24 January 2010

Can we get a COIN strategy for our border?

I'll be the first to admit that I hate drugs. I've had several family members who used drugs, and it screwed up their lives and made them intolerable to be around.

However, the drug war is destroying the lives of an entire community of Native Americans who do not even use the drugs. I wish I could claim to be shocked by this, but of course I'm not.

For those who don't click through, a Native reservation on the Mexican/US border became a haven for drug smugglers after the parts of the border both east and west became harder to get through, and now federal agents are everywhere disrupting lives. At the same time, cartels are promising big money to anyone in the impoverished reservation who will either hold or carry drugs, and threatening those who refuse. The people are humiliated by the cops, and scared of the dealers.

If this sounds like the end result of bad occupation authorities, then you and I think alike. It is not exactly an insurgency, as the cartels are not attacking the police, but the police are actively trying to find and arrest all of the members of the cartels, and seem not to care who gets hurt along the way. It's reached a point where tribal members refuse to go out into the desert to harvest the saguaro or to look for firewood, for fear of either running into a mule or being mistaken for one.

This is the kind of area that could use serious development, of the kind we are attempting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, they get subjected to a "war" that's been going on for nearly 40 years now.

No comments:

Post a Comment