Follow us on social

Video: Why is declaring war on Mexican cartels so popular?

Video: Why is declaring war on Mexican cartels so popular?

A growing number of Republicans have called for military action to address the fentanyl crisis. A new video from the Quincy Institute explores what is behind this idea.

Video Section

The idea of going to war with Mexican cartels to address the fentanyl crisis has been growing in popularity among Republican members of Congress and GOP presidential candidates this year.

QI’s Adam Weinstein spoke to journalist and author Ioan Grillo on why the idea of declaring war on Mexican drug cartels has gained steam in Washington but why it won’t solve the crisis.

Grillo, who is the author of three books including 2021’s Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels, says those proposing military action have that right diagnosis. “They’re right when they say the fentanyl problem is a really serious, severe problem that should be at the top of the political agenda,” he says. “There is a really serious organized crime in Mexico and they are working with corrupt government officials.”

However, warns Grillo, “where they’re wrong, and very seriously wrong, is you can’t simply send in a couple drones and send in a couple American military and solve this. It just doesn’t work strategically. “

In January, Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) introduced an Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the cartels. A number of Senators have endorsed similar proposals, with, for example, J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) telling NBC News in July that he wants to “empower the president of the United States, whether that’s a Democrat or Republican, to use the power of the U.S. military to go after these drug cartels.”

During the first primary debate of the election cycle last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that, if elected president, he would send U.S. special forces into Mexico on “day one.” Other candidates, including former president Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy, have said that they, too, support a military solution to the fentanyl crisis.

Weinstein and Grillo also discuss the history of Mexico’s wars against drug cartels, how cartel violence has affected life in Mexico, and more.

Why is Declaring War on Mexican Cartels so popular?
Video Section

Prime Minister Kishida held a summit meeting and other events with President Biden of the United States at the Akasaka Palace State Guest House. (May 23, 2022) (Government of Japan/Wikimedia Commons)

The trilateral summit is all about China


The White House is rolling out the red carpet for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who arrives in Washington Wednesday for meetings with President Joe Biden followed by a state dinner. The pair will be joined Thursday by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the first ever trilateral summit between the United States, Japan, and the Philippines.

The summit is a significant step up in cooperation between the states, as the leaders look to increase their economic cooperation and collaboration on technological development. But the real show is all about security in the Indo-Pacific, as China becomes more assertive in its claims over disputed territories in the South China Sea and North Korea steps up its missile testing in the region.

keep readingShow less
Report: Iran says it won’t strike Israel if US gets Gaza ceasefire
Iranian President Rouhani and President-elect Joe Biden (shutterstock)

Report: Iran says it won’t strike Israel if US gets Gaza ceasefire


Iran has told the United States that it will attack Israel directly unless the Biden administration secures a ceasefire in Gaza, according to an Arab diplomatic source who spoke with Jadeh Iran.

The ultimatum follows an Israeli attack on an Iranian diplomatic facility in Damascus last week. The source told Jadeh Iran that a ceasefire could also lead to progress on other aspects of the U.S.-Iran relationship. This comes following mediation by Oman between the U.S. and Iran.

keep readingShow less
Congress needs answers before sending more aid to Ukraine

President Joe Biden is seen with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson as he departs from the Friends of Ireland ceremony on the House steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on March 15, 2024. (Photo by Aaron Schwartz/NurPhoto)

Congress needs answers before sending more aid to Ukraine

Washington Politics

Many are seeing the current impasse over the future of U.S. aid to Ukraine as the ultimate manifestation of congressional dysfunction. Following several attempts, the Senate in February passed a $95 billion bill that includes most of the Biden administration’s previous requests, minus border funding. That bill sits in limbo in the House, with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who, while signaling he wants a vote on it, has so far been unwilling to bring it to the floor.

Last month House Democrats introduced an arcane “motion to discharge” petition, which could allow supporters to bring the bill to a vote if 218 members agree. While 191 have signed the petition, the odds of finding another 27 appear daunting, given the number of progressive Democrats who oppose military assistance for Israel, and opposition by Republicans to bypassing the Speaker.

keep readingShow less

Israel-Gaza Crisis