Mexico, Canada and the United States. Back to the Future.
On June 21 of this year, I published an article entitled “Strengthening Joint Cooperation in North America” in Ofcs.Report, an Italian medium, with global reach and that can be read in several languages thanks to the option of a translator that counts on its page at the top and where we reflect on issues of security, defense and human rights.
In that article, among other things, we talked about a document that is part of the hundreds of thousands of documents hacked from the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena), by the group of cybernetic pirates Guacamaya and that is entitled “Northern Command of the United States United States of America (USNORTHCOM) and which contains a second section that refers to the Bilateral Military Cooperation Round (BMCR), to refer to the high-level dialogue between the armies of both countries.
It is noted in the legacy of 13 pages that the Northern Command of the United States Armed Forces considers Mexico part of its “area of responsibility.” This attribution is not questioned, but it is pointed out that Mexico does not participate in an organic integration with the US Armed Forces as Canada does.
Let’s get on the DeLorean, I invite you on this trip, this time we are going to the year 2030.
By 2030, according to the projection of the “desired future state” of the Mexican Armed Forces, joint operations would already be taking place. Mexico’s participation with USNORTHCOM in Peacekeeping Operations and in multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations is included.
To reach that desired future, Mexico must not only achieve operational and technological capabilities to join joint operations with the United States Armed Forces. It also requires changes in the organization and administration carried out by the Sedena and the Secretary of the Navy (Semar) in the Armed Forces under their responsibility. Such reforms have already begun to take place.
The transformations must even reach military doctrine, since Mexico has historically refused to send troops to other countries or place Mexican soldiers and sailors under foreign command.
Working together is very important and this may be possible, now let’s get back in the DeLorean and travel to the day July 16, 1944. During World War II, General Manuel Ávila Camacho, Constitutional President of the United States of Mexico, stated that there was “a moral commitment to contribute to the common victory against the Nazi-fascist dictatorships.” The sending of troops to the Pacific theater would ratify Mexico’s position to take the resolution that the honor of the country demanded, thus defending the supreme values of freedom and respect among nations.
300 men from the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force (201 Squadron) traveled to the United States of America to carry out advanced training with the purpose of creating a force capable of operating together with the allied countries, against the axis countries, in in particular, in the Pacific against Japan, using P-47 fighter jets at the US air bases at Randolph Field and Greenville in Texas and Pocatello, Idaho.
On February 23, 1945, at the North American base of Majors Field, Texas, the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force was flagged in a solemn ceremony by General Francisco L. Urquizo, then Undersecretary of National Defense, representing the President of the Republic. The Mexican Expeditionary Air Force (Squadron 201) left San Francisco, California aboard the ship “Fairisle” on Tuesday, March 27, 1945, bound for Manila, Philippines.
The unit arrived in Manila on 1/o. May 1945 and was established in Fort Stotsenburg and in Porac, in the Camp Clark area, carrying out advanced combat training, on land and in flight. The Mexican Expeditionary Air Force was integrated into the 58/o. Fighting Group, of the Fifth Fighting Command, of the Fifth Air Force, carrying out its combat missions under this tactical framework as of June 4, 1945.
The Mexican Expeditionary Air Force (201 Squadron) conducted 96 combat missions supporting allied ground forces. They actively participated in the bombing of Luzon and Formosa, today Taiwan. In total, 2,842 hours were flown in the Pacific, of which: 1,970 hours. they went on combat missions; 591 hours. in a combat zone and 281 hours of previous training flown.
Let’s get on the DeLorean again to observe on that trip that after World War II, the Mexican Armed Forces began to participate in three international cooperation deployments of this type in an extraordinary way: The Balkans (1947-1950), Kashmir (1950) and El Salvador (1992-1993). The first two only with observers; the third, with 120 police officers.
Subsequently and inexplicably, Mexico has refused to send troops to other countries or place Mexican soldiers and sailors under foreign command.
It was not until the government of President Felipe Calderón that the Mexican Armed Forces once again began to participate periodically in United Nations (UN) Peace Operations.
Such a political decision was reaffirmed in that of Enrique Peña Nieto, with permanent envoys.
The cooperation of the Mexican Armed Forces with USNORTHCOM gives them access to state-of-the-art technology, which leads to the compatibility of instruments for the defense of the region. However, it also requires the approval of military structures.
There are three general missions of USSNORTHCOM. He lists America’s “homeland defense” first; It immediately points out the assistance to the civil authorities and, finally, the “cooperation to maintain regional security, preservation of national power and the freedom of action of the armed forces of the United States” .
It also indicates the areas of responsibility of the United States Northern Command, which “includes the air, land, and maritime access routes to that country” and warns that “it includes the territories of the United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, and a strip of sea of 500 nautical miles”.
Likewise, the document points out, the “Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida” are included. It also explains that the USNORTHCOM commander is responsible for theater security cooperation with Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas.
The document indicates that this Northern Command of the United States Armed Forces now consolidates under a single unified command all the existing missions that were previously executed by other instances of the US Department of Defense. “This provides unity of command, which is critical to mission accomplishment.”
However, despite these efforts to integrate Mexico, the United States and Canada into a great unified force and operate together, there are proposals that instead of helping to perfect the unit processes, atrophy them and I am referring to the recent proposal of Congressional Republicans are trying to give US Southern Command authority over military relations with Mexico, which is currently within US Northern Command’s jurisdiction.
This $826 billion Pentagon funding bill, which the House defense spending panel advanced along partisan lines, contains a provision that would give SOUTHCOM authority over all Mexico-related military activities within six months after the enactment of the bill. Republicans hope that by doing so, the Department of Defense can play a more active role in cracking down on the fentanyl trade.
The pretext for proposing this change is the fight against fentanyl. “No threat in the world today is claiming more American lives than the fentanyl crisis,” House Defense Appropriations Chairman Ken Calvert, R-Calif., said in a statement. “To prioritize the fight against fentanyl trafficking by Mexican drug cartels, we are transferring Mexico from NORTHCOM‘s jurisdiction to SOUTHCOM, which has a long history of successful international and interagency anti-drug operations.”
Still, it’s unclear whether the transfer from Mexico to SOUTHCOM will gain Democratic buy-in when the full Appropriations Committee considers the defense spending bill ahead of a full House vote and final negotiations with The Senate.
“That’s not the kind of thing the Appropriations Committee is supposed to do,” said Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. “They don’t know what they’re doing…and they shouldn’t be doing it.”
And Rep. Adam Smith of Washington is quite right; because, Mexico’s military cooperation with USNORTHCOM takes the form of three “lines of effort.” The first is “knowledge of the environment, whose objective is “to have a compatible network for detection, monitoring and information exchange”. It refers to the operational compatibility, information exchange and infrastructure use of the Armed Forces of the two countries.
The second line of effort refers to “control of the environment”. Its objective is to “strengthen operational compatibility and combined interdiction capabilities”, that is, to jointly block what is considered a threat at the air, land and high seas levels. Such control must be able to be exercised during the day, at night and under any weather condition.
In the same sense, “the capabilities and operational compatibility of the Special Forces must be strengthened to counter asymmetric threats.”
The third line of effort consists of “institutional strengthening”. Its objective is to “strengthen military institutions and relations between them.” To achieve this, it considers “improving opportunities for military education and exchanges between institutions, as well as promoting professional training in various fields of global interest.”
It also lists “promoting strategic communications” between the Mexican Armed Forces and USNORTHCOM and “promoting the analysis, monitoring, and evaluation of cooperation activities.”
In the diagnosis of the bilateral military relationship presented in the document, it is noted that USNORTHCOM and Sedena and Semar share “mutual interests.” It proposes that such mutual interests be reflected in the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, facilities, leadership, personnel, training, and policies of the military institutions of both countries.
Among the goals sought by the development of Armed Forces’ capabilities, “operational compatibility”, “solid coordination and cooperation” and projection and extension capacity stand out”.
The document, prepared by Sedena, Semar and USNORTHCOM, also refers to the operation known as POLA. It refers to the Mexican Long-Range Ocean Patrol, which would be a cargo of the Mexican Navy, the Sea Force that is organized and administered by the Secretary of the Navy (Semar).
It also points out that in the “desired future” of the Mexican Armed Forces, combined exercises will be able to be carried out, they will be integrated into Regional Mechanisms and Cecopam will be reinforced, that is, the already existing Joint Training Center for Peace Operations.
With all these elements, Mexico will be able to carry out joint operations with USNORTHCOM. For this, progress is being made in the “reformulation of the Theater Security Cooperation Strategy”.
In the Mutual Strategic Vision, generated jointly by Semar, Sedena and the US Northern Command, “the Armed Forces of Mexico and the United States achieve great operational compatibility as defense partners to strengthen cooperation in the protection of North America and promote security and regional leadership”.
However; to fight against fentanyl, the support of the military forces is not only required, the participation of all law enforcement agencies in Mexico, Canada and the United States is necessary.
As is known from intelligence information; Mexican drug trafficking groups such as the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) and the Sinaloa Cartel use social networks and encrypted communication systems to promote the sale of fentanyl in the United States.
The DEA dismantled some of the distribution networks in the United States that are connected to the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, surely the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels use violent local street gangs and criminal groups and individuals from all over the United States to flood communities Americans with huge amounts of fentanyl. and methamphetamine, which fuel addiction and violence and kill Americans.
DEA Director Anne Milgram denounced “The Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels use multi-city distribution networks, violent local street gangs, and individual traffickers across the United States to flood American communities with fentanyl and methamphetamine, fuel addiction, fuel violence, and kill Americans.” And say… “The cartels use social media and encrypted platforms to run their operations and reach victims, and when their product kills Americans, they simply move on to try to victimize the millions of other Americans who are social media users.”
One of the strategies that organized crime groups have used for more than a decade, as well as terrorist groups apart from social networks and instant messaging, are online multiplayer games. Whether they are the so-called “First Person Shooters” or FPS, the “Online Battlefield Multiplayer” or MOBA’s or the “Real Time Strategy” or RTS games. They are used to recruit members or commit crimes of human trafficking in any of its modalities and drug trafficking; there is still a lot of work to do to prevent, contain and prosecute many cases, but with the deteriorated current binational relationship, with the denial of the crisis expressed by the president of Mexico, will these lines of investigation really be given importance and follow-up? In an interconnected and globalized world, today more than ever we must stop thinking about “you” and “us”, after all we are neighbors, we are a region and if we treat these issues in an isolationist way we are all going to lose.
Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Tim Kaine, D-Va., joined to introduce legislation requiring the Pentagon to deepen security cooperation with the Mexican military to combat fentanyl trafficking. Reps. Stephanie Bice, R-Okla., and Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., introduced the same bill in the House.
They introduced the legislation in May; after a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates called on Congress to approve military authorization for the president to attack drug cartels in Mexico.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Republican of Texas, introduced the bill that would authorize military force in Mexico in January. He currently has 20 Republican co-sponsors, including two leading panels on the House Armed Services Committee: Reps. Mike Waltz of Florida and Jack Bergman of Michigan.
This project, like the other initiatives presented, I believe that they will not pass. First; Because the nations that compete with the United States would benefit the most from a distance between Mexico and the United States, and second, because the regions are already well established, but also because of the International Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and that region , is the region of North America. In fact, Guatemala is the door to the north of that region and the door to the south. Strategically, what is proposed by these legislators to transfer Mexico to the southern command is not viable. But as always; The congressman or senator is never lacking, especially as the November 2024 election approaches. Let us better bet on Joint and Interagency Cooperation for North America and for the benefit of that region and the countries that comprise it, , so today more than ever, we have to do things differently to have a different result; above all, in the face of the current security and defense crisis; but also, at the international level, in Mexico we will have to change the retrograde protectionist thought, to a thought of global integration for the benefit of the most important economic region of the planet, made up of Canada, the United States and Mexico in North America.
The new relationship between Mexico, Canada and the United States requires a rethinking from the future and traveling to the times of success in the past when we had great achievements such as World War II to design a future that strengthens in the present the actions that lead us to materialize it. . The other look, the apparent truths and old notions, are history. In the DeLorean, a phrase shines on the control screen: “Welcome a powerful relationship between Mexico, Canada, the United States and the world.”