Security Threat from Mexico Greater Than Iraq, Afghanistan

I believe we have to rethink our entire strategy for working with Mexico. The war that's underway in Mexico is an enormous national security threat to the United States. More people were killed in Mexico in 2008 than were killed in Iraq. There is a genuine civil war underway between drug dealers as cartels who, sadly, are financed largely by American money, purchasing drugs in this country. That cartel is waging a vicious and brutal war, fully as horrifying in the atrocities and the things they've been doing to people as anything that was done in Iraq.

The United States has an enormous interest in a prosperous, safe, self-governing Mexico living under the rule of law. If we allow the Mexican government to decay and we allow the drug dealers to win, then we will have a nightmare on our southern border and no amount of fence and no amount of national security will compensate for the collapse of Mexico. We need a significant, serious strategy designed to help people in Mexico achieve safety, achieve prosperity, and achieve the ability to live a life in which everyone has a hope of a better future.

You will never contain the human problem if the Mexican government collapses.

This is a very serious problem, much more serious than that in Afghanistan, and yet almost no publication, no news media is taking it very seriously. And I will urge you, as close as you are to Mexico, to make sure that your Congressional delegation and news media really focuses. I am trying to get both the New York Times and Washington Post to really begin transferring people and resources to Mexico because I really think this is a serious problem for us as a country. The answer is not just to say, "I don't care what happens south of the border, as long as I have a good fence." You will never contain the human problem if the Mexican government collapses. We have absolutely a vested interest in helping them find a way to be prosperous, safe, and live within their own law.

Newt Gingrich is a senior fellow at AEI.

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