Former Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, in a 1997 book detailing
future military threats to the U.S., listed Mexico and the drug war as a
battle this country would have to fight in the days ahead.
After learning that two FBI informants have been
found buried with about a hundred others along the U.S./Mexican border
— casualties of the long-running and so-called War on Drugs America has
fought in an on-again, off-again manner for a decade — Cap’s prediction
rings more true today than when he made it.
The War on Drugs has grown too large for U.S. anti-drug policymakers
to remain wedded to past tactics because, obviously, they haven’t
worked. U.S. officials need to realize that we’re not just “fighting” a
few isolated drug gangs and cartels anymore; we’re fighting entire
countries like Mexico and Colombia, because so many of their
government officials have been co-opted by the narco-empires based on
Therefore, this country should immediately adopt a drastic new
anti-drug strategy if we’re ever going to get serious about the scourge
of drugs in this country.
But first, to understand the scope of this new approach and why it is
needed, we have to realize what we’re up against.
Drugs are like any other commodity — they proliferate or decline on
a supply-and-demand basis. If demand is poor, profitability goes down
because there is no market. In terms of the drug trade, profitability
is further reduced when you factor in the expense (in dollars and lives)
of trying to bring an illegal commodity to a small market; it just isn’t
worth the risk.
But when demand is high, profits soar. If you can simultaneously
reduce the risk of bringing this illegal, life-sucking commodity to a
large and growing market — by corrupting government, police and
military officials — then profitability is enhanced even further. And
let’s face it — the kind of profits generated by selling drugs is more
than enough to buy off officials in impoverished or wealthy
So our “mission” — should we decide to accept it — is clear: We
must end the demand at the same time we destroy the supply (and the
suppliers) at the source, not after it has shown up in the
streets of L.A., New York, Miami, and Chicago.
By realizing that the drug trade is no longer limited to small,
scattered narco-fiefdoms and is now comprised of complex and efficient
production and supply networks, we also tacitly admit that pinpricking
tactics and miniscule resources will never accomplish much. We cannot
ever “win” this war by dropping in a few military advisors, burning a
few coca fields or spending only a couple million bucks, especially when
whole governments have become infested with traffickers and bought with
We also cannot win by concentrating so many resources on throwing
small-time dealers and users in jail. A better approach would be to
lower the demand — and change attitudes about drugs and drug use at
the same time you lower availability. It’s time we made drugs
unfashionable in America.
It’s that goal of lowering the availability of drugs that
makes this new strategy drastic.
U.S. politicians and the American people need to equate what is
happening along our border — which is becoming a dumping ground for
murdered victims of the drug trade — to the drug-related deaths in our
own cities and communities. There are striking similarities. The
situation is quickly degenerating into a genuine national security
threat — albeit an unconventional one — and must be dealt with as
If you doubt this, then consider a similar situation: If a foreign
military power were occupying parts of our cities and killing American
citizens every day, how many of us would rise up and fight them? Would
we not demand that our politicians mobilize us to resist?
Furthermore, if militant narco-empires are the cause of so much death
and destruction on our own soil, then aren’t they enemies? If so, then
it’s time we eradicated them, just as we would any other foreign threat.
It’s patently clear to me that Americans — drug users and non-users
alike — have suffered infinitely more than any other people on earth
because of the drug trade. This is our fault, however. Due to
our own behavior, we have established ourselves as the single largest
“drug market” in the world — something none of us should be proud of.
If we admit this, then we have to admit it’s high time we demanded
that our leaders — if we are really serious about ending the
scourge of drugs in this country — got serious about preventing
future generations of Americans from suffering the same fate.
The U.S. government should immediately and clearly instruct the
narco-infested governments of Mexico and Colombia to step down on their
own or suffer instantaneous and devastating consequences. Those
consequences should include, if it becomes necessary, direct military
intervention of the kind used to depose Panamanian dictator Manuel
Noriega (who also had extensive drug ties). Anything less than this
drastic final step — coupled with a massive anti-drug PR campaign here
at home — is a waste of time and resources. But we have to be
serious about getting rid of drugs first.
We have the technology, manpower and resources to carry out this
threat. But do we have the will?
At present, entire nations are waging a kind of “drug war” against
us. We should make a national commitment to protect our children from
the abuse, insanity, death and personal destruction of even one more
generation of narco-suicide. It’s time.