JUSTIN AKERS CHACON
Kansas City Star
August 21, 2011
The increasing involvement of the United States in Mexico’s drug war is only going to make a bad situation worse.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
It will likely lead to more deaths. It will be a drain on our treasury. And it’s unlikely to stem the flow of drugs. This is because the U.S. intervention ignores the root causes of the drug trade and the spreading international character of the cartels.
U.S. involvement began with the “Merida Initiative,” a $1.4 billion aid package signed by President Bush in 2007 to provide training and equipment to Mexican drug enforcement efforts. It coincided with Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s initiation of a military offensive against the drug cartels.
President Obama then expanded the scope of the Merida Initiative in 2009, emphasizing coordination and information sharing, including the establishment of joint command and control centers in Mexico. This has led to the training of thousands of Mexican agents, the transfer of high-tech weaponry, the deployment of unmanned drones within Mexico and now the direct involvement of Drug Enforcement Administration and CIA agents, U.S. military personnel (from the Pentagon’s Northern Command) and private contractors.