Small Wars Journal

A Matter of Serious Concern

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 2:37pm

A Matter of Serious Concern

From today’s SWJ post Sheriff and State Advisor Border Summits by Robert Bunker

The number of American cities that have the presence of at least one of the seven major Mexican Drug Cartels have more than tripled since 2010, according to the latest Department of Justice (DOJ) figures. That means that the cartels now have command and control networks in every corner of the United States, a fact that at very least should cause concern. The consequences of this, however, raise this concern to a major threat not only to the national security but to society at large.  Young teenagers have become some of the most sought after employees for the cartels. The cartels of today are forward thinking organizations that have, among many other attributes, a military mindset and utilize highly sophisticated tactics. One example stems from the fact that kids today have been born and raised in technology and that makes their inherent talents a remarkably sought after skill in the drug-world.

Read on.

Categories: El Centro



Mon, 09/29/2014 - 5:00pm

While some of the previous comments warn against over-estimating and "over-sensationalism" the potential threat, we should do due diligence and consider the 2nd and 3rd order effects of the Mexican TCO presence across the US.

Yes it is true that Irish, Italian, Colombian (not Columbians), and Russian organized elements have had an established presence in American cities throughout time. However; it may not be appropriate to "lump" them all together as a point of reference. While Italian organized crime "invented the template" for the modern concept, and their actions were quite violent; they were mostly isolated to commercial interests. Overall, they didn't present a direct challenge to the federal government as it is not considered "good for business to draw attention", not to mention the well documented patriotic sentiments found even within the Italian organized crime families. This provides an additional level of "self-policing". The same could arguably said for the Irish organized crime component, even when it could even be associated with IRA elements. It was not good business to draw negative attention and scrutiny and disrupt such a source for financial support as the USA. Let's not forget that both of the above mentioned ethnic groups made well known efforts to assimilate into the overall fabric of US/Americana Culture. Colombian organized crime networks specialized in illicit drugs, with little deviation in terms of their sources of revenue.

By contrast Mexican TCOs being the latest entity emerging of into the recognized fabric of organized crime in America has benefitted from well-established LOCs developed out of perhaps less profitable, but profitable nevertheless ventures. These organizations have also shown propensity to branch out into other avenues of revenues such as human trafficking (aliens, special interest aliens, etc.), weapons trafficking, counterfeit, and many other supplemental/alternatives sources of revenue. Furthermore; Mexican organizations have seen both the US and Mexican governments as their main competitors and existential threat. This has led them to reach out to non-state and perhaps state sponsored organizations for intelligence, technology, services, and even weapons. Their providers not only welcome the cash flow from those transactions, but the relationships that develop as part of that shadowy commerce. This can only be compounded by the fact many of the providers of those goods to the Mexican TCOs can and often try to use them as proxy to attack or attrite US capabilities. When we factor that Mexico shares with the US the second longest land-border, and jump-off point to the US, and that TCOs can and often blend in with an ever increasing element of the population then it does present real challenges worth re-examining.


Wed, 09/24/2014 - 9:54pm

"The number of American cities that have the presence of at least one of the seven major Mexican Drug Cartels have more than tripled since 2010, according to the latest Department of Justice (DOJ) figures."

Where can we find these figures?

Not dismissing the potentially serious threat that organized crime presents, especially from those groups sophisticated enough to steal from us remotely using cyber. We under estimate that threat to our security, and perhaps hype the threat that the cartels present. We had and have Irish, Italian Jamaicans, Columbians, Russians, and others who have conducted terrible acts of violence. Now the cartels from Mexican are coming? I suspect they have been here for a while, and being a rational actor they will probably limit the level of violence they conduct in the U.S. since it would be bad for business, but probably doesn't give us a warm and fuzzy understandably.

It seems that the reality is these groups are too numerous, too large, and too sophisticated for law enforcement to handle. The issue of building cases on individuals and then pushing them (a large volume) through the legal system seems like a losing battle to me. I'm not sure what the other options are, but until we change the rules we play by it seems likely these groups will spread and continue to corrupt our society over time.