US Military Chief Backs Iraq-Style Counter-Insurgency For Mexico Drug War

WASHINGTON, March 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. military is ready to help Mexico in its deadly war against drug cartels with some of the same counter-insurgency tactics used against militant networks in Iraq and Afghanistan, the top U.S. military officer said on Friday.

Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said the Defense Department was moving quickly to provide the Mexican military with equipment, including helicopters, under a $1.4 billion U.S. aid initiative.

“They have an urgent need. We all have a sense of urgency about this. And so we’re all going to push pretty hard to deliver that capability as rapidly as possible,” Mullen told reporters in a conference call as he returned from his first official visit to Mexico as Joint Chiefs chairman.

Drug violence has killed thousands of people in Mexico as the government of President Felipe Calderon wages war against drug cartels that earn some $10 billion a year trafficking narcotics destined for consumers in the United States.

Mexico’s bloodiest drug war city is Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, where the Mexican government this week sent hundreds of heavily armed soldiers to take over anti-drug efforts from police tainted by corruption and links to drug traffickers.

Mullen, who visited Mexico on Friday as part of a five-nation Latin American tour, said the U.S. military is already providing some intelligence support to Mexico. He gave no specifics.

In talks with top Mexican defense and military officials, he said he emphasized the Pentagon’s readiness to provide new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance help, such as unmanned drones to spy on armed drug gangs, especially along the U.S. border.

“They need intelligence support, capabilities and tactics that have evolved for us in our fight against networks in the terrorist world,” Mullen said. “There are an awful lot of similarities.”

He said the Mexican leadership is taking steps to eliminate problems posed by official corruption that could compromise counter-narcotics efforts.

“Best I can tell, the leadership in Mexico is aware of the problem and is addressing it,” Mullen said. “I haven’t seen anything on the military side at this point that would indicate that that’s a limiting factor.”

The admiral said he and his Mexican hosts did not discuss the possibility of placing U.S. troops on the U.S.-Mexican border, an idea suggested by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

He also visited Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia. (Reporting by David Morgan, editing by Anthony Boadle)

– Article from Reuters on March 6, 2009.



  1. Smokepot_Daily on

    On the face of humanity once again. It didn’t work there. Why is politics only good for creating problems? Because we live in a capitalist world where a problem is a market for a solution.

    Why do so many think the solution to every problem is a bullet?

    People vex me. It must be 4:20 in some continuum where it’s Peaceful.

  2. Philip Cichanowicz on

    Honestly, I fail to see the significance of cannabis prohibition in this situation. The conflict along the border has VERY little to do with cannabis. Mexico has never had their shit together. I’m not being racist, I don’t have anything against mexicans as a race – But as a nation, they just haven’t been able to get their shit down. If you think political corruption and a sense of fascism is prevalent in the states… Go to Mexico. You have very few rights in Mexico and there are very few officials who aren’t on the cartel payroll. The problem lies one in: The United States continuing to give aid (aka weapon) to a government that is now obviously so sick with cartel influence and bribery that they are unable to function and 2: in the overall lack of border regulation in the states. The drug trade does not flourish across the US and Canadian border the way it does at the Mexican border – This is of course do to a lot of topographical reasons. If you’re going to sneak into Canada, you’re probably sneaking in by boat. At the Mexican border, you have large stretches of land that can be traveled by foot.

    So how do you solve the problem? First off, the US should STOP giving weapons to the Mexican government. Next, we should cease all involvement over their side of the border. The US should let Mexico deal with their own shit. If the people really have THAT much of a problem with the situation, they can conduct a revolution – they’ve been doing it for centuries. Next, the US should ACTUALLY ENFORCE their immigration laws. The US should be fortifying, not granting aid to a government that – at its core – supports the conflict.

    I say: continue constructing the gatling gun outposts. I say: build more fences. I don’t see why my country has bases in Iraq, Japan, and Qatar when they can’t even defend my country at home.

    I declare…. SHENANIGANS.

  3. indijo on

    The DEA is behind the war on drugs, everywhere, including Mexico and SA.

    Fascists are absolute control freaks that need scapegoats, preferably weak and defenseless ones, to set themselves up as the heroic leaders to be given no end of glorious respect. Machiavelli knew this, that’s why he wrote a book about it (The Prince) to be used as a basic manual and guide by selfish ruling-class politicians seeking to exploit humankind and its civilization for wealth and power.

    Drugs and the people that use drugs are the scapegoat of the modern Machiavellians. Fear-mongering propaganda and lies are used to keep the majority of common people dumbed-down and blinded from this reality. But as the suffering victims of the drug war are squeezed into tight prisons, like animals in zoos, millions are forced into an poor under-caste of society, and the truth is becoming more popular, the days of the modern Machiavellians and their zombie-robot warriors are numbered.

    Btw, I’m not 15, I’m over 50.

  4. Elguapo on

    It’s a War on “certain” Drugs…you can smoke tobacco til you get lung cancer and no jail time and drink til you need a new liver or kill someone driving impaired, but God forbid you smoke some cannabis to relax. Legalize Marijuana and 80% of the drug problem will go away!

  5. Anonymous on

    The United States military should have been dispatched on the Mexican Border decades ago.

    Clamp down IMMEDIATELY!

  6. George Lenard on

    Shortly after a truck carrying 10 tons of cocaine coming from Columbia under the terms of the new free trade agreement Bush made with South America, gets busted in Mexico, stopping all further shipments? Why would the cartels be seeking ground now, who had control? Could it have been those who had allowed all of the previous shipments from same source, to go through? No conspiracy theory here! The cost of the war in Afghanistan will be measurable in the increase in the number of heroin addicts in North America?

  7. indjio on

    So, the US Corporate Empire has found the perfect excuse to extend itself into Latin and South America. This madness is getting sickening. There is no doubt in my mind now that this is the Evil Twin of Earth.