Andres Oppenheimer: Mexico’s Drug Cartels Are No “Terrorist Insurgency”

The Miami Herald, 12/17/11

Like in every election season, when legislators compete to make headlines, there are some bizarre ideas being discussed in the U.S. Congress these days. One of the craziest — and most dangerous — is a Republican bill that calls for U.S. “counter-insurgency tactics” to combat an alleged “terrorist insurgency” in Mexico.

The bill, sponsored by House Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs chairman Connie Mack, R-Fla., and passed by that panel’s Republican majority in a vote along party lines Dec. 15, says seeks to “protect U.S. citizens from external threats” posed by Mexico’s drug cartels, which it calls “terrorist” organizations.

It notes that the $1.3 billion U.S.- Mexico Merida Initiative to help fight drug cartels in Mexico has failed to stop drug trafficking organizations, and proposes to supplement it, with among other things, U.S. military advisers in Mexico and “counter-insurgency” tactics that would supposedly be devised in a “coordinated” way with Mexico. It is vague, however, on what the new tactics should be.

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