U.S. politicians are split in their opinions about deploying the military against drug cartels in Latin America, as calls to task the US with hunting down the illicit gangs gain traction.
Republican Sens. J.D. Vance and Tim Scott of Ohio and South Carolina have both proposed a military response in Mexico, as the opioid crisis rises. The Democrat, however, appears to be largely opposed to the idea.
Senator Vance said that the power of the US military should be utilized to quash the drug cartels. In an interview on NBC News's "Meet the Press," Vance said,"I want to empower the president of the United States, whether that’s a Democrat or Republican, to use the power of the U.S. military to go after these drug cartels."
He added that fentanyl has increased in popularity and the Mexican government has been unable to put an end to the narcotics trade.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina also proposed dispatching U.S. special forces against the cartels. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has also said that he supports the use of 'deadly force' to tackle drug traffickers.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called for Mexico to be put 'on notice' and classified some of its drug cartels as 'foreign terrorist groups.'
However, Democrats have largely opposed the proposal. Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas told Axios that military strikes in Mexico are 'unrealistic.'
The Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, rejected calls from U.S. lawmakers for military action in his nation, describing it as a breach of sovereignty.
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio shared his thoughts on Fox News, saying that even a secure border will not keep drugs out.
"We need a secure border," he said. “And we need Congress to actually work together on that, not just demagogue issue after issue. But even a secure border doesn’t keep this stuff out, nor will our sanctions mean none is produced. Again, it’s all the above. It’s treatment. It’s police work. It’s sanctions. It’s border protection. It’s all that."
The proposal to deploy U.S. troops to hunt drug cartels continues to raise a huge rift among Republicans and Democrats, with both parties making their points and understanding the implications. Therefore, it will be interesting to see what decisions are taken by the U.S. government to tackle the pandemic.