America’s Joint Forces Command issued their annual “Joint Operating Environment” report, which projects future wars and other potential global threats. This year, the report pointed to two nations which may undergo a “rapid and sudden collapse.” One, unsurprisingly, was Pakistan: a near-bankrupt nation with spiraling inflation, a huge domestic insurgency problem and growing military tension with neighboring India. The other was Mexico.
Is Mexico really on the cusp of turning into a failed state? It seems hard to imagine but the report cautions that “the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels.”
Indeed, Mexican forces have been involved in violent clashes, largely linked to their war on drugs and the organized crime spawned by that war. The Mexican drug war has been escalating for years, backed heavily by the United States, and has turned into an outright shooting war between the military and the gangs. Still, it seems a stretch to put its problems on the same level as Pakistan’s.
An interesting aside to this report becoming public is that Mexican President Felipe Calderon has been visiting the United States this week, hoping to impress upon outgoing President Bush and incoming President-elect Obama the seriousness of the security situation in Mexico. This report is liable to make that task easier.