Exposición Perro y Caballo de la Administración Obama
Mark Safranski calls it A Mexican Standoff with Reality. Catchy. I call it a Dog & Pony Show. Exposición perro y caballo, if you will. With Wolf & Bear consequences.
Thursday, in a statement that was issued in part for public diplomacy purposes, DNI Adm. Dennis Blair, dismissed any strategic implications regarding the strength of Mexico's drug cartels that the Mexican government is struggling to suppress:Mexico is in no danger of becoming a failed state. [Let me] repeat that. Mexico is in no danger of becoming a failed state. The violence we see now is the result of Mexico taking action against the drug cartels. So it is in fact the result of positive moves, which the Mexican government has taken to break the baneful influence that many of these cartels have had on many aspects of Mexican government and Mexican life.
While it might be tempting to ask what the good Admiral is smoking, Blair is neither a naif nor a fool but a very experienced and saavy intelligence manager who is engaged in pushing a political line of the Obama administration, in deference to the wishes of the government of Mexico. [TW Editor's Note: The second half of Adm. Blair's comment is precisely correct. However, the open of confidently declaring "Mexico is in no danger of becoming a failed state" takes the express train off the reality reservation.] The line is being peddled on many fronts; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has just declined offers for increased appropriations for improving border security in favor of "surging" Federal agents on a temporary basis (i.e. a political show that will accomplish nothing). Here is SECSTATE Hillary Clinton on the same subject on the same day as Adm. Blair while on an official visit to Mexico:On Thursday, Mrs. Clinton noted that no official of the Obama administration had ever used the phrase "failed state." She said Mexico faced a "public safety challenge," likening it to the surge of drug violence in American cities in the 1980s. And she lavished praise on the Mexican president, Felipe Calderon, for taking strong measures against the drug cartels.This line that Mexico is fundamentally sound, while helpful to President Calderon's political standing when expressed in public, is analytically speaking, sheer nonsense, and if enforced in private, counterproductive to having sober USG interagency planning sessions to make certain that worst case scenarios, like the one imagined above, never come close to materializing. Such politicized groupthink also interferes with effective cooperation with Mexico to address a 4GW type problem that has already metastasized to a dangerous degree into American territory.
In an interview on Nothing But Truth with Crane Durham this past Friday, Crane asked if I thought the Obama administration would make any significant moves to secure our border states amid the torrent of violence. I said simply, "No." After reading Mark's piece above, any questions?
Crane also asked if I was confident in Janet Napolitano's leadership of DHS. (Ahem.) I'll let you fish my answer out of the audio. (Hint: It's the last question.)
[Each Friday I spend an hour on the air from 5PM to 6PM (EDT) with Crane Durham talking National Security. The show is broadcast on about 200 stations nationwide and the audio streams via the Net at American Family Radio. Tune in and check it out this Friday. The world never stops and there is always more to cover than an hour affords. The discussion is always lively.]