Drug War

Former DHS Official: Let's Declare War on Mexico!

If we can't get people to stop using heroin, suggests Matt Mayer, why don't we just invade the country that produces it?

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Mexican Marines in Xalapa/PHOTO SOURCE: golpepolitico

As addiction researchers and health care providers search for a scalable response to heroin- and fentanyl-related deaths, a former senior official in the Department of Homeland Security has proposed a simpler solution: Congress should declare war on Mexico.

"It sounds crazy, I know—unless you acknowledge we are already fighting a war with Mexico," Matt Mayer writes in U.S. News and World Report. "Short of such an all-out military effort, has anyone offered a realistic way to defeat the drug cartels and stop the flow of death drugs? Crushing the supply of opioids and other death drugs from Mexico will allow our treatment activities to gain ground against the epidemic and one day get ahead of it."

Mayer worked at DHS under President George W. Bush, and his proposal draws inspiration from that period of foreign policy:

Let me put this issue in perspective. Since the first al-Qaida terrorist attack in Yemen in 1992, fewer than 5,000 Americans have died in terrorist attacks, with many of the deaths occurring on Sept. 11, 2001. In response to terrorist attacks, we waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and spent hundreds of billions of dollars on external and internal security measures to detect and to prevent future attacks.

If we did all of that in response to radical Islamic terrorism, why is it so crazy to consider using our military power to defeat the Mexican drug cartels which have inflicted far more death, mayhem and costs on America than al-Qaida and the Islamic State group combined?

I cannot argue with Mayer's math, though he's calculating on a slippery slope. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, and we know what causes it: lack of exercise, poor dietary habits, and/or tobacco use. Should we raze the sugarcane fields of South Florida and the cornfields of Iowa? What about napalming Georgia, Kentucky, and North Carolina, which produce the bulk of America's smoked tobacco? It sounds crazy, I know—unless you acknowledge we are already fighting a war with heart disease.

Mayer goes on to suggest how we might conduct this war without provoking retaliation from the Mexican government:

Ideally, as our fight is not with the Mexican government, its military or its people, which try to weaken the cartels, we would try to partner with those entities against the cartels, much as we partnered with the South Vietnamese government and military against the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese Army.

I have read just enough about Vietnam to know it's not a model for success. I might also point out that 85 percent of the global heroin supply comes from Afghanistan, which we invaded 16 years ago.

Instead, I'd like to talk about the Mexican military, which is perhaps the most efficient killing force on the planet. Last year, The New York Times reported that military conflicts generally produce a injure-to-kill ratio of four to one. That is, for every four combatants injured, one combatant is killed. The Mexican military writ large has a injure-to-kill ratio of one to eight, meaning they injure one person for every eight they kill. The Mexican Marines kill 30 people for every one person they injure. In fact, the Mexican military kills so many people while injuring so few that most informed observers believe the country is violating international laws regarding human rights and warfare.

Considering how good Mexico's government is at killing its own people, Mayer's proposal has me wondering what the value-add of a U.S. invasion would be. Washington hasn't merely turned a blind eye to human rights abuses south of the border; it has poured money into Mexico's drug war for nearly two decades, along with military advisers and weapons. Declaring war would be the next step in an instruction manual written by a Neanderthal. It would be expensive, illiberal, diplomatically catastrophic, and toxic to the shared economies of Mexico and the U.S. It would also avoid confronting the fact that we're currently failing to implement internationally recognized best practices—such as decriminalization, safe usage facilities, clean needle exchanges, and medication-assisted therapy—that have been shown to reduce opioid- and heroin-related mortality.

In short, Mayer's idea sounds crazy because it is.

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74 responses to “Former DHS Official: Let's Declare War on Mexico!

  1. “Short of such an all-out military effort, has anyone offered a realistic way to defeat the drug cartels and stop the flow of death drugs?”

    *thinks real hard*

      1. I see….

        Thinks with Unlabelable MJ Green

      2. Most Lovable H&R Commenter Posts Non-Working Link. Nobody Complains. Remains Most Lovable.

    1. These aren’t your dad’s dope. They’re DEATH DRUGS. Maybe a more fitting name for a metal band.

  2. My suggestion: have Josh Brolin, Benico Del Toro and the guy from Burn Notice secretly infiltrate Mexico so that they can kill a bunch of people and one drug kingpin.

    That will teach them a lesson or two.

    1. I think Antonio Banderas can still fit into his mariachi costume.

  3. “It sounds crazy, I know?unless you acknowledge we are already fighting a war with Mexico,” Matt Mayer writes

    In other words, it’s crazy all the way down.

  4. Crushing the supply of opioids and other death drugs from Mexico will allow our treatment activities to gain ground against the epidemic and one day get ahead of it.

    ROTFLMAO. No government in history as shut down a black market with use of force.

    Ideally, as our fight is not with the Mexican government, its military or its people, which try to weaken the cartels, we would try to partner with those entities against the cartels.

    Like we’re doing against ISIS et al, which is working how well?

    1. Do you see any opium flowing out of the middle east? Didn’t think so.

    2. Alcohol related deaths in the US each year are around 88,000 (according the CDC). I’m assuming we should also declare war on Milwaukee, Golden Colorado, (Beer) Tennessee (Whiskey), Ireland (Whiskey), Scotland (Scotch) Russia (Vodka), Mexico (Tequila) and the Bahamas (Rum). After all, if we can crush the supply of alcohol it will allow are treatment activities to gain ground and one day get ahead of it.

  5. How much of the drug war should we blame on puritanical religiosity?

    1. the problem is, food tastes too good.

      1. And people are too dumb to make decisions on their own.

    2. I’d argue that puritanism is alive and well and largely independent from religiosity. It metastasizes through bureaucracy, where it manifests as the persistent belief that enjoyment is not sufficient reason for a thing to be permitted, even if that enjoyment harms no one but the enjoyer.

    3. Puritanism: the fear that someone somewhere is happily engaging in behavior that harms no one but themselves, but that the Puritan disapproves of.

    4. Progressivism? 100%

  6. Short of such an all-out military effort, has anyone offered a realistic way to defeat the drug cartels and stop the flow of death drugs?

    Um, yes. Legalize everything. Maybe not politically realistic. But it will defeat the drug cartels and greatly reduce the number of drug related deaths.

  7. This will absolutely work. Poppies can’t grow anywhere else but Mexico, right?

    1. And US military involvement definitely is effective in stopping opium production.

      1. Sure. Consider Afghanistan… haha

  8. Also, I’m happy to see more from Riggs.

    1. Riggs makes Lauren Krisai look smart.

      1. SIV is an expert on making others seem smarter.

  9. If we can’t get people to stop using heroin, suggests Matt Mayer, why don’t we just invade the country that produces it?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to invade Afghanistan?

    1. “Opium is the main livelihood of 60 to 70 percent of the farmers in Marja, which was seized from Taliban rebels in a major offensive last month. American Marines occupying the area are under orders to leave the farmers’ fields alone.

      ‘Marja is a special case right now,’ said Cmdr. Jeffrey Eggers, a member of the general’s Strategic Advisory Group, his top advisory body. ‘We don’t trample the livelihood of those we’re trying to win over.””

      Source

      It seems to me that (Paul) has a very good point.

      1. We don’t get that good Afghani heroin despite all our subsidies. We get shitty Mexican smack adulterated with cut-rate Red Chinese fentanyl.

    2. The really upsetting thing is that many people do not even question the first point. People cannot be allowed to use heroin. Period. All of this is a natural result of this fundamental denial of a person to do what they want.

      Honestly, I wish all these anti-narcotic warmongers would be inflicted with a long term pain disorder like a broken back. Just suck it up faggots, who cares if you life is endless agony? Narcotics might make your life bearable, but pharmaceuticals are sinful!

  10. When you propose that we decriminalize or even legalize drugs, you get “Ssshhh, the adults are talking.” The notion that Jackholes like this guy are considered “the adults” is sad.

    1. I think ‘tragic’ is a more fitting word. These are the people who cause real damage, and they don’t care.
      Evil like this warrants ‘the boats’.

    2. I’ve seen an anti-drug person confronted by someone with a serious back-injury which caused chronic pain for years. They told them that the narcotics helped them live a semblance of a normal life, mitigating their pain. The anti-drug warrior responded, “That doesn’t make what you’re doing okay.”

      So fuck them. They are monstrously cruel human beings.

    3. you get “Ssshhh, the adults are talking.”

      Yeah, and when some snotty prick pulls that shit on me, I call him a snotty, brain-dead prick and point out the centuries of failure behind the policies they’re advocating.

      I then point to the success of decriminalization in Portugal, and ask him why he’s such a vicious sadist that he wants addicts to die.

      -jcr

    4. In the short term, the smart move would be to make the more benign opiates available on demand for adults, after a mandatory medical consultation on their safe use. This would make them cheap, and reduce demand for all the scarier shit that kills way more people than oxycodone. It also fixes thins so all the pellets like me who have chronic or intermittent severe pain can manage it effectively without some fag from the government putting their two cents in.

      You’re still going to see some folks abuse their mess and kill themselves, but that’s always going to happen. Don’t see why millions more of us must be made to suffer in a pointless effort to save them from themselves.

  11. stop the flow of death drugs

    I like this guy, he’s got style.

    1. Unless they are the good kind of death drugs states use for lethal injections.

    2. ‘Homicide drugs’ or GTFO

      1. Murder drugs

  12. Ok, there is a longstanding and well tried solution to problem Sates like Mexico; conquest. Not that is solves all the problems with such States, but it does have a track record of shifting such States from the Bloody Menace category to the Persistent Nuisance category. It would have worked better than nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan, if only because it removes several layers of obfuscation and blather to the governance of said States. Which is not to say it would have worked WELL.

    As a solution to Mexico, it is crazy. But it is only crazy because we lack the temperament to be a good Colonial Power.

    My concern about the War On Terror ™ is that it could push us into being a Colonial Power without making us any more likely to do it well. One big terror attck on US soil at the wrong time, and by the time we stepped seeing red, we would be governing most of the Middle East.

    *shudder*

    1. If you conquer Mexico then who will Republicans claim “terk er jerbs”?

      On the other hand, conquering Mexico will certainly shorten our southern border making it possible to build a shorter wall. We can probably even get Guatamala and Belize to pay for it!

      1. I believe that Mexico already HAS a very effective barrier. I know they are a good deal more serious about keeping illegal immigrants from their south out than we have been in recent years. So there’s likely savings there, too. And we could send the pillocks currently misgoverning places like Detroit, Jersey City, and New Orleans to run Mexico, and improve the governance in both places.

        *grin*

        If Trump were the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt that he seems to think he is, we might pull it off. Sadly, while he does seem to be better than the power-suited Bozo The Clown I expected, he isn’t Teddy. Even with Teddy’s faults.

        1. Then why do all the Hondurans and Guatemalans still come in through Mexico? Maybe Mexico’s approach is just to give all the immigrants from the south a ride to the US border. Which gives me an idea. Just pick up immigrants on the southern border and bus them all to Canada.

          1. Ooohh, beauty, eh?

  13. It sounds crazy, I know

    Indeed.

    unless you acknowledge we are already fighting a war with Mexico

    No, we are not.

    Short of such an all-out military effort, has anyone offered a realistic way to defeat the drug cartels and stop the flow of death drugs?

    Legalization and treatment as a public health issue.

    Crushing the supply of opioids and other death drugs from Mexico…

    This is already being attempted. But, alas, where there is demand, there is someone to supply. It’s like you want to keep doing the same thing, only MOAR HARDER, and you expect a different result. That’s insane.

  14. much as we partnered with the South Vietnamese government and military against the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese Army.

    We did not lose Vietnam! It was a tie!

    1. Arrrrghh aieeeeea uggghhh arrr!!

      1. Oh crap I had the wrong Vietnam joke. That’s a good one too.

    2. WE didn’t lose in Vietnam, because we had gotten out, as we should have a long time before. But our SIDE certainly lost.

  15. death drugs

    I guess “illegal drugs” or “illicit drugs” wasn’t scary sounding enough. They had to ramp the fear mongering up to 11, so “death drugs.” Ooh, aren’t you all so scared? The Mexican “death drugs” are gonna come and get us all in our sleep or some shit. What a fuck-tard.

    Ideally, as our fight is not with the Mexican government, its military or its people, which try to weaken the cartels, we would try to partner with those entities against the cartels, much as we partnered with the South Vietnamese government and military against the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese Army.

    That worked out sooo well. /sarc

    [Washington] has poured money into Mexico’s drug war for nearly two decades, along with military advisers and weapons.

    Sounds like we’re already following the Vietnam model, we’re just still in the late Eisenhower/ early Kennedy administration time frame. Might as well go “full Johnson,” right?

    You never go full Johnson!

  16. The U.S. already kicked Santa Ana’s butt in 1848 and could have annexed Mexico at that time. Now this asshole wants to get your kid killed doing it all over again?

    1. Re: creech,

      The US almost got into a deal to annex the whole of Mexico. Seaech for the McLane-Ocampo deal in Wikipedia. Only because Congress refused to accept the deal, otherwise the United States would have 82 states instead of 50

  17. If we are there, the mexican army will have to stop executing drug dealers.

  18. perhaps the most efficient killing force on the planet

    Can’t we just sneak in during siesta and make quick work of them?

    1. The distract any who awaken prematurely with tacos?

  19. Federal and state governments can’t keep drugs out of federal and state prisons. Why do they think they can keep them from crossing a ~2000 mile border?

    Once you vanquish Mexico (and do what with it exactly??), do you then have to declare war on every other country that grows poppies?

    What about cocaine? Just keep marching south?

  20. “Short of such an all-out military effort, has anyone offered a realistic way to defeat the drug cartels and stop the flow of death drugs?”

    And you have to add that those legendary(*) Mexican rapists are not going to combat themselves.

    (*) All hundreds of millions of them.

  21. You want a solution. Stop our troops from guarding poppy fields and the CIA from smuggling it to the US. You war mongering bastards make sick. Deal with the real problem or just commit suicide and make this country great again.

  22. “In fact, the Mexican military kills so many people while injuring so few that most informed observers believe the country is violating international laws regarding human rights and warfare.”

    Or maybe they all score the most headshots in Call Of Duty…

    Truth be told, Mexican soldiers are all volunteers, very disciplined and very well trained. Which is kind of scary when you think of it, as a citizen of Mexico who loathes the State.

  23. “Short of such an all-out military effort, has anyone offered a realistic way to defeat the drug cartels and stop the flow of death drugs?” Yeah, oddly enough, there’s not only a realistic way, but one guaranteed to end the drug cartels’ reign of terror AND stop the flow of “death drugs.” LEGALIZE THE DAMN DRUGS, and let duly licensed, regulated, and taxed businesses take over.

    1. Yes, nothing kore important than aggressive licensing, regulating, and taxing anything the government ‘allows’. The black market is usually the better deal if that’s the alternative. Like in WA, legal pot is certainly not better than black market pot, thanks to all those regulations.

  24. Or the military could just kill all the prohibitionists.

  25. One of the reasons we have a military presence in Afghanistan is due to the opium poppies grown there. So are we going to have a military presence in Mexico? Then further on down in Central and South America? Bring back the draft to get the necessary military manpower?

  26. Heroin ultimately starts as Opium……and a major supplier of Opium in this world is Afghanistan.
    We have invaded Afghanistan, and to what affect?

  27. “Short of such an all-out military effort, has anyone offered a realistic way to defeat the drug cartels and stop the flow of death drugs? Crushing the supply of opioids and other death drugs from Mexico will allow our treatment activities to gain ground against the epidemic and one day get ahead of it.”

    Because its worked so well in Afghanistan?

  28. Where do they find these people?

  29. End prohibition of everything that adults choose to ingest. Simple…..

  30. It’s nice for the neocons to remind us every once in a while that they are still the number one threat to freedom

  31. Heroin should never be a reason for any type of war. If it is not coming from Mexico, it will come from other parts of the world.

  32. the Mexican military kills so many people while injuring so few that most informed observers believe the country is violating international laws regarding human rights and warfare.

    Please explain what an injury-to-kill ratio has to do with that. Offhand the only thing I can think of is they’re good shots. Or maybe it means they kill them to make sure they’re not left wounded & angry; but wouldn’t wound-then-kill be counted as injury + kill?

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  34. Much better would be to let the Mexican people arming themselves. How’s that gun control works for them?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7fWCZytlME
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l91pWLzPwzI

  35. This is the same fallacy shown by the “debate” that Islamic terrorism causes less deaths than bathtub drownings, etc etc. That is, heroin addiction is a “social” problem, not a national-security pbm.

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