Texas officials are drafting plans for law enforcement and military responses to the growing Mexican gang violence threatening to spill across the U.S. border. “Worst-case scenario, Mexico becomes the Western hemisphere’s equivalent of Somalia, with mass violence, mass chaos,” Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based think tank, told Fox News. “That would clearly require a military response from the United States.”Of the 18,000 Border Patrol agents, fewer than 2,000 are devoted to the US-Canadian border. Some similarly small number (I cannot seem to find an exact amount) are charged with patrolling the Florida penninsula and Puerto Rico. The remainder are tasked with the US-Mexico border. It is alarming that around 14,000 armed agents working the southern border may be too overwhelmed to control gang violence spilling over into the US.
With more than 5,300 people killed in Mexico last year owing to criminal activity, Mexico has been identified in a Department of Defense report as a country that could abruptly destabilize.
While Texas officials work on their defensive posture, the federal government has already developed a contingency plan that calls for armored vehicles, aircraft and teams of personnel along border hotspots. Military forces, however, would be deployed only if agencies like the Border Patrol were unable to quell the violence.
The construction of a wall would be a permanent contingency plan to not only obstruct the movement of street gangs and drug cartels across the border, but also to break the waves of a refugee tidal wave if Mexico ruptures into an anarchic state without any credible centralized authority.