Thursday, August 26, 2010

Drug Cartels Represent a Clear and Present Danger

In 1994, it was widely believed that Central American drug cartels represented a clear and present danger to the United States.

16 years later, it may have gotten worse yet.

In Clear and Present Danger (released guess when?), Tom Clancy creation Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) is handed one of the most dangerous jobs an American intelligence operative could be given: go to Colombia and get a handle on the drug cartels there.

When the government freezes assets held by the Colombian cartels in American financial institutions, druglord Ernesto Escobado (Miguel Sandoval) orders his lieutenant, Felix Cortez (Joaquim de Almeida) to launch a devastating retaliation in which Ryan himself is nearly killed -- from which he narrowly escapes.

What Ryan doesn't know is that CIA operative John Clark (Willem Dafoe) is leading a secret mission to kill Cortez and Esbobedo. But when an airstrike aimed at killing Escobado also kills women and children at the site of the attack, attention is drawn to this black op that was never supposed to have taken place, but was quietly authorized by National Security Advisor James Cutter.

When Ryan begins to pick up the trail of the op, the special forces unit in Colombia is cut off from assistance and overtaken.

The only option left is for Ryan and Clark to team up in order to rescue the remnants of the unit -- a mission which will lead them into a direct confrontation with Esbobedo and Cortez.

16 years later, the situation on the United States' border with Mexico continues to deteriorate, as drug-related violence spills over the border and US citizens come under fire.

The security of the US/Mexico border has deteriorated to the degree that armed Mexican Bavy helicopters have been spotted in US airspace over Texas.

This could have catastrophic consequences for the United States.

For example, should the US attempt to help get a handle on Mexican drug cartels by freezing their assets, the likelihood that a retaliation similar to the one depicted in Clear and Present Danger occurring is more and more likely. It's also more and more likely that such a retaliation could occur within US sovereign territory.

The time for the United States to get a handle on their border security -- and start pressuring the government of Mexico to more robustly pursue their country's drug cartels -- is now.

This clear and present danger cannot be ignored any longer.

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