Military Assistance to Mexico: Use of Special Operations Forces   [open pdf - 627KB]

From the thesis abstract: "Currently Mexico is facing serious internal security problems that the United States has observed closely. The Mexican government has all but lost control of parts of its northern border and surrounding territories. Drug cartels have infiltrated these border areas along with Mexican police departments and judicial institutions. [...] This problem is greater than the Mexican border as many U.S. cities have a cartel presence too. Solving the security threat in Mexico is important to the United States. Mexican President Felipe Calderon is very aggressive in targeting the drug cartels and associated corruption and violence. Nevertheless, Mexico cannot succeed without external assistance. The 2008 Merida Initiative is a good start and provides $1.6 billion during FY2008 - FY2010 to Mexico and Central America in order to fight drug trafficking, gangs and organized crime. Mexico requires advisory assistance in rebuilding its law enforcement capability and border interdiction capacity. U.S. SOF [special operations forces] can augment Merida and provide expert training and mentorship in order to help the Mexican authorities consolidate and strengthen its governmental institutions and rule of law. SOF assistance to Mexico is not free of challenges. Some analysts argue any type of military presence results in a harmful militarization of the situation. Furthermore, the U.S.- Mexico military relationship has not always been hospitable. Hence, a U.S. military presence on Mexico soil is very politically sensitive. Overcoming these issues is possible and events such as military exercises would demonstrate the willingness of the U.S; to cooperate and strengthen relationships between the two countries."

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