Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our Guys Get Pink Slips: Pentagon Expands Training of Mexican Military

The United States is quietly expanding its training of Mexico's armed forces, helping to reverse decades of mistrust that made Mexico's military reluctant to cooperate with its northern neighbor.
The amount the Pentagon spent on training Mexico's armed forces, though small, increased to more than $15 million last year, up from about $3 million in 2009, according to U.S. Northern Command, which oversees U.S. military contacts with Mexico.
The training comes as Mexico's armed forces have been drawn deeper into the country's war on drugs and organized crime.
"For decades, Mexico's military tried to remain autonomous from the U.S. military," said David Shirk, a fellow at the Wilson Center.
U.S. military officials are reluctant to discuss the relationship openly because of sensitivities in Mexico about appearing dependent on American help. In a statement, the Pentagon said the U.S. military participated in 150 "engagements" with Mexican troops on both sides of the border, "sharing training opportunities with more than 3,000 Mexican soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines."
The statement said the Pentagon's "interactions" with Mexico's military have expanded over the past three years. Mexican government officials declined to speak on the record about the training.
... The military training is part of a larger program to support Mexico's war on drugs. The cornerstone of that is the Merida initiative, a $2.1 billion program started in 2007. The program has provided equipment and training for Mexico's judiciary and law enforcement agencies.
That program has opened the door to military contacts, Shirk said. "That really was a watershed moment," he said.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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