El Paso Times.com
U.S. military report warns 'sudden collapse' of Mexico is possible
By Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times
Posted: 01/13/2009 03:49:34 PM MST
President-elect Barack Obama listens as Mexico's President Felipe Calderon makes a statement to reporters in Washington, Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. Mexico is one of two countries that "bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse," according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats. (AP photo)
EL PASO - Mexico is one of two countries that "bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse," according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.
The command's "Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)" report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. "In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.
"The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels.
How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone."
This image provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration shows a poster of 10 people identified as rival drug traffickers locked in a violent battle for control of Tijuana, Mexico. They include Fernando Sanchez Arellano, described by the DEA as leader of the Arellano Felix cartel, and his archrival, Eduardo Teodoro Garcia Simental. Mexico is one of two countries that "bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse," according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.
The report is one in a serious focusing on Mexico's internal security problems, mostly stemming from drug violence and drug corruption. (AP Photo/DEA)
The U.S. Joint Forces Command, based in Norfolk, Va., is one of the Defense Departments combat commands that includes members of the different military service branches, active and reserves, as well as civilian and contract employees. One of its key roles is to help transform the U.S. military's capabilities.
In the foreword, Marine Gen. J.N. Mattis, the USJFC commander, said "Predictions about the future are always risky ... Regardless, if we do not try to forecast the future, there is no doubt that we will be caught off guard as we strive to protect this experiment in democracy that we call America."
The report is one in a serious focusing on Mexico's internal security problems, mostly stemming from drug violence and drug corruption. In recent weeks, the Department of Homeland Security and former U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey issued similar alerts about Mexico.
Despite such reports, El Pasoan Veronica Callaghan, a border business leader, said she keeps running into people in the region who "are in denial about what is happening in Mexico."
Last week, Mexican President Felipe Calderon instructed his embassy and consular officials to promote a positive image of Mexico.
The U.S. military report, which also analyzed economic situations in other countries, also noted that China has increased its influence in places where oil fields are present.
Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org ; 546-6140.
Republicans Go Easy on Hillary in First Day of Confirmation HearingsWednesday, January 14, 2009By Josiah Ryan, Staff Writer
Secretary of State-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., accompanied by her daughter Chelsea Clinton, listens to introductory remarks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
(CNSNews.com) - Republicans did not engage in any tough, sustained attacks against President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of the state, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), during the first day of her confirmation hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday. Since Clinton was nominated by Obama on Dec. 1, journalists and Republicans have raised concerns about a possible conflict of interest among Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, The William J. Clinton Foundation – named after her husband and former president – and numerous foreign governments that have donated tens of millions of dollars to the foundation since its inception in 1997.
Was he shouting "Allahu akbar?"
Man opens fire on school bus
January 14, 2009 11:43 AM
A man shot at a school bus on the Near Southwest Side this morning and paramedics were checking on at least two passengers to see if they were injured, officials said.
The gunman fired at the bus near Cermak Road and Wolcott Avenue about 11:15 a.m., authorities said.
"There are a couple kids we're looking at for minor injuries possibly from shattering glass," Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.