Skip to comments.What Would a War on the Drug Cartels Look Like?
Posted on 12/02/2019 3:14:36 PM PST by Kaslin
Donald Trump is talking about labeling the Mexican drug cartels that own our failed state neighbor as “terrorist groups,” and this is yet another step toward what is increasingly looking to be an inevitable confrontation. They just butchered several American citizens, including kids, which cannot go unanswered. They murder thousands of Americans a year here with their poison, which cannot go unanswered. But are we Americans even able to answer a bunch of pipsqueak thugs anymore? Let’s put aside the question of if we should use our military against Mexico (I discussed it here in 2018, to the consternation of liberals and Fredocon sissies) and look at what might happen if we did escalate.
None of it is good.
It’s not a matter of the prowess of our warriors. Our warriors, unleashed, would lay waste to anything we point them at. But the question is, “Would we ever unleash them? Would we let them do what it takes to achieve the goal of eliminating the cartels?"
Of course not. We haven’t decisively won a real war since World War II (except the Gulf War, unless you accept the arguable premise that it was an early campaign in a still-continuing Iraq conflict). And there’s a reason we don’t win. We don’t truly want to, as demonstrated by our unwillingness to do the hard things required to win. Could you imagine the Democrats siding with America in a war on Mexican drug cartels? If you can, you’re higher than Hoover Biden at a strip club on a Saturday night.
Again, this is not to say whether a war on the Mexican drug cartels is a good or bad idea. Nor is it to say we do not have the combat power to do it – we do. It’s just to say that America is culturally and politically unwilling to do what it takes to win, or to accept the losses that would come with a military campaign against the drug cartels.
You always start with an objective: what is the end state if we opt for armed conflict? The bureaucratic tendency is to fuzz this part up, to provide some gooey, metric-resistant pablum like “a Mexico where people are free to be the very best Mexicans they can be” instead of something clear and measurable, like “Destroy Los Tacos Malos Cartel by capturing or killing its leadership, eliminating its capacity to grow, process and transport illegal drugs, and ending its ability to influence and intimidate the Mexican government, media and populace.” Why be unclear? Because, of course, if the objective is clear and measurable then the bureaucrats can be held accountable when they fail to meet the objective.
After you figure out the objective, you consider the enemy. Who is it? These are extremely wealthy, sophisticated, and utterly ruthless criminal gangs that have, through “plata o plomo” (“silver or lead,” meaning you take a bribe or a bullet), infiltrated and controlled all levels of Mexican society. Moreover, they have also done so in the United States to a degree we cannot be sure of right now but one that is certain to increase if we go to war. Moreover, they are technically sophisticated, with all the tech money can buy. And they have combat power sufficient to defeat government forces. When some Mexican authorities grabbed El Chapo’s son, the cartel fought back and defeated the outgunned government units.
In addition, and this is key, inside Mexico they can rely on Mexican patriotism to help resist U.S. forces – most Mexicans have no use for the criminals, but less for foreigners. The Mexican president is already decrying an American “invasion,” and many Mexican patriots would side with their evil countrymen over benevolent Americans. Finally, the drug cartels are ruthless. They murder everyone, and everyone’s families, in graphic and spectacular fashion designed to maximize fear.
A massive U.S. invasion is unlikely for many reasons, but there would be a temptation to use special ops types to target key cartel personnel and locations. This can be effective in a counterinsurgency, where you are trying to stamp out rebels trying to overthrow the government. But here, the cartels are infiltrated into the government. You can’t kill a few leaders and go home. Mexican society is infected with the gangrene of corruption. A few SEALs smoking some sicarios is a boon to humanity but it doesn’t win the war. More just take over. To cure corruption, you would have to tear down and rebuild Mexican society a la Japan and Germany after World War II. Anybody up for that quagmire? Anyone? Hello?
America has a whole bunch of peerless killers and death machines – including Conan the jihadi-neutering hero dog – but it’s not clear any of that matters here. Our political class has its own interests in ethnic politics and cheap foreign labor that prevents the most obvious of anti-cartel actions: cut off their drug money by seriously enforcing the border. But no matter how many Mexican students end up beheaded with chainsaws on video, and no matter how many Americans are murdered, there is no way the Democrats and the corporate GOP would ever stand for a real border. Combine that with the currently fashionable baloney about the “War on Drugs” and you know that even as Americas troops fought it out with bullets, their country would be utterly unwilling and unable to do the one thing that might actually crush the cartels.
So, what do we do? Order some Delta Force hits in Sinaloa? Some drone strikes? That’s drug dealer Whack-a-Mole. Another one will just pop up for every one we kill as long as that border is open and the money is flowing.
And here’s another thing: do we imagine that the cartels would just sit back and take it? Do we think they would just shrug and let our attacks go unanswered? The mere fact that we would be unwilling to take the one step that actually might hurt the cartels for real demonstrates our weakness and our own vulnerability. Our war on them would mean their war on us.
The enemy always gets a vote, and they would obviously vote to attack us here in the United States. Yes, on our territory (it has happened before), including the same kind of massacres and horrific murders going on all the time in Mexico that we read about buried in the newspaper behind the 20 pages of the latest on how awful Trump is. The cartels understand the power of terror, and we are weak. We have no stomach for the kind of fight this would be. A few slaughters of ordinary Americans by cartel gunmen in Houston or Tucson and any semblance of unity behind taking out the cartels vanishes. Far too much of our establishment would forgo the righteous vengeance that would be the appropriate response and blame America first.
As the great Jeanne Kirkpatrick observed, they always blame America first.
Our troops would get to come home from war awaiting the inevitable betrayal by the Democrats seeking to prosecute them for “war crimes” for doing what we asked them to do in the dirtiest kind of war imaginable. And the billions we let flow south unimpeded in exchange for the drugs we let flow north unimpeded would come back to bribe many of the officials and politicians sitting in judgment of our fighters. America would be humiliated and corrupted. The Democrats would side with the enemy, calling a war designed to save Mexican lives “racist,” causing further political chaos here.
The sad fact is that our establishment does not really want to take on the cartels. The failed state next door is a distraction from their real priorities: Ukrainian/Russia tiffs and getting sideways with NATO allies over communist Kurds. Nor do they want to gin up public pressure to take the only action that would devastate the cartels: seriously defending our own border. They want the new voters, they want the cheap labor, and they don’t care how many Mexicans and Americans die to keep them both flowing.
For a bit later.
I would hope it looked a lot like an A-10 Warthog.
We have an enormous fifth column in this country.
Much like the war against the Deep State. No punishment for the real criminals.
and there it is...
Kinda like the Alamo in reverse
Drug dealers, such as Big Marijuana, are big donors to the Democrats.
We have an enormous fifth column in this country.
Yeh, if you mean the US drug users I agree. Step one is to decide what to do about them. Dry up demand and supply will subsequently dry up. Until Americans are ready and willing to do this. I mean hit it hard. Then, were wasting our time.
An uncorrupted Federal law enforcement agency arresting about 25% of Congress.
Drug cartels working along side our enemies inside and out to destabilize this country and bring us chaos. Open borders supported by the rat party and some never trumpers to allow full access to foster murder rape and chaos. The killing of our youth we depend on to protect this country in time of need with lethal poison. We are at war and sadly brought about by our very own
Well, a legitimate “WAR” would start with a declaration by Congress.
‘And theres a reason we dont win. We dont truly want to, as demonstrated by our unwillingness to do the hard things required to win. Could you imagine the Democrats siding with America in a war on Mexican drug cartels? If you can, youre higher than Hoover Biden at a strip club on a Saturday night.”
Mexico has drug cartels because the US has illegal drug users. We have obviously lost “The War on Drugs” in the US and for the same reason it will be futile to wage one in Mexico. Eliminating supply will not eliminate demand. Supply will be available so longs as the pricer is paid. Ask the Afghanis.
Do we want to take the harsh actions needed to eliminate demand for illegal drugs? No of course not.
Same principal for the deer population. It cannot be controlled by thinning bucks since just a few bucks or even one can populate the herd.
“...”drug dealer Whack-a-Mole”...”
How about the economic war of legalizing everything. This takes the PROFIT out of it, which is what keeps the cartels going.
I see nothing in the Constitution which gives the federal government any authority over what I put in my body.
There’s only a profit because substances that should cost pennies cost a great deal.
Let the users OD, a friend calls it the ‘Self-Cleaning Oven Theory”
Sending U.S. troops into Mexico would be a nightmare. We would have to take out (kill) senior members of the corrupt Mexican government who are working for the cartels. Colon Powell was right about one thing. If you break it you own it. We can raise tariffs and threaten higher and higher tariffs.
The “Mexican patriotism” angle would be addressed by TDY (or whatever moves them) of SF to LE.
Big LE pay for our warriors. No US military in the battle.
An outrageous attack on US by cartels would be grounds for real war, even to the ‘Mexican patriots’.
The big issue would be giving cartel money to Mexico, and protecting cooperating politicians. officials and their families.
This article is a defeatist pile of shit. Trump can unilaterally close the Mexican border with troops regardless of the courts or congress. Do it President Trump. Lock the southern border down until Mexico cleans up the cartels, place individual sanctions on all crooked, cartel-linked politicians, businessmen, and corporations.
I like the way you sidestepped “US drug users” and then used the term “Americans”. Aren’t you cute.
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