Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 81

Thread: Latin American Drugs & links

  1. #21
    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    223

    Default

    The one wing of Mara's MS-13, as news and other reports publicized above show, are a big issue in terms of crime in my hometown of Washington DC. As I have also seen on the nightly news and in newspapers for myself.

    Now one aspect of the Mara's I would like to know more about, is their relationship to the various drug wars south of the border, especially those centering on Mexico. In addition to who they are allied with and who they oppose, what other forces maybe supporting the Mara's etc?

  2. #22
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    903

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin23 View Post
    Now one aspect of the Mara's I would like to know more about, is their relationship to the various drug wars south of the border, especially those centering on Mexico. In addition to who they are allied with and who they oppose, what other forces maybe supporting the Mara's etc?
    There were several reports in 2006 that the Sinaloa Cartel had brought in MS-13 as hired muscle and to serve as low level enforcers, but there hasn’t been much since then. I think MS-13’s role in the Mexican cartel wars is likely to be minor or a supporting role, if at all.

  3. #23
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default Drug Cartels and US Security

    There’s been a great deal of talk lately about drug cartels and their expansion in Latin America and the US, some even referring to cartel violence as “insurgency”. I’d question that, but there are enough definitions of that much-abused word floating around to include almost anything, so it may be viable for some.

    What seems peculiar to me is the ease with which the discourse frames the problem as a Latin American issue that is spilling over and causing security issues for the United States. It might be more honest if we reversed the picture and recognized that decades of failed drug policy in the US are causing major security issues – in some cases possibly existential security issues – for Latin America. US drug policy has not constrained demand at all and has constrained supply only enough to keep the business obscenely profitable. It is that profitability that drives the cartels and their violent behavior. The problem isn't them. The problem is us.

    US drug policy has been based from the start on the irrational notion that supply creates demand. Whether we’re looking at a single street deal or a hemispheric market, we treat the consumer as a victim and the provider – the “pusher” – as a criminal. This is of course a load of bollocks. Supply doesn’t create demand, demand creates supply. Providers do not “push” users into the drug trade. Consumers “pull” suppliers in by providing a financial incentive so disproportionate to economic conditions that attempts to legislate against it are doomed to fail. If we ignore demand and constrict supply, we force prices so high that inevitably people will take the risks needed to satisfy demand.

    We don’t do this because it makes sense: it doesn’t. We don’t do this because it works: it doesn’t. We do it because in the drug world demand is from light-skinned economically integrated individuals, and supply is from dark-skinned economically marginal individuals. On the wide scale many of the suppliers are not American. We as a society are much more comfortable with the imposition of coercive force on dark-skinned economically marginal individuals, especially when they aren’t American.

    The current approach has failed; this is beyond dispute. We need to recognize that the solution is not in Latin America, but in the US. Instead of trying to legislate against the incentive and force others to do the same, we need to remove the incentive. We need to address demand. I only see two options for doing that, and if anyone else hard another idea, I’d love to hear it.

    The soft option would be to legalize and regulate. The hard option would be to impose and enforce penalties for use and possession that are analogous to those we now impose for trafficking. A combination is possible: soft option for cannabis, hard for opiates, amphetamine, coca and its derivatives.

    Neither of these options are appealing. The politics would be miserable in either case. There would be major challenges and penalties in either case. Even worse, the challenges and penalties would land on us, instead of on our neighbors to the south, where the current approach puts them. On the other hand, since we created the problem, isn’t it up to us to solve it? And aren’t we better equipped to face challenges and deal with penalties? And given that the current policy has categorically failed, isn’t it about time to at least start discussing options?

    Have at it…

  4. #24
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    We don’t do this because it makes sense: it doesn’t. We don’t do this because it works: it doesn’t. We do it because in the drug world demand is from light-skinned economically integrated individuals, and supply is from dark-skinned economically marginal individuals. On the wide scale many of the suppliers are not American. We as a society are much more comfortable with the imposition of coercive force on dark-skinned economically marginal individuals, especially when they aren’t American.
    That is a very interesting observation. I wonder if you see the same thing in enforcement within the United States, not so much race based though, but socio-economic class based. You don't often read about a police force taking down the primary retail supplier to Hollywood stars or to the faculty of the University of the Elite.

    If we really want to reform, you are right about there being only two options, hard and soft. I would change the form of the hard option as it applies to use and possession. American culture being what it is penalties similar to those for possession would be uncertain because of all the legal wrangling involved with getting a conviction, especially if middle and upper class people were the targets. The courts would be tied into knots.

    If the hard option penalties for possession were less severe but more certain it would be better. Let us say an officer catches a fine young fellow from a good family with a marijuana cigarette, at 0200 on a Saturday morn. He would transport the fellow to a special court immediately. Upon conviction the fine young fellow would immediately begin serving a 1 week sentence at the county jail, no exceptions for big business deals or babysitters. That would severely complicate the fine young fellows life providing a deterrent but would not be so severe as to hit the sympathy button of the wider community making it more certain.

    That would be the general idea anyway. I don't know the legal in and outs needed to make that kind of thing happen. Maybe it would be impossible, but if it could be done, I think it would work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Neither of these options are appealing. The politics would be miserable in either case. There would be major challenges and penalties in either case. Even worse, the challenges and penalties would land on us, instead of on our neighbors to the south, where the current approach puts them.
    This is why it probably won't happen. The current arrangement works great for us. We get to feel smug about our moral stance, our upper classes get their high, the drug warriors have their adventures subsidized and somebody else gets to pay the real price. Politically we want it both ways and that is what we have now.

    The thing that would really force the matter would be if the Mexicans legalized drug importing and exporting and just collected customs duties in and out of their country. That won't happen either but it would be interesting if it did.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  5. #25
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    Dayuhan. You have picked up and carried my mantra on US illegal drug policies almost to the letter.

    I grew up in rural southern Oregon where there's a great deal of marijuana is grown, and at least one small town that sits strategically on I-5 and at the entrance into millions of acres of rugged national forest land stayed solvent as the timber industry waned by laundering drug proceeds through legitimate businesses.

    As an ODA commander I did a short stint with the Border Patrol Tactical Unit on our SW border; and later in life as a prosecutor served in the Felony Drug Unit in the Multnomah County (Portland, OR) DA's office.

    Supply and Demand; Blame and Responsibility; Ethics and Pragmatism. There are so many conflicting issues that concensus is impossible.

    I've never met a drug pusher, but I've met and known a lot of business men who sell illegal drugs. Our laws and our policies for enforcing those laws are heavily weighted toward punishing those who sell over those who use. Users are seen as victims; yet they are the demand that drives this entire market.

    "Give unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's" was and is wise advice. The U.S. wants to get into the morality market far too much. To Ceaser I would recommend, "Give unto God that which is God's." Ceaser needs to focus on law and policy. Illegal Drugs is two words. Change that first word to "legal" and one has an entirely new dynamic. That is within Ceaser's lane to do; coupled with new policies to define who can use these legal drugs, and who, by their chosen profession must submit to regular testing and is not eligible as a matter of policy to partake. Make it a personal choice. Use drugs or have an important career, but not both. Fail your piss test, lose your job. Enjoy your drugs.

    Mexico suffers due to the illegality of the drug market. Mexico would have no such problems if it were a legal drug market. As for the U.S.; no need to agonize over punishing users, losing one's job is punishment enough. Buyers will prefer the relative safety and quality control of official sellers; and revenues will fund rehab programs for those who fall victim to their own vices.

    This is one more area where we need to stop demanding that others change to suit us, and look at some hard changes that we need to place upon ourselves in order to solve our problems.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  6. #26
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    There was a former LA county DA who said we should legalize it,tax it and treat any violation like a DUI. Might be something to looking at it that way.

  7. #27
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default And here I was thinking I was going to start an argument...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Dayuhan. You have picked up and carried my mantra on US illegal drug policies almost to the letter.
    We agree on something? Will wonders never cease? I guess great minds work a like... once every few years at least. I've been preaching this gospel myself for quite a while; I wonder if anyone will listen now that the problem is in the eye a bit more. I'm not betting on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    I wonder if you see the same thing in enforcement within the United States, not so much race based though, but socio-economic class based.
    I suspect that it's driven more by socio-economic class bias than race bias, though in the end the result is the same, as our prison population shows rather well.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    If the hard option penalties for possession were less severe but more certain it would be better. Let us say an officer catches a fine young fellow from a good family with a marijuana cigarette, at 0200 on a Saturday morn. He would transport the fellow to a special court immediately. Upon conviction the fine young fellow would immediately begin serving a 1 week sentence at the county jail, no exceptions for big business deals or babysitters. That would severely complicate the fine young fellows life providing a deterrent but would not be so severe as to hit the sympathy button of the wider community making it more certain.
    Certainty over severity seems an excellent idea to me, though I suspect that the legalities would be complicated, and controversial. I also suspect that punishing people for smoking a joint is pretty much a waste of time and resources... I'd treat marijuana like alcohol and focus effort on the harder drugs.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    This is why it probably won't happen. The current arrangement works great for us. We get to feel smug about our moral stance, our upper classes get their high, the drug warriors have their adventures subsidized and somebody else gets to pay the real price. Politically we want it both ways and that is what we have now.
    We also get to blame someone, always something we look for. When Mom and Dad discover that Ashley and Tyler are spending their prodigious allowances on smack, crack, and blow it can all be the fault of the sinister pusher and the evil cartel....
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 01-08-2011 at 03:51 AM.

  8. #28
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,167

    Default I don't like consensus this quickly

    There’s been a great deal of talk lately about drug cartels and their expansion in Latin America and the US, some even referring to cartel violence as “insurgency”. I’d question that, but there are enough definitions of that much-abused word floating around to include almost anything, so it may be viable for some.

    What seems peculiar to me is the ease with which the discourse frames the problem as a Latin American issue that is spilling over and causing security issues for the United States. It might be more honest if we reversed the picture and recognized that decades of failed drug policy in the US are causing major security issues – in some cases possibly existential security issues – for Latin America. US drug policy has not constrained demand at all and has constrained supply only enough to keep the business obscenely profitable. It is that profitability that drives the cartels and their violent behavior. The problem isn't them. The problem is us.
    I guess it depends on how you would define a security problem, but in my humble view gangs empowered with drug money that have a nation wide network and engage in violent activities against our citizens is a security problem.

    In Mexico the drug cartels are an insurgency, maybe not at the national level, but they have replaced the official State government apparatus with their own thugs and in fact rule many towns in Mexico. Wasn't that long ago an article came out about the last police officer in one town being killed by the cartels. Who governs? The cartels do, is that an insurgency? Does it really matter? Is it a security problem? Most definitely.

    Drug money can't corrupt? What happened to Guinea in W. Africa and how long did that take? Did the U.S. cause that, or the drug cartels?

    AQ in Africa works hand in hand with cartels now to help them move their drugs to Europe to market. AQ gets money for providing safe passage, they use that money to enhance their capability and become a greater threat to the States. Does that qualify as a security problem?

    The nexus between certain drug cartels and some terrorist organizations is very real, and it forms when it is mutually beneficial to both parties. I don't think the cartels will knowinly be moving terrorists into the U.S., because it would result in a smack down which isn't good for business, but there are other areas beyond our borders where they do cooperate.

    I think some are too quick to claim there is no security problem, because they don't support our failed war on drugs and associated policies.

  9. #29
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    I didn't mean to say that there's no security problem; rather that the cause of the security problem is not the drug cartels, or the inability of Latin American governments to control the cartels, but rather our drug policies, which brought the cartels and the security problem into existence. There's certainly a problem, but the source of and solution to the problem are both north of the border... and the Latin American countries, whose security is threatened more than ours, have every reason to be pointing this out. I'm actually surprised that more of them haven't been publicly complaining. How are they supposed to keep their police forces honest when our citizens are paying hundreds of billions of dollars to buy the very same products that our government insists that their people shouldn't sell?

  10. #30
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,167

    Default agreed, but expand the problem

    O.K., I agree that is a critical issue and one the local through national level governments have been trying to address (unsuccessfully). The illicit market for drugs/narcotics in the U.S. is a huge and perhaps the main driver of these dangerous cartels; however, it isn't just "our" market, Europe, parts of East Asia, etc. also are big markets. Not all the drugs produced in Latin America go to the U.S.. I'm not trying to lessen the responsibility of our irresponsible citizens, but if we're ever going to signficantly reduce their funding it will take a global approach.

    Somewhat switching gears, but along the same lines, if there is agreement that as long as there is a robust market for illegal drugs, how do we address the market issue? Obviously our overly legalistic approach has failed and led to abuses of individual civil rights. We have so many in jail now we're challenging State budgets to the point that they have to release several prisoners prematurely. I recall doing a study on two particular prisons on the East coast and the guards and senior leadership were very upfront about their opposition to cracking down on the users. The prison was over flowing with decent people who had to do one year in jail for possessing pot. This had two obvious side effects. The effects of living in an over crowded prision with hardened prisoners had undesired psychological effects on your average Joe. More concerning due to the over crowding armed robbers and rappists were paroled early, and subsequently "serious" crimes increased. I think for the most part that self righteous stupidity has come to an end. The other approach was the just SAY NO TO DRUGS campaign, and like any other narrative the U.S. government has devised and implemented it has failed.

    Do we treat it as a health problem? Obviously we don't have the money to do that effectively, but maybe the money we're spending on fighting the cartels would be better spent on treating it as a health care issue (this is one argument presented, but I haven't seen any evidence that this really works)?

    Coming from me you know I'm serious, the another option is to really wage a war on drugs and remove the legal constraints, much like Thailand did for awhile? If it is a serious threat (still open to debate, but in my opinion some aspects of the drug trade do present a serious threat to security), then lets get serious and get the DEA out of the lead and put DOD in charge. I know it won't resolve the problem long term, but it will reduce it and increase the risk of those involved in the trade.

    We all sit back and complain our current approach doesn't work, but generally agree the security risks from this business are significant in their own way. I agree the current method doesn't work, focusing on treating it as a health problem may contribute to the solution, but it isn't the solution, so the solution must lie outside of what we're currently "authorized" to do.

  11. #31
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default Counter Cartel training for Mexico

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...012106325.html
    I really like this idea. I have, for sometime now, been advocating for us to get more involved in training the Mexicans to effectively fight the cartels that are knocking on our door. We cannot just put US troops INTO Mexico to do it and just training leaders to train their soldiers would take years to become effective. This seems like the perfect answer to that dilemma, thoughts?

  12. #32
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    I think it's absolutely the wrong answer to this dilemma, and at best a stopgap measure with a potential bit of temporary utility.

    The answer to the dilemma is for the US to address and change its failed drug policies, and to address the demand side of the drug equation, which are what brought the cartels into being in the first place.

    It's completely backwards to say that Mexico's inability to control the cartels is threatening US security. America's inability to control its drug problem is threatening Mexico's security, and the Mexicans have every right to be pissed off at the Americans over it.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 01-23-2011 at 01:01 AM.

  13. #33
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Brainwashing the American public to not consume drugs!?

    How would you propose to change our drug policy.

  14. #34
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Posted on the subject here, no need to repeat...

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=12192

  15. #35
    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    RC-S, Afghanistan
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Government brainwashing won't do it. We have, in this country, a problem that is literally increasing exponentially from generation to generation. Part of the problem is genetic but the majority of the problem is familial relationship patterns which result in increased demand for drugs.

    We won't get the drug problem under control because political and religious types won't hear the truth, and even if they do they certainly won't enact measures to reverse the trend.

    If you took a survey of the family of origin situations of drug addicts you would find similarities as far as physical and sexual abuse, absence of parents, alcoholism, and environments that don't allow them to develop healthy methods of coping with stress and emotionally taxing situations (these are the same factors, incidentally, which are contributing to our increasing suicide rates in the military, though no military leaders want to acknowledge this either).

    Because these factors tend to appear with particular frequency in certain racial and socio-economic groups, we don't hear about them much because we're more afraid of offending someone than getting to an actual solution.

    The drug problem is not a law enforcement or military problem -- it is a failure of our society to look out for each other, but we want to punish people more than help them, so we perpetuate the cycle (and, I would say, profoundly exacerbate it).

    To get the situation under control I would say we need mandatory birth control and counseling/therapy for a significant portion of the population who have been subjected to these situations. It is literally a disease that is being passed genetically, and because the people who carry it are reproducing themselves at a rate probably higher than the rest of the population it will require invasive measures, or it will simply spin out of control.
    Last edited by IntelTrooper; 01-23-2011 at 03:37 AM.
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

  16. #36
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default

    The problem with your proposal today is that even if the drug demand went to zero there would still be a huge network of organized crime just across the border but now with no income source. What would you say the fallout of that would be. Do you really think that the Zetas and MS13 would just say Oh well I guess it is back to the factory? I think there would be what you would definitely call a criminal insurgency.

  17. #37
    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    RC-S, Afghanistan
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JM2008 View Post
    The problem with your proposal today is that even if the drug demand went to zero there would still be a huge network of organized crime just across the border but now with no income source. What would you say the fallout of that would be. Do you really think that the Zetas and MS13 would just say Oh well I guess it is back to the factory? I think there would be what you would definitely call a criminal insurgency.
    We should definitely be dealing with these sorts of organizations supplying drugs with law enforcement and possibly even military means for those across the border. But if the real bad guys are locked up and we have a nation of emotionally healthy individuals, they will have lost the vast majority of their power and influence. Right now, it would be simply playing whack-a-mole, or plugging holes in the dyke.
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

  18. #38
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IntelTrooper View Post
    We have, in this country, a problem that is literally increasing exponentially from generation to generation. Part of the problem is genetic but the majority of the problem is familial relationship patterns which result in increased demand for drugs.
    I have been saying that for years and I really don't think people understand this aspect of it outside LE. Most long time LE officers have had the experience of arresting the Father and then arresting the son (sometimes grandson)for the same or similar crime, it is literally passed down from generation to generation........and here is my real current beef as more and more LE,Fire,Public service positions are being eliminated due to the economy we are just creating a greater incentive for people to maintain a crime family as a means of of support/survival. I am done ranting now

  19. #39
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IntelTrooper View Post
    To get the situation under control I would say we need mandatory birth control and counseling/therapy for a significant portion of the population who have been subjected to these situations.
    Mandatory birth control is the very definition of draconian. In fact it is a resort to a great, profound, sky blackening evil. God can predict the course and future of children born into bad situations. Man can't. To do this would be to say man (or some men, who chooses?) can know the future of a union and so can determine if will or will not be.

    "Mandatory counseling/therapy for a significant portion of the population" is only slightly less objectionable. The phrase implies forcing people who haven't committed a crime, (correct me if I'm wrong, that is how I am interpreting it) into a status as medically deviant or deficient, then coercing them into a different mode of behavior. The possibilities for political abuse of this arrangement are beyond imagination.

    There is a precedent in American history for dealing with this sort of problem. In the 1820s Americans drank about 4 gallons of 200 proof alcohol per capita per year. About 20 years later, it was half of that. The reduction was done by moral suasion, not government intervention.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  20. #40
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Keep on ranting -- it's important.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    ... we are just creating a greater incentive for people to maintain a crime family as a means of of support/survival. I am done ranting now
    You're right on the money (pun intended...).

    There are families in my home area of Kentucky that have been breaking every law that's written for over 200 years, it's a family tradition and they're proud of it. I've seen the same thing elsewhere and the trendline is upward. Even here in sunny Florida, such families exist.

Similar Threads

  1. Urban / City Warfare (merged thread)
    By DDilegge in forum Futurists & Theorists
    Replies: 199
    Last Post: 03-23-2019, 09:11 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-11-2009, 12:52 PM
  3. U.S. Will Train Latin American Militaries
    By SWJED in forum FID & Working With Indigenous Forces
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-11-2006, 05:21 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •