Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Guarantees on Security...

With all the guarantees of toxic assets being bandied about, a security guarantee from the world's premier provider of such services is not far behind.

Of course, our resources are finite and this will come at a cost of influence and increased political power. The Obama Doctrine (similar to the Monroe Doctrine and the financial Roosevelt corollary) is on its way. European business will be nationalized at the individual state level with obvious implications for the Euro and Maastricht.

China will be marginalized eventually, notwithstanding arguments such as "The reason China is healthy is because they have not experienced a banking failure" that make me want to re-examine epistemology 101...

Meanwhile, this leaves the U.S. relatively unencumbered, having dragged out the dirty laundry for all to see.


The U.S. Defense Department thinks Mexico's two most deadly drug cartels together have fielded more than 100,000 foot soldiers - an army that rivals Mexico's armed forces and threatens to turn the country into a narco-state.

"It's moving to crisis proportions," a senior U.S. defense official told The Washington Times. The official, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because of the sensitive nature of his work, said the cartels' "foot soldiers" are on a par with Mexico's army of about 130,000.

The disclosure underlines the enormity of the challenge Mexico and the United States face as they struggle to contain what is increasingly looking like a civil war or an insurgency along the U.S.-Mexico border. In the past year, about 7,000 people have died - more than 1,000 in January alone. The conflict has become increasingly brutal, with victims beheaded and bodies dissolved in vats of acid.

The death toll dwarfs that in Afghanistan, where about 200 fatalities, including 29 U.S. troops, were reported in the first two months of 2009. About 400 people, including 31 U.S. military personnel, died in Iraq during the same period.

The biggest and most violent combatants are the Sinaloa cartel, known by U.S. and Mexican federal law enforcement officials as the "Federation" or "Golden Triangle," and its main rival, "Los Zetas" or the Gulf Cartel, whose territory runs along the Laredo,Texas, borderlands.

The two cartels appear to be negotiating a truce or merger to defeat rivals and better withstand government pressure. U.S. officials say the consequences of such a pact would be grave.

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