The Effectiveness of Counterinsurgency Principles against Criminal Insurgency | Small Wars Journal

Institutionalized corruption and government control of the illicit economy collapsed into violence as DTOs went to war with each other and the state to increase their control of territory and lucrative drug routes.[7]

It has been well documented that much of the increase in DTO (Drug Trafficking Organizations) came from those who were trained by the US military and then returned home to find, “Institutionalized corruption and government control of the illicit economy “, and decided to do something about it.  So what kind of war is this?

 Carl Von Clausewitz warns that “the first, the supreme, the most far reaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish…the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature.”[10]

Is it a war against corruption and the nation state’s control of illicit markets?

It appears it’s a war against drugs

Following his election in 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderón embarked upon a campaign against organized crime employing the “full force of the state in order to safeguard the liberty and security of its citizens.”[8]

The Statement, “full force of the state” gives me the impression that the war Felipe Calder’on is fighting has much to do about destroying DTOs, and little about fighting corruption and the nation state’s control of illicit markets. Which is a shame, because it seems to me like the drug cartels are, at least in part, an insurgency that was started as a way against government corruption and the nation-state’s control of illicit markets. In other words, drugs and DOT are a means to the end for an insurgency, because the beginning of the insurgency (if it in fact is and insurgency) was supported by the corruption of the incumbent force of the nation and the nation-state’s control of illicit markets.

In the interests of “fighting” the “correct” war, I hope Mexico has had a chance to give some attention to the “corruption and nation state’s control of illicit markets.” A war against drugs will only bring the means, in the form of funds from the US government and Mexico’s poor (who actually pays for Mexico’s government which the rich buys) towards an end of DOTs, but does little to counter an insurgency. To make the war against an insurgency a Counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy (end, way, and means) is needed.

COIN is a strategy of going local (the environment where the DOT operate) by bringing to the “local” environment an image (vision of the end) from the top that gives locals an advantage supporting. The way Coin operates is that it isolates the locals into an image of the top, while at the same time COIN destroys the image of the insurgency, by isolating (killing) its leaders.  If Mexico fights the wrong war, it will only support the insurgency, with the amount of funds it brings into the area of conflict, and not the end  in the way the DOT operate through the use of terror.

In other words, when the end of the War on Drugs is reached (unless, as in the US, the means to the end of the war proves too profitable to end) the end will simply look like a government full of corruption and in control of illicit market’s, which, if the DOT are any indication, will support another insurgency.

The article at SWJ seems to understand COIN, but I wonder.

via The Effectiveness of Counterinsurgency Principles against Criminal Insurgency | Small Wars Journal.

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