Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Connie Mack (FL-14) today introduced the Enhanced Border Security Act, which instructs the State Department to establish a coordinated and targeted strategy to combat insurgent Mexican drug cartels. The strategy applies counterinsurgency tactics that will seek to end cartel activities in the United States, secure the border, and strengthen Mexico's ability to fight this threat.
Mack stated: "All Americans are threatened by drug trafficking and the violent Mexican drug cartels that operate in over a thousand cities in the United States. The State Department agrees that the activities taking place in Mexico are consistent with terrorist and insurgent activity in other regions of the world."
Mack's plan would:
* secure the border;
* stop illegal financing in the U.S. that flows across the border; and
* target the cartels in Mexico that do their business across the border.
"If we are unable or unwilling to identify the problem correctly, then we are unable to properly put a policy forward to combat the issue at hand. The security and safety of the American people depend on it," Mack concluded.
Below is text of a letter sent to Secretary Clinton:
November 10, 2011
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Madam Secretary:
I am writing you today out of extreme concern regarding the increasing threat posed by the Mexican drug cartels. I have held multiple Subcommittee hearings focused on the Mérida Initiative and the insurgent and terrorist tactics perpetrated by criminal organizations in Mexico.
Assistant Secretary Brownfield acknowledged in recent sworn testimony that "many of the facts on the ground, the things that are being done by those organizations (drug cartels), are consistent with what we would call either terrorism or insurgency in other countries."
All Americans are threatened by drug trafficking and the violent Mexican drug cartels that operate in over 1,000 cities in the United States. These cartels have evolved into transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) while using terrorist tactics and targeting government institutions. Last month's foiled terrorist plot against the Saudi Ambassador demonstrates the internationally recognized threat that Mexican drug cartels pose to the United States. This exploitation by foreign groups underscores an immediate need and the reason why I have introduced the Enhanced Border Security Act: to establish and apply contemporary counterinsurgency tactics under a targeted strategy to combat the terrorist insurgency in Mexico.
I ask you to provide me with details of how the State Department is transitioning the Mérida Initiative into a targeted strategy applying counterinsurgency tactics and consider the following:
A three tiered approach to combat the terrorist insurgency addressing the situation 1) in the U.S. 2) at the U.S.-Mexico border and 3) within Mexico;
Focusing on high value targets, strengthening democratic institutions, and building support of the people on the side of the government;
Creating a secure border zone by doubling border patrol agents, delivering needed technology and equipment, and building additional fencing; and
Concentrating on Mexican criminal organization financing while using proven anti-terrorist financing tools and techniques to choke off the criminal organizations' assets.
I believe that a targeted strategy that applies counterinsurgency tactics will address the evolved threat of terrorism and insurgency in Mexico. If the State Department is unable or unwilling to identify the problem correctly then we are unable to properly put a policy forward to combat the issue at hand.
I await your prompt response.
Chairman, Western Hemisphere Subcommittee