million stinger missiles, anti tank rockets and other heavy weaponry and training. Well, Now 20 yrs later, Pakistanis are having to deal with the problem.
I think we should support Pakistan Financially and militarily, and help them clean out the mess we created.

Posted by mohammed | Report as abusive

Pakistanis should learn from these discussions on how to identify and solve the problems.

These ordinary citizens are bold and courageous enough to take part of the blame on themselves not putting on somebody else. That’s the reason the country as whole can correct itself (if needed) and continue to grow and prosper.

The people and government of Pakistan do not have guts and as I said earlier are in a state of complete denial on where they are and where they want to be as a nation.

So please leave them alone. They will not follow any good advice because they destined to doom.

Posted by Tyek | Report as abusive

Just like all US financial institutions, their New Media organizations are corrupt and sleeping with Devils. One they will collaps. Perfect storm is waiting to happen.

Along with Bernd Debusmann Reuters News and Associate Press have one thing common, they are baised against coutries like Iran, Mexico, Pakistan, Syria, Russia, China, Burma and their favorite is Venezuela. They will never critize the U.S. and thier puppets such as Israel, Egypt and sadly now INDIA the real criminals.

Even though they know that their monster challenge is Israel and Palestine but they will never admit to this. For the whole world this is a Mother of all challenge.
Due to Iraq war Palestinian cause was never a headline news.

stop weeding dude leave Mexico and Pakistan alone

Posted by david duke | Report as abusive

Careful reading of events in Indo-Pak relations shows that a series of governmental upheavals in Pak have their roots in the ISI/? and its plots aimed at removing perceived obstacles to the use of nukes on India by Pak. First was the removal of Benazir Bhutto by Nawaz Sharif on the specious grounds of ‘corruption’ when in reality it was a deal between Mush and Nawaz to take out Bhutto before she fired them as generals and plotters which they certainly were. Then Sharif refused to use nukes on India over the Cargill dispute a few years later, so Musharref (Mush) displaced him and ruled as a dictator. Now it was up to him to use the nukes, but even he then had second thoughts now that HE was the one with the finger on the button that would doom tens of millions of Pakis when the Hindu BJP retaliated. Mush made himself content playing a double game of playing off the Islamists, druggies, secularists, ultras of all stripes not just Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba (JeM and LeT). Giving each faction, and the ISI the idea that he was secretly on THEIR side is a very hard tiger to ride. Now he is kind of off that tiger, so Benazir’s widower is left picking up the pieces. An ISI coup is a real possibility, followed by strikes into Afghanistan as part of a new Talibo/Pak alliance to secure the rear guard and to put a huge presence on the Iranian border to stop the United States’ natural allies in the area, the Iranians?! yeah you read right, they ARE our natural allies but neither realizes that fact yet because both Bush and Ahmenadinajad are as alike as peas in a pod and both literally drink out of the same idealogical dogmatic glass. When our new Prez Buraq Hussein Obama, who runs away from his Islamic roots yet holds on to his Islamic names, meets Mahmoud Ahmenadinejad, who talks to an imaginary ‘spirit’ in an old dusty well, the synergy may be different. That new spirit between Iran and the US still will leave both as spectators to the main act in Pakistan’s south when the next world war starts between Pak and India, soon involving China aiding Pakistan while suppressing its own Islamists in Xinkiang. China’s main fish to fry here is to use this campaign as a distraction while seeing an opportunity to grab the main course, Taiwan, Russian Siberia, and both Koreas before then feasting on the so called ASEAN countries of southeast asia. This will so tie up the weak and decadent west that Indonesia will have no trouble grabbing Australia and New Zealand while no one seems to be looking.

Posted by Mohandas Patel | Report as abusive

Until their economies improve these Countries will never attain peace.

These 2 countries will not care a damn for peace of otehers

pakistan, is one of the worst county i have ever seen, the people of pakistan cant do any better for any.
USA govt not taking any step to pakistan, but one day they will realise, when usa got attacked from pakistan.
Well god bless usa.

Posted by gopal | Report as abusive

A very good story established by my friend Bernd. I want to ask you one thing for how long and for how many times you been to Pakistan. I guess not a single time. Will be better if you know about the ordinary Pakistani instead of west sponsored politicians. You will come to know how strong Pakistani is and how much they love their country. As far as Nuclear weapons are concerned, If a nation can develop Nuclear weapon they can also protect it. we are a nation with 160 million Muslims. True we have some of our brothers angry with the Politicians but they are not threat to the Pakistan stability. They are threat only to the west imposed policies in our beloved country. So stop dreaming for no Muslim country with Nuclear Weapons. But be prepare to face another Nuclear armed Muslim country Iran. I wonder how west will do propaganda for Iran instability. which is strongest and true Muslim Nation on the earth.

Posted by M S Malik | Report as abusive

Between five and ten years ago there was an experiment done in Liverpool England. At the time Liverpool had one of the highest crime rates in England ( as well as a high number of drug addicts ). What they did was , if you were an addict you went to your doctor and when your addiction was confirmed.The government then supplied your herion and tried to get you on a methadone program as well as provided councilling. After a year the crime rate was one of the lowest in England.By the way,enough heroin to last a week cost the government $5 as opposed to $1500 on the street.TAKE THE PROFIT OUT OF DRUGS AND THERE IS NO REASON TO GET SOMEONE HOOKED.

Posted by terry kindle | Report as abusive

Dear sir,
i think to make this world a better place to live in, we should recede our influences on others–related to power and diplomatic threats as example. There is no country in this world that America hasn’t meddled into, brought chaos and imposed ideologies. If they try to get by pinning their intentions on the word ‘democracy’, so why don’t they let nations decide their fates on their own? Why Afghanistan needs American help to protect its own people? For whom? Where does this word ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom of movement, ideology and belief’ stand in between? Why don’t just Americans ask for, and buy, what they need (oil) instead of trying to ruin countries for the same??

Posted by gautam | Report as abusive

We didn’t give the Mujahadeen 3+ million Stinger missiles; after all the USSR didn’t have that many MI-23 helicopters to shoot down, not nearly, and besides after some period of time the solid propellant in those rocket motors decays and becomes unusable. Eddington is right though; we should try dealing with the demand side of the drug problem instead of blaming everyone else for what natural economic market forces do. And it sounded like Liverpool got the solution right too; no need to reinvent the wheel, just the need to get off our sanctimonious high horse when we blame addicts for their addiction. But that’s religious fundamentalism for you; no thought, all knee-jerk response.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

United States is a coward nation and keep mis handling world affairs, when Bombay attach took placed within 48 hours UN security council passed the bill for ban of one charity institution in Pakistan, Israel killed one thousands innocent childred,women and old man the same United States is not allowing UN security council to adapt a ceased fire resolution. What a great nation called United Sates of America.

Posted by Al Baloushi | Report as abusive

Practice (also) makes an art perfect.

When the “art” of “suicide bombings” started, no-one could have imagined that the “art” of suicide bombing can take the form it took on doomed day of 9/11.

In Mumbai, we saw a new art being born .. an art of gunman attack .. Unless all the related terrorist organizations are uprooted completely and immediately, no one can be sure what form would this art take upon maturity and which part of the world would it strike!

As White House homeland security adviser Ken Wainstein said, even U.S. is vulnerable to such type of attack. The problem of terrorism is as huge as the current economic crisis or global warming and should be tackled with equal international cooperation and commitment.

There is a credible solution to demolishing terror groups/ camps. Set up a multi-national ARMED COMMANDO FORCE (ACF), well armed and equipped to respond for attack anywhere in the world, duly authorized by the UNO to take their war across borders of any country on the globe. This ACF should be led by a team of military representatives of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, taking their own decisions and being answerable to none of the political leaderships of those member countries.

Can be done. Will be supported by all civilized countries.

Posted by Kumar Sujan | Report as abusive

I dont know about Mexico. They are at least one nation. If anyone looks at the history of the creation of Pakistan on the other hand, they are not even one nation. For the past sixty since the establishment of the country by the clueless British, the people of the country have been at odds with each other. This is clear from the endless ethnic animosities and liberation movements in three of the four provinces of the country. This is a fact that can be checked by a basic online research. The country has so far been kept intact by its army who have also ruled directly or indirectly since 1950s. Later on, the army also nurtured the Islamic militia to control Afghanistan and create troubles for India in the disputed region of Kashmir. Today, with growing reaction to the Islamic extremists, the army is at the backfoot in a defensive mode, a countrywide chaos has set in, the economy has crumbled and both the US and India are gradually but certainly violating the geographic integrity and sovereignity of this failed state. If the Americans are interested in fixing the problem of Pakistan, they should do the people of Pakistan a favor by spliting this phony state along ethnic lines and wrapping up the dangerous nuclear weapons it holds. Mexico being an American backyard probably has a problem of effective governance which can be fixed over time.

Posted by SMJ | Report as abusive

I agree with Mr.Kumar Sajan’s thought, but first they UN control forces should strike Indian occupied Kashmir where 700 thousand troops daily killing innocents civilians and raping women because they are not willing to leave under Indian flag.

Posted by Al Baloushi | Report as abusive

here what seems the main problem around the world is interference of US in external matters. Until US stops poking its nose in external affairs and try to control his own problems that is happening within the country the world problems will not com to an end. It is a game which US is playing making all the nations fight against each other ann watching the show alone.
I pity US !!!

Posted by yousuf | Report as abusive

From the above article I can easily infer the direction being taken by Washington and the partiality of the views show that the facts of history, reality and practicality are totally taken out of the picture to portray the nature and subsequently foreign policy of the US in the above commentary.

- Obama/Bush/US want’s us Pakistani’s to put more effort in fighting Extremists?

My View: As a third world country, already struggling with keeping up with our basic demands as a nation, how would you expect us eradicate a system (completely) whom the US and all its allies are unable to control in Afghanistan/Iraq and the rest of the world, even with the relentless and inhuman slaughter of masses labeled under the so-called collateral damage dogma.

Secondly since the war on terror started, more than 1,000 Pakistani soldiers have been killed and scores injured and abducted by these guerilla fighters in the FATA region along the Pakistani border. We as Pakistani’s have been pushed into this “So called War”, which in-turn inflicted strategic, human, economic and all sorts of casualties on Pakistan and its people, all for a cause which might not be as intense as shown. There are more terrorists today in the world then there were when this whole war drama started. Anyways, I’ll list the two main damaging factors to Pakistan’s economy as,

- Reversing of flow of investments
- Damaged the fabric of ethnic/cultural harmony among the different parts of Pakistan (but not beyond repair)

Considering all this, we are still asked to do extra… what should we do that the US has done in Iraq, Afghanistan. I bet there is no answer, it is just blackmailing through words. Reality is different from what is on the ground, bombs are not the solution, the solution to this is very simple but due to personal interests nobody wants to discuss them.

- If nuclear weapons are in safe hands?

I think right now the biggest threat to humanity should be WMD in possession of israel. I will praise the government of Pakistan for taking the initiative to build nuclear weapons, as in today’s world having a stick in your hand is the only thing which can assure you that you are not going to be bitten by a dog. Only if Palastine would have had proper army and weapons to defend itself, then nobody would have dared to entered Palestine but as israel/us know that the Palestinians are helpless and unarmed so considering this the israel is butchering these poor people like insects.

As far as our nuke’s are concerned, we have a very stable and concrete structure in place (you don’t want to discuss that) to safeguard our nuclear installations. Also nuke’s are not like AK-47, which can be easily snatched and used… its a bit more complex then that and the extremists dont, and can’t have the capability to learn how to use them, otherwise they would have gotten something in their hands from the broken russian states which had stashes of WMD during the formation of independent states.

Also i’ve lived in Pakistan for almost 28 years and i KNOW that the so called fundamentals and their super human capabilities “as portrayed by the west” is just a myth. These people are actually poor people, who have been either exploited or pushed due to the conditions imposed by war in the home grounds for fighting for a cause which in some instances may contradict to the common sense of an ordinary man. History has been evident to the fact that in extreme circumstances men have opted to take extreme steps which might not be understood without taking history in context. I will corelate the same scenario with the the situation in the tribal/FATA region where children have been killed, whole schools destroyed and family members killed in the name of collateral damage.

I don’t agree with the tactics employed by these people, but let me tell you that internally Pakistani society has a very strong synergy and it can easily be replaced by taking some small steps with their results being reflected over a period of time.

I still have a lot to say and a lot to do… and hopefully i’ll definitely contribute on this topic more in future debates, as nobody want’s peace more badly then the people of Pakistan.

Posted by Muhammed Salman | Report as abusive

This editorial is still here?? When will Reuters move on to an editorial that is well researched and acurate? This one certainly did not meet that definition. Looking forward to news and editorial content from Reuters that is timely, accurate and useful

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

A great article, as usual.

I’d just like to point out, however, that a large part of the value in these “Great Debate” articles is the comments that readers post. The problem is that the more interest that’s shown, the more comments that are posted, the harder it is to sort through them all. That becomes a disincentive to add an additional post. Not all of the posts are great, but many pretty good, some great. I think that if is truly to be a “Great Debate,” the structure for comments needs to evolve somewhat. Picking out the “Best Comment” is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go that far. It’s not that The Economist does it any better, but Reuters could do more here. Don’t you think?

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

Descending into chaos?
Mexico has always been unbelievably corrupt and has had at best marginal leadership. The sliding economy only brings this under a more direct light. The Mexican style of doing business is well known in central Phoenix where kidnapping and extortion are becoming more common ways of obtaining income.
The 2 real problems are America’s ‘war on drugs’ that empowers the cartels and the Mexican governments complete ineffectiveness. We should stop the one and stomp on the lawlessness that spills into the US from over the boarder.

Posted by riverguide | Report as abusive

The common thread that runs through Mexico and Pakistan is Drug trafficking.Huge Profits are generated by these Criminal networks and these like Cancer have corrupted all Institutions.In Pakistan Drug Barons have coopted Religion to increase the potency of the Cocktail.Murderers are preaching sermons in Pakistan a country now fully controlled by the 3M Corporation – Militant,Mullah and Military in an unholy nexus.Pakistan is receiving massive Western aid which never reaches the people but is siphoned off by the Establishment.For 20 Years Pakistan used proxy Militant Groups set up by it to infiltrate and create violence in neighbouring Afghanistan and India,continuing even today.
If Global leaders continue in slumber and do not take out Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets today the Price to be paid from this danger will be Humongous.This is the only way Pakistan can be saved and the neighbourhood protected.
The time to ACT is NOW,tomorrow we may be DEAD !!!

Posted by F.Daruwala | Report as abusive

The solution to the problem in Mexico is to legalize drugs in the US. Take the profit out of illegal narcotics and the problems will disappear for both countries.

Posted by Chip | Report as abusive

Drugs is such a powerfull business there is no way it can be stoped by agression. For each victim there is another one willing to take its place, no matter the risk.

Drug users buy they drugs here so we can not said that US is more competent than supplier countries in stoping this iligal activity.

The only way to end this war is by cutting the profit margin. Ideas like the one posted by Terry Kindle most be taken seriously.

Posted by Francisco | Report as abusive

Legalization/regulation/taxation of the illegal drugs currently funding the Mexican drug cartels is the best method to undermine the cartels (unless you’re delusional enough to think military occupation of Mexico is a better idea. *shudder*) By doing so, you remove the profit motive for drug smuggling and remove the cartels’ primary source of revenue.

Additionally, by regulating production of these drugs, you will increase the quality and safety of the product for the American consumers. By taxing the sale of these products, America would collect a large amount of new tax revenue, as opposed to the huge line item cost of the current impotent “war on drugs”.

Posted by Woodrow | Report as abusive

I concerned to see that the SMURFS have yet to be identified as a potential strategic threat to US Interests. Everyone knows the Smurfy malcontents are bent on the destruction of Intellectual Freedoms, Civil Liberty and the American Way of Life or wait a minute that would be the USA PATRIOT ACT.

Sorry Bernd, turns out the Smurfs are no threat at all and the biggest threat to the United States is its internal management problems that are decaying its legal infrastructure….though I suspect the Smurfs are behind it, especially that Brainy Smurf, you know he can’t be trusted…

Happy New Year from NICE FRANCE Reuters Crew!

The US needs to really worry about Canada…. They are just biding their time and will soon take over the world!

Posted by Mithan | Report as abusive

Hey Jimbo. I almost totally agree with you. Scary! I think we need to deal with the supply side, though. The Supply needs to come from a legal source. And, not all users of the illegal drugs are “addicts” just like not all users of legal drugs are “addicts.” That’s just all those radical fundamentalists demonizing a group of people so they feel good about treating them like they deserve their lives destroyed.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

I live in Mexico (along with a million and a half other Americans) and am astounded at the malicious ignorance found in this outrageous editorial. The writer should be ashamed of himself for two reasons: (1) for knowing as little as he does about Mexico and (2) for writing pure, deliberately destructive fiction to make an editorial buck.

Posted by Hooshootoo | Report as abusive

I think both Pakistan and Mexico are exegeratted problems being camouflaged to justify another possible military expedition in search of more resources for the monster that is USA, in my considered view actually USA is the country which is failing to maintain a balance in its needs versus resources. Both Mexico and Pakistan are having general mis-governance problems imparted by inside factors in case of Mexico and inside plus outside factors in case of Pakistan. Firstly Pakistan is missing a deligent and effective government which is willing to work for the betterment of its common people. Secondly Kashmir issue is the only problem that has kept Pakistan and India standing against eachother as rivals it need to be resolved on urgent basis. Thirdly the militant force that was cultivated and nurtured by USA on soils of pakistan to be used against USSR is now left deserted All aids suddenly stopped after USA got its objectives is now creating choas within pakistan it has to be aided and directed towards something positive through education and facilities. The fourth concern Nuclear Weapons, and pakistan may not be a Nuclear power if India didnt incite it to and even now if first Pakistan’s Biggest Rival India rolls back its Nuclear Program first Pakistan wont have any problem rolling it back after India because the technology was developed as consequence of continued rivality and threats from India which of course are due the conflict of Kashmir. Hope this explains the situation and helps seeing the positive and peaceful way of doing things instead of thinking of another bloodshed another military expedition which might be the last of for USA.

Posted by Ali Haider | Report as abusive

In addition, I think the US Government should be worried about controling all the weapons that are sold to Mexican Drug Cartels in the USA or by people from the nation. As Preseident Calderon mentioned to Bush in his last visit, Mexico is fighthing a war against the drug cartels and is paying with the lives of its citizens, soldiers, policemen, etc. Certainly, it is sad to see how far corruption has gone in Mexico, but it is not exclusive. Stop buying drugs, stop making drugs a great business and no one will have interest on selling them!

Posted by Carlos | Report as abusive

It was only more than a decade or so ago, when Pakistan’s north-western border was known for production and smuggling of drugs. The corruption and money that comes through such business, fuels all kinds of other problems. There was no real solution to the issue, till a much bigger issue arose in the same area.

Posted by SH | Report as abusive

Why blame USA?

Three million Bangladeshis were killed by Pakistani Army during 1971 East Pak and West Pak war. Mujib ur Rehman, the democratically elected Bangladeshi was jailed instead of being given PMs job of the combined state. The refugee problem was so overwhelming that India had to intervene to stop the genocide.
The Iran -Iraq (both muslim nations) war killed unknown number of millions.
More muslims were killed, in muslim countries BY MUSLIMS, in the last 50 years than by all other religions combined (killing them) in the last 1000 yrs. More terrorist related attacks are carried out by muslims (including sectarian-muslim vs. muslim) in muslim countries than all non muslim nations combined any given year last 5 yrs.
If there is a train accident in a muslim country the denial game sets in to blame USA, Israel, India or west. Well, the root cause is elsewhere not with Muslims, so muslims kill muslims, anyway.
Moderate muslim countries face perennial war with mullahs and their terrorist followers, all in the name of Islam. Iran wanted to save Islam so it continued war with Iraq for 8 yrs. Now its heart is bleeding because US is making ‘it a slave’. Iraqis should thank US for the freedom they are enjoying now.
A couple of weeks ago in Pakistan, Taliban passes a spine chilling decree for girls to marry only Taliban goons, not to attend schools and not to go to grocery store alone or else …. Well you know what they do, don’t you.
- stop existence in denial.

As some said before, the biggest problem with drug cartels in Mexico is the impressive level of consumption in the US, and the ineffectivness of American authorities in prosecueting major druglords in it´s country. Adding to such inefectivness are the Border Authorities that are incredibly passive on arms smuggling south of the border.
What impresses me the most is that the study fails to realize the role the US has on Mexico’s War on Crime. And the level of ignorance saying that Mexico is in the brink of a Goverment breakdown. It seems they are trying to cover their lack of responsability in fighting drug cartels in their own territory.
For a long time the Mexican Goverment has been extremely vocal on the role the American authorities have to have erradicating consumption, yet, to Mexican eyes there seems to be some king of tolerance on the matter. For me, the study seems wholly irresposible and lacking.

Posted by Eduardo | Report as abusive

pakistan, ooh ! nothing creative, all distructive people there, and now see, they fire the govt official who accepted the terrorist who did attack on mumbai is pakistani…they know how to play dirty games all the time…
Oh again i am saying America realise one day when pakistani’s will attack somewhere in usa.
Pakistan in worse than Afghanistan.

Posted by james | Report as abusive

The problem is India not Pakistan, India is busy killing thousands of Kashmiris, there are over 30 independant insurgencies going on in India and it is India likely to collpase like Yugoslavia as it is grossly mismanaged and bound together by very delicate nationalist fibers, north india has nothing in common with South india, same as in East and West India, India is a lot of nations forced to live together.

India has thousands of dialects and dozens of languages, it has hundreds of gods and thousands of religious affiliations, Pakistan under Islamic religion has one God and one faith, it is less likely to perish than India.

Pakistan also has over 200 Nuclear Weapons, and has one the most advanced and most formidable army on this side of the world. The people are motivated not by drug money as in mexico but by faith and the love of their religion.

The dooms sayers of Pakistan have spoken about it for decades and yet Pakistan continues to become stronger and stronger, it is the wish of the US to create a false flag operation so it could get its Nukes because a Muslim nation with Nukes pinches the Hindus, jews and Christians alike, but the reality is, that there are limited to no options.

US needs to stop using nations like Afghanistan and Pakistan against the USSR as they did once, and fix its pro fascist israeli policies, its bad foreign policies are what is Americas biggest enemy and should keep it up, not if Pakistan or Mexico are going down.

These are just excuses for the US to continue its war mongering and feeding its offense industries, please stop your evil, and you wont have nothing to worry about.

Posted by Tariq Shah | Report as abusive

People,

Legalizing drugs – all drugs – would do more to end crime, corruption, agony and pain than billions of dollars, troops, planes, and a thousand new prisons. After all, the most powerful drug of all is legal – and that’s alcohol. People drive cars on it, fight, scream, abuse, kill, participate in the full range of negative behavior – People on heroine sit there and stare – don’t drive, can’t fight, and slowly fade away.

Legalize drubs and organized crime will collapse.

Posted by andy | Report as abusive

If I was “king” of Mexico I would legalize drugs and go into the business of buying drugs from any and all sellers. Then in turn I would offer the USA the option to buy the same drugs from Mexico (plus a small handling charge, or course), with any drugs not purchased by the USA to be sold at auction to export companies and provided to domestic addict service outlets.

This would limit the corrupting influence of drugs in Mexico and force the US to reform its approach.

Posted by casamurphy | Report as abusive

Thanks Mr. Debusmann for talking on how stupid and corrupt are federal officials in Mexico; I like you also mention how federal government is infiltrated by drug cartels just on the top. The real shame is many mexicans are proud of Mr. Calderon’s mediatic campaign on the war against drugs… they must be who voted his party (it’s victory on election is totally unclear, but they have lots of money to support their causes and to bribe other officials). Indeed Mexico will collapse if no action is taken against the real criminals: our so called president and his neoliberal policies.

Posted by Joel Garcia | Report as abusive

Pakistan is going through really tough and challenging phase owing to some internal and external factors/stakeholders. We need to work together as a nation to take our beloved country out of this difficult and testing time. This challenging environment will only make us a stronger nation at the end!

Posted by Qaiser Turi | Report as abusive

The problem is with divide and rule policy of Mohammed Ali Jinnah dating back to 1940s.He was the source of breaking sub continent into many smaller states.In every home there would exist a problem,but the solution is not parting.Well,any religion,for that case,say it Islam never preaches violance.It is the mission carried out by some absolute crooks in the name of religion,nation and et al.Unfortunatly India’s(Citezens) lukewarm spirit and complacency is the dvantage of Pakisthan.I appreciate,there are leaders like Benerzir bhutto were there and leaders like Imran Khan are still there.But unfortunatly,this desert called Pakisthan is dominated by psychologically ill people.Destruction,chaos,or economy slump will not be done in the name of Allah.No Allahs had ever creid at you to kill other and die yourself.these terrorists are basically,lazy,drugged,even if they are educated(Only degree wise but not wisdom) weak,impotent(afraid to face reality) unfortunate creatures.Who gave rights to kill other.Why do u bombard America,India,Israel.What pupose you achive.Straight question to Pakisthan,your an fastly growing Afghanisthan,remember this.One more straight question to USA,your filled with fake,brainless,selfish policy makers,why? You give billions to Pak?Is that to meet your needs? In return they aim at India.God Bless America,10 years back when Kashmir was filled with terrorist,u always say peace,once they started bombarding you,you started occupying them.Look u big brother,while it was a plantling,you failed to amputate,now to sooth it,you send F15 and 16s and pay huge ransoms,Brother America,remember,it wil attack you some day they way usually do at India.That waould be the time,for your judgment day,you would feel shame for grooming it.Error!, any one for that sake India or pak or US,lets take charge of them.There are muslim nations like Malaysia,Indon,Brunai such nice loving nations .NO GOD asked to kill other.You America stop funding that Pakisthan,insted build,universities,schools(not Madrasas),hospitals,preach them love of Jesus.But do not pump money,b’coz still they are like prodigal sons.They are not in the right hands,they are with out their willingness in the hands of Dawoods,osamas.Lots of good civilians do exist in Pakisthan,God Bless Pakisthan,so that he may lead this nation from darkness to light.