Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Border Chaos Could Destabilize U.S. and Mexico

News of the escalating violence at our southern border is starting to filter into the mainstream media as evidenced by this report from the Star-Telegram of Fort Worth, Texas:
The state and federal governments have prepared contingency plans to deal with "spillover violence" from across the border as Mexican troops clash with ruthless drug cartels terrorizing the United States’s southern neighbor.
"Anything you can think of that’s happened in Mexico, we have to think could happen here," said Steve McCraw, Gov. Rick Perry’s director of homeland security. "We know what they’re capable of."
A crackdown by Mexican President Felipe Calderon has turned the City of Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, into a war zone as federal troops battle feuding cartels.
The Armed Forces Journal warns that situation is even more dire:
Largely invisible to most Americans, just to the south, the security situation is worsening as a result of an intense conflict between the Mexican government and domestic drug cartels — and even among the narco-gangs themselves. Some observers have characterized the fighting in Mexico as a low-grade civil war. Worse yet, by many estimates, the violence is escalating — and getting increasingly grisly...Drug trafficking organizations already control stretches of the Mexican side of the border, which according to some experts could bring the Mexican government to its knees in the coming years. Worse yet, it also has the potential of spilling north across the border — in an ever bigger way.
The AFJ indicates that the Mexican court system is a major problem because of "bribery, reluctant judges, lack of investigative resources and overloaded courts."

Yesterday CNN aired this report on the situation along with an update on the status of the border fence.

Update: Administration officials tell Congress on March 12 that sending troops to the border is an unlikely last resort.