The use of armed forces against cartels that traffic in fentanyl, proposed by some congressional Republicans, is a “consequence” for cooperation with Mexico, a Pentagon official said Wednesday.
Congressional Republicans introduced a bill on Wednesday to designate the cartels as “terrorists,” and several senators called on the day to allow the military to fight them wherever they are.
But Melissa G. Dalton, Under Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, expressed concern about the consequences of these initiatives, if they go ahead.
It is necessary to “save the advantages and disadvantages of certain steps, which are considered according to the use of force or specific terms”, and “to have a clear view about what some consequences can be for the lines of cooperation that we have”. with Mexico,” he said in a congressional hearing on security challenges in the Americas.
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“As far as I’m concerned, based on the signals, the very strong signals that we’ve received in the past from the Mexicans, they could take care of their government, take care of possible reciprocal steps,” said Dalton, who plans to travel to Mexico this Wednesday. intelligence, cyber and defense cooperation.
In response to the deaths of two Americans kidnapped in the border city of Matamoros, Fathers Roger Marshall and Rick Scott have introduced a bill that targets the Sinaloa, Jalisco Nueva Generación, Sinaloa and Northeast Cartels.
The initiative designates them as terrorists, prohibits its members from entering US borders, blocks their assets and businesses, and punishes those who support them materially.
Two other Republicans, Lindsey Graham and John Neely Kennedy, will introduce another bill “in the next few days” to designate these foreign terrorist groups.
They will also ask, Granham said in a press conference this Wednesday, that “the use of military force” be authorized so that the United States military can destroy the laboratories where fentanyl is produced, the opiate that killed some 70,000 Americans last year.
Graham wants the military to have “authority” behind these institutions “wherever they are,” not to invade Mexico, not to shoot down Mexican planes, but to destroy the poisonous labs that are poisoning Americans.”
In order to take effect, the bill must be approved by both the Legislature and the Senate.
Asked about it during a Congressional hearing on security challenges in the Americas, Glen D. VanHerck, commander of the Northern Command, replied: “If I am ordered to do a plan, I want to execute and use military force.” He added, however, that the problem is with the Department of Homeland Security and Justice, not the Pentagon.