Former Attorney General William Barr said Wednesday that the United States should use special ops units to destroy drug cartels in Mexico to secure cooperating from the Mexican government.
“It would be good to have the Mexicans’ cooperation. And I think that will only come when the Mexicans know that we’re willing to do it with or without their cooperation,” Barr told Fox News host Martha MacCallum. “The goal here should be to do whatever is necessary to destroy these organizations. If we make it clear we’re willing to act alone if necessary, the Mexicans will join us.”
“Nobody is talking about a conventional takeover of Mexico or rolling the military down to invade Mexico,” Barr added. “Our military on these kinds of things with the intelligence we have can act with precision and through special operations, the use of drones, going after the finances, which we know how they’re structured and where they are. We can decimate – we can destroy these groups in a relatively short period of time. It’s just a matter of will.”
Barr’s comments come in the wake of the death of two Americans as the result of a drug cartel kidnapping following a firefight in the border city of Matamoros. Two other Americans kidnapped by the cartel gunmen were recovered alive.
“We have destroyed cartels in the past. It just takes focusing on them and doing it. In Syria, I think this could be done with not as – as much kinetic force as we did in Syria,” Barr said. “That was a precise operation. There were a few thousand Americans, special operators that pulled that off and we destroyed ISIS. We can do this.”
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas called for military action against the drug cartels during a November CNBC appearance, citing deaths from fentanyl and the crisis on the border.
“People say this is an invasion of Mexico. Number one, it won’t take that kind of effort. And number two, if Mexico wants to be jealous of their sovereignty, sovereignty has duties and responsibilities,” Barr said. “If you don’t control the territory and stop people operating from that territory against us, you don’t have sovereign rights over that territory.”
The Mexican embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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