Several posters in Free for All Friday want to tee up the issue of our friends to the South, and whether Mexico comprises a national security threat.
I thought about doing a entry just before the Inauguration in which I speculated as to the national security matters that the incoming administration was probably paying insufficient attention to...and Mexico would have been number 1. I see this for a couple of reasons:
1. Geography. They share a border. This by itself, makes a country worth watching. This includes Canada...but as we'll see, Canada doesn't trip any of the other wires.
2. Illegal immigration. A function of #1. If poor, desperate Mexicans can easily cross our border, so can well-financed, well armed jihadis.
3. Economic disparity. A primary driver of #2. Mexico is a country of incredible economic disparity and a middle class insufficiently sized to act as a stabilizing inluence.
4. Political instability. Driven by #3. With much of Central and South America beginning to show a backlash against capitalism (see Venezuela, Nicaragua, Peru), leftist, socialist candidates are sure to gain in popularity in Mexico.
5. Drug and Crime. Both are not only increasing facets of everyday life in Mexico, but also large and growing parts of the economy. A nation whose economic health is propped up by the profits of crime cannot long be a helpful ally.
Yes, Mexico causes me concern. You know what causes me even more concern? President Obama's desire to "review" NAFTA. NAFTA is one of the few bright spots in our relationship with Mexico, and it has helped with the economic incentives to illegally immigrate (when you have a job in Mexico, less reason to swim the Rio Grande). Start to walk away from NAFTA and we'll see the process of deteriorization in Mexico accelerate.