Perry suggests U.S. military role in Mexico drug war

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire Sun Oct 2, 2011 1:37am EDT

Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry listens to a voter's question at an economic forum in Hampton, New Hampshire October 1, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry listens to a voter's question at an economic forum in Hampton, New Hampshire October 1, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Adam Hunger

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said on Saturday he would get the U.S. military involved in Mexico's war with drug cartels, in comments likely to upset the Mexican government.

The remarks appear to be a new misstatement on foreign policy by Perry, the Texas governor who is struggling to hold on to the mantle of frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

Perry said that as president he would work with Mexico in the same way that the United States has worked with Colombia to combat drug cartels.

"The way that we were able to stop the drug cartels in Colombia was with a coordinated effort," he said in a campaign speech in New Hampshire. "It may take our military" working with the Mexican government to win Mexico's drug war, he said.

The U.S. military has advisers in Colombia who are involved mainly in training, logistical support and intelligence backup for the Colombian armed forces as they fight cocaine traffickers and leftist guerrillas.

But there are no U.S. armed forces in Mexico fighting the drug war and Mexico strongly opposes any U.S. military involvement in its territory, although it has received more than $1 billion in U.S. aid to take on the cartels.

More than 42,000 people have been killed in Mexico's drug feuds since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.

Perry, one of two main Republican contenders to take on President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, has stumbled before on foreign issues. He gave a rambling answer during a debate between candidates last month to a question about what he would do as president if the Taliban got hold of nuclear weapons.

(Reporting by Jason McLure, editing by Alistair Bell and Bill Trott)

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Comments (10)
PessimistNJ wrote:
Great another war not being 3 concurring wars iraq, afghanistan, and, libya. Hey let’s start a fourth war China will be more than happy to lend us a couple of hundred billion to have another war. Perry you are starting to have that extremely rare commodity, you are making Obama look like the lesser of two evils so vote for Obama, because eventhough Obama will be bad, Perry will be worse.

Yes there is a drug problem in Mexico and the United States. The Mexican drug cartels biggest cash crop is marijuana, with that money they fund their other illicit drugs and operations. Take that money from them and you will but a serious cash constraints and financial hurting on the cartels. Legalized marijuana in the united states would do that. The law would need to state it has to be grown here. That would also put significant relief to or police department and government agencies because it would no longer be a crime. They could then concentrate on other illegal activities. It would also create a thriving business in the U.S. they could make the law state that a liquor license is required to sell it. Bottom line is if you really want to significantly hurt the mexican cartels take the biggest piece of pie away from them. That Financial loss for them will do far more to reduce their threat to Mexico and the U.S. than any military or police action could, for far less money and a significantly less loss of life….

Oct 02, 2011 9:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:
Pessimist..the prudes in Congress have no common sense whatsoever. They won’t even allow Hemp (which has essentially no THC content) to be grown in the U.S. They are the job killers in this country. While I agree with your post…it ain’t going to happen.

Oct 02, 2011 11:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
PessimistNJ wrote:
Xyz2055, you are right. Let’s see can you say PAC monies from liquor companies, more than likely pharmaceutical companies would be against it why would cut into their anti depressants and painkillers. Of course you still got the small minority of the far right being fanatical and we might be able to reduce the size of the police force, fbi, judges and judicial branch. Not to mention incarceration in prisons forever the people who would no longer breaking the law, let’s not forget the losses for all the attorneys that the friend these people who really shouldn’t be convicted anyway.

I think one day it will be legalize but probably not in the next 20 years, not untill we get some real change in government and the election process.

Oct 02, 2011 1:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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