U.S. troops increase aid to Mexico in war against drug cartels

Mexican marines step out on a patrol at Officer Candidates School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., in September 2009.


By Published: October 6, 2011

The U.S. military is supplying advisers, state-of-the-art aircraft and hard-earned lessons from its two ongoing wars to aid Mexico's marines in their fight against the country's vicious drug cartels, NPR reported.

Northern Command has quietly escalated its role in Mexico in the past two years, sending veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts to train the elite marines and providing Black Hawk helicopters and surveillance drones, according to NPR.

"The Americans suffer from similar types of ambushes in their wars, and have learned how to respond to them in a tight, disciplined way," one marine told NPR. "We apply those techniques to our fight here."

The question of U.S. military involvement in Mexico came into the national spotlight this week after Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry said, "It may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and keep them off our border."

Political analyst Jose Antonio Crespo told NPR that U.S. involvement violates Mexico's constitution and leads to increased chances of the gangsters acquiring high-tech weapons or persuading the well-trained marines to defect. However, he admitted that the marines have become the most efficient force in the Mexican military.

Following their training with Americans, the marines have killed several major cartel bosses, NPR said.

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