I’m with Fabius Maximus on this one, Stratfor contemplating a major military intervention in Mexico is akin to lunacy:
Two of the many benefits of subscribing to Stratfor are (1) its reporting on geopolitical trends not yet visible to the mainstream media, and (2) it provides a window into the thinking of America’s elites (Stratfor’s customers, senior business and government officials with whom it must stay in synch).
We get both in a new report: “High Stakes South of the Border.” This continues their excellent reporting during the past few years on the disintegration of Mexico’s polity – another “decline of the state” in progress. Just as interesting, Stratfor’s conclusion shows its (and our) assumption of America’s unlimited power and resources.
“U.S. forces are largely preoccupied in Iraq and Afghanistan. While it would take a great deal to tip the scale toward a U.S. military intervention in Mexico, we may now be at a point where that has to be considered given what is at stake.
The last time the United States meaningfully asserted control over a deteriorating situation in Mexico was in the early 20th century during the Mexican Revolution, when the United States occupied Veracruz for six months to protect U.S. business interests. If violence on the border started hurting the bottom line, the cost of not doing anything would start to approach the cost of military action. The potential for an escalation of violence between the cartels and the government spiraling out of control could tip that balance.
It is unclear what the threshold for U.S. action in Mexico would be. But the stakes are high. If the United States sees trade flows threatened, and the security situation deteriorating, Washington might see fit to intervene. And just because it hasn’t done so in a century doesn’t mean it will not choose to do so in the future.”
Belief that we could stabilize Mexico is amazing, on several levels. Mexico’s population is over one hundred million people, roughly one-third the size of ours. Their long-standing hostility to us, with considerable historical basis, would make intervention potentially explosive. But most of all, this displays no awareness of how the world has changed.
Amazing ain’t the word. Stratfor’s analysis here caters to the bipartisan Washinton elite’s view that absolutely nothing should be done to put pressure on Mexico to reform but instead that the United States ( or rather, the American middle-class and below) should shoulder all of the spillover costs of poor governance by the Mexican state. Mexico has serious social, political and economic problems but they are fixable, at this stage but most of them relate to the corruption and parasitic culture of the Mexican elite itself. Invading Mexico is a proposal that is wrong on so many levels for American national interests that I hardly know where to begin.
Tighten the “safety valves” on which Mexico’s elite rely – the borders and remittances – and then diplomatically press for improvement in the economic prospects of Mexico’s bottom third of the population. Mexico is not a poor country, it’s a middle income nation where the state is traditionally used to enrich a loose political oligarchy.