Worst Case Scenarios: Failed States
In its JOE 2008 report the U. S. military’s Joint Operations Command singled out two countries as of particular concern in its worst-case scenarios. One of the countries should be no surprise: Pakistan. The other? Mexico:
In terms of worst-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. Some forms of collapse in Pakistan would carry with it the likelihood of a sustained violent and bloody civil and sectarian war, an even bigger haven for violent extremists, and the question of what would happen to its nuclear weapons. That “perfect storm” of uncertainty alone might require the engagement of U.S. and coalition forces into a situation of immense complexity and danger with no guarantee they could gain control of the weapons and with the real possibility that a nuclear weapon might be used.
The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure 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 the Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.
As if to underscore this possibility here’s a cheery note about the situation in Juárez:
The Mexican army has sent an estimated 2,000 troops to Juárez as part of a rotation even as the death toll surpassed 35 so far this year.
Soldiers who arrived in Juárez on Monday are part of a regular rotation of troops sent to different parts of Mexico, the Norte newspaper reported. Last year, more 1,600 people were slain in Juárez.
Juárez is a city of 1.5 million people and lies just across the border from El Paso, Texas. That’s about the same size as Philadelphia. In 2007 Philadelphia had 394 homicides.
Have a nice day.