Could the U.S. military be deployed in the fight against Mexican drug cartels?
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suggests that cooperative military action between the U.S. and Mexico governments may be necessary to combat Mexican transnational drug cartels.
“Where crime and kidnapping becomes almost routine and the corruption that goes hand and hand with billions of dollars of illegal narcotic trafficking resources combined with vicious violent transnational criminal cartels has done enormous damage to Mexico and enormous damage to America,” Cruz said, in an interview with Brandon Darby of Breitbart Texas.
“What can we do about it? One of the things I think we should explore very seriously is something along the lines of what we did in Colombia: Plan Colombia. Where President George W. Bush worked with President [Alvaro] Uribe to target the cartels and take them out. It was treated less as a law enforcement matter than as a military matter. Where our military went into Colombia and helped destroy the cartels.”
Still, Sen. Cruz made sure to stress: “It did so on the invitation of the Colombian government. Look, we should not engage in a military action in Mexico without the active cooperation of the duly elected government there.”
Plan Colombia was a comprehensive, long-term assistance package passed in 1999 in coordination with the Colombian government, designed to rescue what was, at the time, a failing state from collapse. Terror from drug cartels and the militant Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and corrupt and unreliable government officials contributed to widespread political instability in the South American country.
Nearly 20 years and $8 billion later, the limited support of the U.S. military in conjunction with other aid has led to a successful restoration of peace in Columbia.
A similar agreement with Mexico may restore law and order to the border.