Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Right Approach

I thought that this Laura Carlsen article nailed the mindset one should have with regard to Mexican security:
If the war on drugs is unwinnable, does that mean we have to resign ourselves to the unbridled power of the drug cartels?

No. The other tragedy of the war on drugs is that it precludes potentially more effective strategies by posing as the only option. As the U.S. government spends millions of taxpayer dollars to pay U.S. private security and defense firms to “fix” Mexico, it has done little to nothing to address the parts of transnational organized crime that exist within its borders—demand, transport and distribution, corrupt officials, gun-running and money laundering.
The absurdity of the war on drugs goes without saying, which leads some to conclude that any comment on Mexico that doesn't center entirely on that absurdity misses the point, or is even a dangerous concession to the prevailing insanity. (Check out the first comment accompanying this piece for a pretty good reflection of that frame of mind.) But, aside from being an incomplete approach in the short term, simply yelling that the emperor has not clothes over and over strikes me as a bit of a cop-out. The drug war is unalterably here for the time being, which calls for a two-track approach: Yes, it's inherently flawed, but here's how to make it less flawed.

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