Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stratfor on Mexico

Stratfor has been following the violent stew that Mexico is becoming for many months now. Their most recent report picks up the theme we've been following here at FutureJacked - Mexico's slide towards a Hollow State. Right on the heels of Zenpundit on 4GW in Mexico, we get:

Mexico: On the Road to a Failed State?
May 13, 2008
...Mexico now faces a classic problem. Multiple, well-armed organized groups have emerged. They are fighting among themselves while simultaneously fighting the government. The groups are fueled by vast amounts of money earned via drug smuggling to the United States. The amount of money involved — estimated at some $40 billion a year — is sufficient to increase tension between these criminal groups and give them the resources to conduct wars against each other. It also provides them with resources to bribe and intimidate government officials. The resources they deploy in some ways are superior to the resources the government employs...

...A purely passive defense won’t work unless the economic cost of blockade is absorbed. The choices are a defensive posture to deal with the battle on American soil if it spills over, or an offensive posture to suppress the battle on the other side of the border. Bearing in mind that Mexico is not a small country and that counterinsurgency is not the United States’ strong suit, the latter is a dangerous game. But the first option isn’t likely to work either.

One way to deal with the problem would be ending the artificial price of drugs by legalizing them. This would rapidly lower the price of drugs and vastly reduce the money to be made in smuggling them. Nothing hurt the American cartels more than the repeal of Prohibition, and nothing helped them more than Prohibition itself. Nevertheless, from an objective point of view, drug legalization isn’t going to happen. There is no visible political coalition of substantial size advocating this solution. Therefore, U.S. drug policy will continue to raise the price of drugs artificially, effective interdiction will be impossible, and the Mexican cartels will prosper and make war on each other and on the Mexican state...

I have no good answers, other than the one answer that would never be implemented - legalization of drugs.

From my perspective, this isn't about Mexico getting a little more violent or losing some Spring Break business because of the ongoing turmoil. This is about the potential for several decades of intense violence throughout Mexico and, due to the ties of gang loyalty, kinship and huge amounts of drug money to be won, this violence will spill over into the United States. This will take the form of increased street battles between gangs, hollowing out of local and potentially even state governments as vast sums of money are used to bribe officials (when a local sherrif's deputy is faced with a choice to either take a huge sum of cash as a bribe or be shot, I can give you the statistically likely outcome of said choice) and who knows what other kinds of ugly blowback?

For you property owners in what is currently the American Southwest, you might take note...


Anonymous said...

Absofuckinglutely! Legalize, tax, and shift the Feds from DEA, FBI, etc. to the SysAdmin work their skillsets line-up with - across the globe. Far too sensical?

Harleydog said...

With Cantarell in serious decline and as it funds 40% of Mexico's budget, anarchy is around the corner. Immigration problem now? Just wait.