Sunday, October 27, 2019

Forget Syria. What Is The U.S. Doing About The Failed State On Its Southern Border?

A failed state just surrendered a drug lord's son and a whole city to a drug cartel. In a sensible world, this would ring alarm bells in the Pentagon.
How would one categorize a nation-state whose army gives a drug baron’s son to cartel members after suffering brutal losses in pitched battles? The country whose firebrand leftist president apologized on television and said the army’s surrender to a drug cartel was the correct thing to do, because “we do not want war”?
If the reports are correct, this is precisely what happened in Mexico, around the same time the Democratic presidential primary field was debating whether there should be more trillion-dollar expenditures in the U.S. budget. Instead, a failed state on the southern border of the United States should ring alarm bells in the Pentagon.
A map in the BBC showed how Mexico is divided into four cartel zones, similar to warlords in Afghanistan or Libya. A few days back, Mexican National Guards surrounded drug lord El Chapo’s son in a house and after a heavy gunfight forced him to surrender and be arrested.
Then all hell broke loose. Cartel members surrounded the house and forced security to retreat. The army was called in after heavy violence, and even they were fought to a standstill. While there were not many reports of this in American mainstream media, social media was lit with videos of the Mexican military being surrounded by the cartel members.
There were also videos of Sinaloa cartel members in armored cars, with anti-tank grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns patrolling the streets of Mexican cities. In short, the balance of power passed to the hands of drug gangs, militias, and cartel members, who rioted, freed prisoners, and humiliated the national government.
Needless to mention, this is not normal. International relations is based on mutual trust between governments, who are expected to keep the authority in a region, especially one as vital as Mexico. Under El Chapo’s cartel, Sinaloa has been the biggest supplier of drugs in the United States. Even with El Chapo jailed, his family runs the business openly without any retribution.
The government is powerless and corrupt and compromised. Mexico’s leftist president and vocal U.S. critic Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected to deal with the cartels and gangs. After this humiliating surrender, however, he thanked the security forces for releasing El Chapo’s son, saying that it was a prudent thing to do as the Mexican government is not willing to go to war. “The officials who took this decision did well,” he was reported by the BBC saying. “The capture of a criminal is not worth more people’s lives.”
Read the rest from Sumantra Maitra HERE at The Federalist.

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