Jeffrey Scott Shapiro and T. Michael Andrews explain why the United States should declare war on Mexican drug cartels in a piece in the Washington Times.
“The United States of America is under attack.”
That was the lede of a Washington Times column these authors wrote nearly a decade ago making the case the U.S. needed to use military force against Mexican drug cartels for “exploiting the immigration crisis by recruiting gangs, transporting terrorists, distributing drugs and facilitating sex-trafficking while diversifying their businesses into oil theft, piracy and illegal mining and laundering their stolen money through commercial banks.” As such, we argued that the cartels had become a clear and present danger to the United States.
That was almost nine years ago.
Even back then, we asserted that the inevitable result of “this highly orchestrated, vicious criminal enterprise” was “the collapse of law, order and safety.” We reported that the FBI had reported the cartels were operating in more than 1,000 cities across the United States and that the Department of Homeland Security had assessed that Mexican trafficking organizations were earning between $19 billion and $29 billion a year from selling marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Since then, the cartels have all but dissolved the southwestern U.S. border by orchestrating mass migration border crossings and amped up the drug war by trafficking of fentanyl — a synthetic opioid up to 100 times as powerful as morphine, causing more deaths of Americans ages 18 and 45 than COVID-19, and now the leading cause of death in that age group. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 106,000 fatal overdoses occurred in the U.S. in 2021, more than 70% of which involved opioids, including fentanyl. Nine years after our call for action, Republican Reps. Mike Waltz and Dan Crenshaw have introduced a congressional resolution that, if passed, will empower the president for five years "to use military force against cartels based on their fentanyl trafficking (and) their use of force... to gain control of territory to use for their criminal enterprise.
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