Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on Saturday that if elected, he would be open to sending U.S. troops to Mexico to help fight the country’s violent drug war.”The way that we were able to stop the drug cartels in Colombia was with a coordinated effort,” he said at the home of New Hampshire Republican gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne. “It may take our military” working alongside the Mexican government to defeat the country’s cartels, he said.
After Perry’s incomprehensible answer to a foreign policy question in the last GOP debate, the pressure has been on to prove he is capable of serving as commander in chief. These comments, which are far from the political mainstream, do not help.
Perry has repeatedly called for the deployment of more National Guard troops to block the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into the United States, but he has opposed the construction of a border fence — drawing fire from many in his party.
As The Huffington Post pointed out, this is not the first time Perry has suggested deploying U.S. forces in Mexico. “I think we have to use every aspect of law enforcement that we have including the military. I think we have the same situation as we had in Colombia. Obviously, Mexico has to approve any type of assistance that we can give them,” Perry told MSNBC last year. “But the fact of the matter is these are people who are highly motivated with money, they are vicious, they are armed to the teeth, and I want to see them defeated. And any means that we can to run these people off our border and to save Americans’ lives we need to be engaged in.”
A Perry spokesman said the governor is open to all ways of helping Mexico fight the cartels, adding that military assistance is just one option.
UPDATE: We neglected to mention that the U.S. military is already assisting Mexico’s military with training and other assistance, though Perry appears to be considering a much deeper engagement.
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