Mexico: Failing State or Emerging Democracy?
ARMY COMBINED ARMS CENTER FORT LEAVENWORTH KS MILITARY REVIEW
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IN JANUARY 2009, the retiring director of the Central Intelligence Agency, General Michael Hayden, described the increasing violence in Mexico along the nearly 2,000-mile long U.S. southern border as greater than Iraq and on par with Iran as the greatest potential threat to U.S. national security in the future. The Joint Operational Environment, 2008, a study authored by the U.S. Joint Forces Command USJFCOM, said either Mexico or Pakistan were worst case scenarios for U.S. national security should either nation rapidly fail or collapse. Tension on the Border Violent deaths in Mexico nearly doubled in 2009 to just over 7,000, and the manner of death in some cases was especially gruesome. Reports of brutality and emerging accounts of government corruption add to the negative popular perception of Mexico in the United States. Mexico appears capable of becoming a failed state where a destabilizing insurgency could potentially thrive. In March 2010, drug cartel gunmen assassinated U.S. consulate staff employees and their spouses in the presence of their children in the middle of the day as they left a consulate social event. In response, the U.S. Secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security joined the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence to conduct an impromptu cabinet-level visit with their Mexican counterparts to strengthen relationships and to ascertain how best to support the Mexican governments struggle with illicit drug organizations. United States experts on Mexico and Latin America identify weaknesses in specific areas, but they clearly articulate exceptional strengths in others.
- Government and Political Science