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25 December 2009


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markfrom ireland

Sophistic, overly clever bullshit. We ought to legalize drugs on a government controlled and rationed basis and kill anyone who wants to illegally import drugs to the US. maybe this could be a new business for you. pl


I suspect i have more, and bitter, experience of drug addiction than most of you, some Six years, $200,000 and one marriage worth. The short answer to the drug problem is to legalise drug use to the point where addiction is treated as a medical issue, not a criminal matter. Decriminalise possession of less than trafficable quantities of drugs and stop the endless, counter productive, expensive and pointless harassment of users.

In addition, and contrary to popular opinion, it is possible to do rocket science while addicted to heroin provided a regular, clean, measured dosage is available. There are plenty of addicts who hold down responsible jobs. Heroin is also a much better pain killer with less side effects than morphine. It is an almost perfect medication for terminal cancer sufferers.

Unfortunately the private prison system and the large number of law enforcement officials who owe their jobs to "the war on drugs", not to mention the people who derive pleasure from seeing others suffer for their alleged sins, make such an enlightened approach to the matter unlikely to be adopted in America.

The question of using special forces to "take out" drug cartel members, while appealing, has a major downside - it threatens the peace of the world. Peace is an invented condition, as Professor Sir Michael Howard points out*, and it owes its existence these days to the creation of the nation state.

Nation States are the only entities that can make treaties and impose their conditions on their populations. Much,if not all, of the worlds troubles at the moment arise from failed states, whose governments are not able to impose their will on large segments of their own population for reasons it is not worth exploring here. Mexico is a case in point, Somalia is another.

So what happens if JSOC goes into Mexico? While it is no doubt tempting, and the cartels thoroughly deserve it, it further delegitimises the Mexican government for a start. That will increase disruption in Mexico and act as catalyst for more gangs to form, protest movements to start, etc. etc. and further weaken whats left of Mexicos economy - to Americas cost.

An obvious reaction will be the targeting of Americans and American associated business interests in Mexico and the wider region, leading to a reduction in trade, which will also have a cost on the American economy.

Then of course, there is the question of the golden rule; surely if America is allowed to target criminals in Mexico with military force, other nations may now do likewise? What happens when the Quds force decides to assassinate the Kristols and other prominent "criminal" neocons on American soil? What happens when the Russians decide to lace someones tea with Polonium in New York? It is not hard to see decades of relative peace unraveling rather quickly as the authority of all nation states further deteriorates because they cannot protect their citizens from furor Americana on their own soil.

Lest anyone think "So what? America comes first" even at the expense of the rest of the world, I would like to remind you all that Americas vaunted military superiority relies on the absence of about four items that wikileaks has revealed are subjects of serious concern. Cheney was right about the "One Percent" rule. If gnags end up possessing any of the following in quantity, much grief can be assured.

These are in no particular order;


2) Fire and forget anti tank missiles.

3) Cheap cruise missiles.

4) Nuclear explosives.

We rely on nation states to prevent these falling into the hands of gangs.

* Beg, borrow or steal "The invention of peace" - Michael Howard, ISBN 1 86197 218 0 it will reward you.



Yes, the drug trade is an important and growing issue that is affecting our national security. It is also the next arena for contractors to source government funding.

I agree with your objectives. Heck, JSOC killing of drug kingpins is now written into TV scripts. It’s just that it will not work to eradicate the cross border drug trade. The demand and corruption on the US side of the border also has to be addressed. Secondly, kingpins are easily replaced as long as there is a sanctuary in Mexico. Yet, another incursion will bring forth Mexican nationalistic fervor like we witnessed in Iraq.

Your JSOC campaign has to be part of the Big Picture to eliminate the border drug trade but undercover with Mexican government buy-in.


Cliff, I remember those days when you were working for the best Senator from NC. It's too bad you and Jim Lucier were purged by the PC retired Admiral brought in as the Senator's chief of staff. If you and Jim had been allowed to stay, things might have been different.

R Whitman

If you wipe out the Mexican supply routes, alternate ones will be developed as long as there is high demand in the US. If we wipe out all imported routes to the US, I predict that synthetic heroin will be manufactured in the US. Chemical Abstracts has many references to the production of synthetic alkaloids and the only reason it is imported is because it is cheaper and less risky to do it in the current manner.



more sophistic bullshit and excuses for inaction.. pl


This all sounds like....in effect the United States has lost control of its southern border.

Isn't a valid border a requirement for a valid nation state?



yes. We must do something serious about mexico. what that would be, I know not. But given our history with them it will be a bloody mess if it can't be fixed politically and/or with police/SOF methods. pl


Incidentally, my father also rode south with the 6th calvary. Small world. Even smaller army in those days, I imagine.


Col. Lang, you need to come up with a way of using JSOC that cannot be seen as degrading the Mexican Governments authority.

Of course if you decriminalised drug use the problem would pretty much solve itself.

By the way, pharmaceutical grade Heroin is cheap to produce. We do it here. Glaxo and Purdue Pharma could easily set up in Afghanistan as well. Synthesis is both difficult and expensive. I've worked on some of the business aspects of analgesics.

Jim Ticehurst

Col..This Narco/Cartel situation already is a "Bloody mess" as you know..and why you started this Very good Debate with your Opinion..about Extreme Options..BTW I agree..

Extreme Options are Necessary Right Now..Take em out Fast and Hard.....working with whatever SOF Resources that Exist in Mexico fighting the Cartels Now..at a highly secure and secret level..

The Viciousness and violence of these Cartels equals and surpass's much of what we have seen by the Cut Throats we encountered In Iraq and across the Middle East..Drones and SOF was Effective there ..and since we have Similar Warfare that threatens and has effeciently Infiltrated our Republic...with now..vast Networks..Lets Go to War..with them..Here and Now..

Yes..Internally..its a police/LEO/ judicial system Problem..as a former LEO..I HATE these Guys..Despise them..I have seen the damage drugs are doing to all levels of society..and Individuals..Look at the News storys..Decaying Bodys in Hollywood and every city in the United States..(Morgue shot..Michael Jackson)

I say..first...Secure the Border as effeciently as Possible.. Every resorce possible..PRIORITY SPENDING..Boost our Our Border patrol agents with Soldiers returning from Iraq/Afghanistan with Combat Experience.....Manned O/Ps with Snipers..Drones..and drone teams..

Special ciourts in the United states to hand all Drug enforcemnt related problems..Anyone caught inside the United States in Posession of ..and importing/Delivering IllegalDrugs as part of a Cartel Operation..gets a Quick but Fair trial with Counsel..if found guilty..They get a Quick but Fair execution..NO deportation..No Prison Sentence..
As far as I'm concerned..I can Imagine Our Agents SOF Operators catching Drug Mules along our Border...Terminating them if in Posession of Bales of Drugs/Narcotics and Catapulting thier Bodys Back intoexico..Like the cartels catapult Drugs across the Border INTO The United Steates..

I also could see returning SOF/Troops..(Specialists in Urband Warfare..)..hired to work with Local police in Many areas...(San Diego/ LA) for example..and go toe to toe with those Cratels/Gangs and Clean those citys out....
where the Gangs terrorize many Nieghborhoods..including even the Law Abiding Mexicans..

Offer any Illegals just trying to find work..or doing already doing migrant work..Legal Worker Status..and the Protection of the law ..IF they help LEO's Clean Drug Cartels..and Criminal gangs out of thier Nieghborhoods ..

The Cartels have Taken everything to a New/Violent Level..equal to Urbal and Gurilla warfare Inside America....CAPEM..Boda Boom..Boda Bang..

Mark Logan


Re: Not offending the Mexican "government".

There is a book out called "Murder City" http://www.amazon.com/Murder-City-Ciudad-Economys-Killing/dp/1568584490 by Charles Browden. I bought it out of pure respect for any journalist who could live in, and even more impressive, survive Juarez. It chilled me to the bone.

The corruption of the drug trade has infected all levels of government down there, and he describes much of it in detail. The government is widely known to have attempted to ally with the Sinaloa Cartel against other cartels. However, that has not gone well because the other cartels buy their own people in the government also. Nobody knows for sure who owns who, much of the time.

This is related to my earlier post, about the mysterious "Mata Zetas", or "Zeta Killers". They blocked a freeway with 35 bodies marked with a "Z" a couple of weeks ago in Vera Cruz. The article only brushes on it, but the speculation that they may be Mexican Marines acting on their own as vigilantes and must hide their identities from even their own government sounds very plausible. However, the speculation that they are Mexican Marines under the pay of the Sinaloa's is also plausible. So is the theory that they are acting under orders...

The Mexican government? Not sure it deserves the label.

R Whitman

This is like blaming and killing liquor store employees for alcoholics. The "cure" for alcoholism resides in the alcoholics not in the liquor industry.


Interesting dialog. The fact remains, however, that cartels of various flavors have been mass murdering American children for over three decades. Not a quick clean death, either, but a long, drawn out, disfiguring, lingering death that ultimately destroys the lives of both the children and their families. A death far more terrible in its toll than that produced by chemical weapons. I have first hand, personal experience with this. In my opinion when you're facing mass serial child murderers all other considerations should go right out the window. There is no middle ground here. No gray area. You're either part of the solution or part of the problem.

This is an enforcement issue that will have to be managed as long as natural or synthetic narcotics are smuggled across our borders. That means a long term engagement. Those who produce, market and distribute such narcotics are evil in the absolute sense - the strongest of deterrents is required.

I can think of no better deterrent than the one we have proven in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere: JSOC + contractors + MQ-9 Reapers. As the cartel leaders relax in their plush compounds enjoying their ill gotten wealth, let them wonder every night if a Hellfire or JDAM is quietly headed their way.

Will there be retaliation? Probably. We survived 9/11. It wasn't the first attack and won't be the last. Get used to it. That's what our increasingly chaotic future holds. We have no choice but to deal with it. That's why JSOC exists.



I grew up in San Diego's east county, and with years of hiking and riding dirt bikes know the back country well. The "Lines and Shadows" approach was intoxicating stuff. I remember well rifling through coyote caches along the upper Sweetwater River, back in the canyons east of Alpine. However, my father made clear to me the real threat to the US from south of the border. He challenged me with, "what would you do if millions marched on our southern border?" Yeah, go ahead and run through the possibilities... Then tell me that the caravans aren't preparations....

I have a deep, personal relationship with Mexico. I am quite sure that my Mexican friends didn't ask for the situation that poverty and the distant allure of earning incomes that can support their families has put them in, El Norte. During San Diego's construction boom during the 70's, I remember my boyhood friends finding their union based construction jobs being being thinned out by Pedro and his buddies. I remember me and my bad boy friends saying that under the same circumstances, we would do the same thing...

And what about the drugs? Oh yeah, we like them. So, we have seduced a large population of Latinos to move into our communities across our country for jobs. And during the 80's they were being propagandized all along the way into supporting the concept of Aztlan - the mythical return of the rightful owners of the SW United States. All that fit into my father's warning. He said that Mexico would benefit either way, if they failed and died in the desert, ok, if they succeeded in the reconquista, ok, too.

Now we're revisiting the idea of sending in "operators," to avenge the killings of a few gringos who turned their backs on the US and its laws, those Mormon polygamists. They moved to Mexico for much the same reason that our maquilladoras have, lax regulation... Of course, in the interim years from my time in San Diego, the situation in Mexico has devolved from the standard criminality of legitimate state institutions to the almost complete capture of the country by the drug cartels.

Let me keep this short. Colonel, do you think that some JSOC warriors can solve the situation that has been developing along our southern border, really? I disagree. I think that forces malevolent to the US have been implementing a long-term, thoroughly destructive plan against the sovereign US. I support the building of a border wall. I also support the same thing Reagan did, making those here without proper paperwork, but with a lawful history of participation in our society - citizens, at the front of the line. Then, we do the real work.

We secure our borders. We end the "war on drugs." We end the ability of employers to hire those not properly admitted to the US. We declare war on those who would undermine US sovereignty, including the virulent fifth column at work here. We start to think strategically, instead of just reaching for our guns. Then, when we reach for those guns, we might claim victory before being utterly destroyed by those who are too obviously out-thinking us. Just sayin'.



"Now we're revisiting the idea of sending in "operators," to avenge the killings of a few gringos" Nothing to do with revenge. Nothing. If you kill those who profit hugely from the drug trade and continue killing them as we do with the leaders of IS, then the drug lords, who are not seeking salvation as are IS, but only money, will be deterred to some extent. As for the Latino mass invasion by inundation, you have already surrendered. How is your Spanish. Mine is quite good.


Thank you, Colonel.


Including the bankers will probably increase the effect exponentially. They facilitate the real corruption as do many other white-collar criminals.

Most people are for sale and are cheap too. Increasing the personal cost by risking their lives is better than getting away with non-violent crime. This would be an interesting approach.

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