In the heat of the 2024 presidential race, prominent Republican figures, including Trump and DeSantis, are advocating for military interventions in Mexico to combat drug cartels. This stance raises alarms about future U.S.-Mexico relations and American foreign policy implications.
Military Intervention To Fight Mexican Drug Cartels
As the 2024 presidential race sees Republican candidates differentiating themselves, a shared view emerges.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, ex-US ambassador Nikki Haley, and Donald Trump propose using the US military against Mexican drug cartels.
During the Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee, DeSantis said he would send US forces to fight Mexican drug labs that produce synthetic drugs “on day one.”
Although Trump wasn’t present at the debate, he, too, called for military intervention to fight Mexican drug cartels.
Formal War Powers for the President to Order Us Troops Against Mexican Drug Gangs
According to a Rolling Stone report, the former US president asked advisors for military “battle plans” against Mexico if he won the election.
The conversation about military intervention to fight drug cartels south of the border emerged earlier this year, followed by Congress Republicans proposing formal war powers for the president to order US troops against Mexican drug gangs.
In March, Republicans introduced legislation to designate several cartel groups as “foreign terrorist organizations,” opening the door for the US to use its military power.
Not Everyone in the Tea Party Is Behind the Approach
While the talk about sending the US military to Mexico to curtail the flow of drugs has become fodder on the campaign trail for some presidential candidates and House Republicans, not everyone in the Tea Party is behind the approach.
Trump’s third national security adviser John Bolton said that unilateral military operations “are not going to solve the problem.”
Some foreign policy experts have also warned that growing calls for military operations in Mexico among Republicans shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Could Intervention Deal a Significant Blow to Already Rocky US-Mexico Relations?
One of the major concerns is that any intervention could deal a significant blow to the already rocky U.S.-Mexico relations.
This could impact trade, intelligence sharing, and Mexico’s role in curbing migrants traveling to the US from Central and South America.
Still, there’s a concern that if a Republican – especially Trump – wins the 2024 election, US military action against Mexican cartels could become a reality.
Increased fentanyl shipments into the United States prompted the growing calls for military intervention.
Fentanyl Is 50 Times Stronger Than Heroin
Fentanyl is a strong synthetic opioid drug that’s become a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the US in recent years.
While doctors prescribe pharmaceutical fentanyl to treat severe pain, most overdose cases are related to illegally made fentanyl, known for its heroin-like effect.
Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador said Republican calls are “a lack of respect for our independence and sovereignty.”
“We’re not going to allow any foreign government to intervene, much less the armed forces of a foreign government,” he said.
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