Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another Glimpse Into the Warfare State

Further evidence that America is being transformed into a genuine "warfare state" comes from a report in Wired magazine that the Pentagon is planning to unleash SEAL teams to attack and kill drug lords south of the U.S. border.

"According to anonymous Mexican and U.S. military sources cited by Proceso magazine (translated from Spanish), the plan involves sending Navy SEALs by helicopter after the Sinaloa Cartel kingpin, who is rumored to be hiding in the mountains of the western Mexican states of Sinaloa and Durango. The SEALs would be divided into two teams — one would land and attack, and the other would stay airborne — assisted by three unmanned drones packing missiles.
"After locating El Chapo, the SEALs would “eliminate any of Chapo’s security on the spot … as they did with the ‘Bin Laden’ operation,” according to Proceso. If El Chapo is killed, the SEALs would take the kingpin’s body with them. The plan is reported to have been ordered by the Pentagon and Northern Command (NORTHCOM), which oversees military operations in North America. If enacted, U.S. officials would observe from the White House and NORTHCOM headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. The plan is also reported to be U.S.-only, excluding the Mexican military.

"...According to Proceso, outgoing President Felipe Calderón was reportedly keen to the idea, but faced objections from the Mexican army and navy. The Mexican navy — which includes Mexico’s marines — is one of the main strike forces against the cartels. An American strike would also blatantly violate Mexican law, which prohibits foreign military and law enforcement agencies from operating on Mexican soil, except under tightly controlled conditions and never armed.
"There’s also the risk of inflaming sentiment against the United States. Although there’s a growing minority of Mexican citizens who support greater U.S. involvement, including intervention, the Mexican public is largely opposed to the idea. In 2011, worsening drug violence and discussions of a greater U.S. intervention helped contribute to a nadir in U.S.-Mexico relations. The Wall Street Journal reported that Mexican officials were “enraged” by the suggestion of sending U.S. troops. For criticizing the effectiveness of the Mexican military, the former U.S. ambassador, Carlos Pascual, was thrown out of the country. The $1.6 billion Merida Initiative, which provides U.S. aid for Mexico’s military, has more political support but has faced intense opposition from academics, journalists and human rights activists."

The possibilities for unanticipated blowback from this sort of thing are considerable.   America once ruled the roost over the OAS countries.   The Monroe Doctrine established the U.S. as hegemon in South and Central America.   Now those same countries are breaking free from what many see as generations of American control.   The region's trade is now stronger with China than with the United States.   The days where America could, with impunity, unleash unilateral, blatantly illegal military violence upon Latin America may be over and something like this could hasten that end.

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