Apparently, Donald Trump is asking for “battle plans” to be drawn up and kept ready for him should he be reelected president. The battle plans aren’t for the Middle East or the Ukraine, or anywhere you might expect. Rather, the battle plans are for Mexico and their drug cartels.
“As he campaigns for a second White House term, Trump has been asking policy advisers for a range of military options aimed at taking on Mexican drug cartels, including strikes that are not sanctioned by Mexico’s government,” Rolling Stone reported.
As one source said: “‘Attacking Mexico,’ or whatever you’d like to call it, is something that President Trump has said he wants ‘battle plans’ drawn for. He’s complained about missed opportunities of his first term, and there are a lot of people around him who want fewer missed opportunities in a second Trump presidency.”
What are we talking about here exactly?
Trump seems to have received several detailed options for a strike against Mexico. Options appear to include unilateral military strikes and troop deployments.
To be clear: we’re talking about unilateral military strikes and troop deployments against Mexico, a sovereign state and formal partner of the United States – who happens to share a rather long border with the United States. Some of the options Doanld Trump is mulling (whether seriously or not) look deranged at first glance.
Like this one, for example, from a Center for Renewing America white paper titled “It’s Time to Wage War on Transnational Drug Cartels.” The paper offers justifications for the US to “formally” declare “war against the cartels,” in response to “the mounting bodies of dead Americans from fentanyl poisonings.”
Did Stephen Miller write this thing?
The CRA paper encourages the US to “conduct specific military operations to destroy the cartels and enlist the Mexican government in joint operations to target cartel-networked infrastructure, including affiliated factions and enablers with direct action.” But, the paper warned, “it is vital that Mexico not be led to believe that they have veto power to prevent the US from taking the actions necessary to secure its borders and people.”
Right, no veto power for Mexico over US military operations…in Mexico. That’s gonna be a tough sell.
The paper continues: “the goal is to crush cartel networks with full military force in as rapid a fashion as possible. This means expanding the role beyond Special Forces, targeted strikes, and intelligence operations to include elements of the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.”
Yeah, the CRA paper is deranged. It sounds like a mutant hybrid of Reagan’s failed War on Drugs and Bush’s failed Iraqi Invasion and Bush-Obama-Trump’s failed Effort to Reduce Afghani Opiate Production. It’s a bad idea. Is Trump actually considering something so bold? Or is it just a political stunt? Who knows; it seems unlikely that any US president would issue a full-scale military deployment to Mexico. But Trump has been “keen on sending Special Forces to Mexico and has been talking up the idea for months,” according to Rolling Stone.
It’s not just Donald Trump
More concerning, perhaps, than Donald Trump soliciting “battle plans” or talking tough, is the general GOP support for the “unleashing the U.S. military on Mexico.”
“If a Republican wins in 2024,” Rolling Stone speculates, “the new president will have ample support – and even possibly face party pressure – for waging war on North American soil. Members of Congress, including Dan Crenshaw, Michael Waltz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Beth Van Duyne have all advocated for legislation authorizing the use of military force against fentanyl trafficking cartels in Mexico. Senators Lindsey Graham and John Kennedy have echoed similar ideas.
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I don’t want to sound flippant about the fentanyl crisis or all the related death and hardship – but instead of sending the US military into Mexico to hunt down fentanyl-dealing Cartels, couldn’t we try and get Americans to stop using fentanyl? Something to think about.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.