Associated Press
March 2, 2009

WASHINGTON—Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. is in the position to provide more help to Mexico in the fight against drug cartels operating near the U.S. border.

[efoods]Gates says some of the old biases against cooperation between the U.S. and Mexican militaries are being set aside amid the growing violence. He sees the U.S. providing Mexico with training, resources and surveillance and intelligence capabilities.

In Gates’ words, the border drug war is “clearly a serious problem.”

Gates also praises Mexican President Felipe Calderon (fay-LEE’-pay kahl-duh-ROHN’) for taking on the drug cartels. The Pentagon chief says one reason the situation has gotten so bad is that previous Mexican presidents wouldn’t deal with the problem head-on.

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