We hear a lot about the prospect that escalating drug-related violence in Mexico could spill over more to the United States; there are even warnings about a potential collapse of the country's government. In the just-passed omnibus spending bill, Congress included $300 million to fight drug cartels there, and some lawmakers now want to use U.S. military drones to aid Mexico in intelligence gathering. The Defense Department is drafting recommendations to provide more help, based on a trip that Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made to Mexico this month.
How dire is the situation south of the border, really? And what should the U.S. do about it, especially given Mexico's historic sensitivity about its often overbearing northern neighbor? What lessons have we learned from the fight against the cartels in Colombia that are applicable to Mexico?
-- James Kitfield, NationalJournal.com