Friday, March 26, 2010

One step forward, two steps back

With drug violence on a frightening rise along the Mexican border, the assessment found greater levels of heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine flowing across the border than ever before -- and predicts more to come.

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Government officials, in fact, estimate that heroin production in Mexico jumped from 17 metric tons in 2007 to 38 tons in 2008.

Saaaaweeeet!! So how much is this "progress" going to cost Americans?
Earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Mexico with other high-level administration officials to discuss the Merida Initiative, a multi-year, $1.4 billion project aimed at helping Mexico combat organized crime. Clinton said the initiative would emphasize social and economic development in addition to security.
It's a damn fine thing that America doesn't need that $1.4 billion to fund our own social and economic development. Really though, if she didn't give our money to Mexico, it would have been squandered here on something just as stupid. In the end, it's always about the money.

I've talked about that before. More and more money and effort is going to be thrown at the problem. That includes the funding of more arms and equipment, which Hillary will be bitching about shortly when the cartels get a hold of it and expand their efficiency at killing.

Remember the encrypted radios and night vision? Quoting an earlier post:
. . . take former drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey's word for it:
"As a result, the U.S. government has stepped up military assistance to the Mexican military and police, mostly through transfers of free military equipment. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the White House drug policy director, traveled to Mexico in March 1996 smoothing the way for an agreement between the two governments which has resulted in Mexican soldiers beginning to train at Ft. Bragg and other American bases, and in the gift of 73 "surplus" helicopters, four C-26 surveillance planes, night vision goggles, radios and other military equipment. In addition, the White House has requested $9 million in military aid for Mexico for fiscal year 1998 (up from $3 million in fiscal year 1996) for the purchase of new weapons from U.S. arms manufacturers.
That was in 1996, but what does Gen. (Retired) McCaffrey have to say now:
The outgunned Mexican law enforcement authorities face armed criminal attacks from platoon-sized units employing night vision goggles, electronic intercept collection, encrypted communications, fairly sophisticated information operations, sea-going submersibles, helicopters and modern transport aviation, automatic weapons, RPG’s, Anti-Tank 66 mm rockets, mines and booby traps, heavy machine guns, 50 cal sniper rifles, massive use of military hand grenades, and the most modern models of 40mm grenade machine guns.
Emphasis all mine.
So we are now at the point where $3 - $9 million a year is not cutting it, so the ratchet gets a few hundred cranks and we are now giving multi-year awards for billions. Inflation is a real bitch.

But at least we're slowing the flow of drugs into the US, right? Oh yeah, it's getting worse. I suppose this is all part of that "the increase in resistance is because we're winning" strategy. Nice yardstick.

Also in the article, I found this:
The report's authors credited the Mexican government with moving to ban the importation of certain chemicals used to produce methamphetamine, but notes the cartels have found substitutes.
No way? Those clever drug dealers must have mastered chemistry! I can't imagine how they pulled that one off, with their clear track record of incompetence and all. And what do chemicals have to do with drugs anyways? Everyone knows heroin is plucked off of trees. Just ban the trees. Just the same, I think now is the time that the Mexican government should ban NyQuil, you know, to stop the narco terrorists from making ecstasy. Methamphetemines are grown in NyQuil you see - George W. Bush proved it with his own clever initiative to take away cough medicine that contains that baby killing stuff called psuedoephedrine. It worked!! No more ecstasy!!

This whole shootin' match (pun intended) is an engineering catastrophe of the US and Mexico's design. Yeah, the drug cartels are violent scumbags, but the fact that they exist and thrive is entirely the fault of these two governments. It's very clear that the further funding of this mess is fuel being poured on the fire, with no end in sight; and any day now, the US and Mexico are going to hold a presser stating that they're no longer going to fund this nightmare. Any. Day. Now.
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