Time to Use Drones in Mexico?
The Mexican drug cartels are a threat to America's national security, yet last month the president endorsed the Senate immigration bill that does not sufficiently secure the border. Ranchers living in the Southwest have repeatedly reported incidents of violence that come from drug mules. American Thinker interviewed people affected by and knowledgeable about the cartels, asking them how they can be curtailed.
A U.S. border patrol agent stationed in Arizona told American Thinker that he wishes that the same action taken in Colombia could be used in Mexico. A CIA covert action program working alongside the Colombian forces killed rebel leaders of the insurgency FARC. America provided two essential services to the Colombian government: real-time intelligence and a GPS guidance kit that transformed gravity bombs into accurate smart bombs. The agent noted that the key element was the Colombian government's willingness to cooperate with the U.S. -- something he says is needed on the Mexican side to combat the drug cartels.
Author Mike Maden told American Thinker that he wrote his latest book, Drone, because of his personal quest. He feels that Americans need to look upon the Mexican drug cartels the same way they look upon terrorists. He painted this scenario: "What if our president spoke to the American people telling about this terrorist organization that is active in thousands of American communities, in virtually every state? He went on to say how they have killed and wounded huge amounts of young Americans and have an organized sex trade. I would hope the American people would be outraged and demand action. This should include sending in drones, as we have all over the world to kill terrorists. So why not send them into Mexico with the government's cooperation?"
Arizona Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels agrees that something has to be done. He feels that the best way to handle the cartels is similar to what is happening in Colombia: good intelligence along with the use of drones. "That is how we bust the cartels up: by not allowing them free play. The cartels dismember people; assault my officers, leaving them for dead; and have increased the violence on American citizens, yet I am still waiting for the outcry on the part of the American people. We do need an awareness program, and for the president with Congress to step up. When the border sheriffs offered to come to the table to address the problems, we were denied."
Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chair of the Mexico Caucus and a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has been concerned for many years regarding the porous Southern border. He has been attempting to work with the Mexican government to get their cooperation in battling the cartels, citing the yearly U.S. congressional dialogue with their counterparts in Mexico. He also suggested that the new oil reserves there, which will be privatized, "can dramatically increase the revenue to the Mexican economy. This will allow the government to have more revenues to fight the cartels by paying the military more. But, just as with the War on Terror, we need to combat them with a long, sustained effort."
An Air Force major who flies drones feels that using them on the Mexican border is feasible. He suggests changing the mindset by having the cartels considered terrorists, not part of a "mafia." "Drone technology could then hunt them down where these guys are hiding out. They can also be used as a quick reactions force on the border to help capture those who cross illegally into the U.S. There are a host of drones out there that can be used ranging in size from the palm of your hand to the size of an aircraft. With the cooperation of the Mexican government, we could use them to gather intelligence and to patrol on both sides of the border."
The Nixon Administration, in the 1970s, declared a "War on Drugs." The fight is still ongoing today, due in part to Americans who have a lust for drugs and have no moral responsibility. However, the Mexican drug cartels and the significant dangers they impose must not be ignored, and America, along with Mexico, must take the fight to the cartels with the same attitude as if they were terrorists.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.