Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Mexican Drug Cartels Are A National Security Issue

The U.S. and Mexico have categorically rejected a recent report from the high-profile Global Commission on Drugs, which claims that the U.S.-led war on drugs is a colossal -- and costly -- failure. The report -- signed by world leaders including former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana -- argues that harsh drug policies have primarily resulted in the proliferation of organized crime, corruption, and mass criminalization, while failing to substantially reduce illegal drug use. It advocates addressing illegal drug use as a public health issue rather than a crime problem, with an emphasis on “legal regulation” and treatment over punishment. Despite the panel’s big-name cachet, the U.S. and Mexico have indicated that they have no intention of abandoning their strategies for fighting the drug war, which has claimed more than 40,000 Mexican lives since December 2006. In a statement last week, the Obama administration claimed that the fight against illegal drugs is working. And the White House is actually looking to increase funding for its war on drugs. The president’s 2012 budget asks for $26.2 billion for drug control, a 7.9% increase from 2011 that includes $1.7 billion to help Mexico fight the cartels.  Mexico's powerful criminal organizations have extensive -- and deeply rooted -- networks across the U.S.. The cartels have already put tremendous strain on the US criminal justice system and law enforcement, and now threaten to jeopardize U.S. trade, compromise the integrity of our financial systems and destabilize our already-weak border...more

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