Jim Kouri
(Jim Kouri is a regular columnist for www.kgab.com and will guest today at 7:07AM MDT on The Morning Zone with Dave Chaffin)
Violent and murderous drug cartels are "undermining the Mexican state,” according to U.S. Representative Connie Mack (R-FL), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee for the Western Hemisphere.

Mack stated during the subcommittee hearing what most Americans already know, but it didn't stop vitriolic criticism of the lawmaker by officials in Mexico.

Mexican politicians and media commentators were also outraged over Rep. Mack’s assertion that the Merida Initiative, which began during the Bush Administration, has been a waste of upwards of $1.5 billion in U.S. aid.

The Merida Initiative, a treaty between the United States and Mexico signed in 2008, is designed specifically to fight Mexican drug gangs. It highlights the U.S. providing military equipment to Mexico, as well as counternarcotics training for Mexican police officers and military officials assigned to fighting the heavily armed and ruthless drug cartels.

While Mexican authorities fear the U.S. will renege on providing assistance, Congressman Mack merely suggested switching to a “counterinsurgency plan” that targets hotbeds of drug cartel activity. He also claims he wants a better planned strategy that coordinates the activities of several U.S. federal agencies.

“The Mexican drug cartels have evolved into what some call the greatest national security threat faced by the United States with the ability to severely damage the U.S. economy,” Mack said. “The administration has failed to set target dates or tangible goals to measure the success of U.S. programs and the Mexican drug cartels have capitalized on this failure, actively undermining the Mexican state through insurgent activities, such as violence, corruption and propaganda.”

“Mexican authorities assert control throughout Mexico, in all Mexican states,” the State Department said. “Although organized crime tries to act with impunity, the Mexican government is using its resources to ensure that state authority will prevail and criminals will be punished, and we are supporting them.”

The State Department also described accomplishments of the Merida Initiative, which included training more than 6,800 federal police officers, transferring 14 helicopters to Mexico and improving information sharing that resulted in the capture of 29 top drug cartel leaders.

“We believe the [Merida] Initiative is already having a positive impact,” the State Department said. “Through its bold efforts, with U.S. support, the Mexican government has successfully dismantled drug smuggling routes, seized major amounts of illicit drugs and jailed drug kingpins.”

In spite of the State Department's assertions, complaints are rising among states bordering Mexico over how the five-year-old war with drug cartels is spilling over into the United States.

For example, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is urging the U.S. congress to pass tough legislation in order to keep illegal aliens -- especially criminal aliens and gang members -- out of the United States.

Mexico’s Latino neighbors also are complaining about the drug war violence. President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic blames Mexico for a crime increase in his country’s central cities of Santiago and Jarabacoa.

The executions of three Colombians and a Venezuelan, as well as the decapitation of a Dominican, were examples of Sinaloa Cartel activity, Fernandez said during a speech last week in Santiago.

“The seal of the murders for hire shows that the Mexican cartels are here, more than the Colombians,” Fernandez said.

Of course, the Dominican Republic has long been a supplier of cocaine -- especially crack cocaine which is smoked -- to the United States. In the 1980s, the Dominican drug gangs ran much of the street distribution of crack-cocaine in New York City especially in the Washington Heights and Flushing Meadows districts of the city.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon are well versed in spinning the reality of the Mexican drug war.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon are well versed in spinning the reality of the Mexican drug war.

Jim Kouri, CPP, the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, has served on the National...