Sen. Lindsey Graham Says He Will Introduce Legislation for Military Intervention in Mexico

A growing number of Republicans are calling for military action against Mexican cartels

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Monday that he was prepared to introduce legislation to “set the stage” for US military intervention in Mexico.

Graham’s comments came after four Americans were kidnapped in the Mexican border city of Matamoros, an area said to be dominated by cartels, and two were found dead. He was asked how he would deal with kidnappings or the cartels in general, and said he would get “tough.”

“I would put Mexico on notice,” the hawkish senator told Fox News host Jesse Waters. “If you continue to give safe haven to drug dealers, then you are an enemy of the United States.”

Graham said he agreed with former Attorney General Bill Barr, who wants to declare the cartels “foreign terrorist organizations.” Barr wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week that the US should take military action against cartels.

Barr expressed support for a joint resolution proposed by Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Michael Waltz (R-FL) that would authorize the president to use military force against “those responsible for trafficking fentanyl or a fentanyl-related substance into the United States or carrying out other related activities that cause regional destabilization in the Western Hemisphere.” So far, the resolution has 16 Republican cosponsors.

Graham said he wants to put forward a bill that would designate cartels as terror organizations. “I’m going to introduce legislation, Jesse, to make certain Mexican drug cartels foreign terrorist organizations under US law and set the stage to use military force if necessary to protect America from being poisoned by things coming out of Mexico,” he said.

Other Republicans have called for military intervention in Mexico, which would be a dramatic escalation of America’s decades-old war on drugs. “We should strategically strike and take out the Mexican Cartels, not the Mexican government or their people, but the Mexican Cartels which control them all,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday warned the US against military intervention in his country. He said his government was “working and cooperating” with US authorities against cartels but wouldn’t allow “foreign countries” to intervene.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.