[May 30, 2015] In baseball the advice always given to the batter is to “never take your eye off the ball.” This too is sound advice for leaders … and those most likely to achieve their mission are those that stay focused and on the right path. Yet with the world today we see many problems from terrorism and failing economies to rising Islamic radical ideology and natural disasters. Those make it difficult to follow that advice. The United States has its “eyes” appropriately focused on the Middle East and Asia. While correct, we are also failing to keep our eye on the ball in other problem areas, like on the drug war in Mexico.
Mexico is rarely in the news. Yet, it is one of the most important nations in the world that is allied with other civilized countries in a fight against the scourge of illegal drugs. The U.S. does have a strategy to fight the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. Our policies are prevention and intervention at the source country (like Columbia) and interception of transportation (like in Mexico). Most disturbing is that over the past several years the effort has been underfunded and under resourced. It is an economy action where most of the U.S. priorities are elsewhere.
Good leadership means getting a lot of things right but letting the issue of illegal drugs overtake us has consequences. Largely this means that Mexico is fighting the trafficking of illegal drugs largely on its own. Various drug cartels, funded with vast amounts of money, either destroys it competition or corrupts it. Corruption therefore in the Mexican political system is rampant in many areas and the police, military, and politicians help facilitate the flow of drugs. This is unfortunate but sadly the case.
The country of Mexico would do better if the leaders of the U.S. and Canada would work toward improving our relationship with Mexico’s senior leadership instead of ignoring them. The relationships here are a lesson in how not to be a good leader. Senior leaders in both Mexico and the U.S. give each other occasional public platitudes … and everyone knows it. Little action comes of it and the population is made to think something is being done.
Mexico is important for the United States. The violence of drug cartels and gangs are beyond the imagination of most Americans. Real leaders will take action, failed leaders will continue with the status quo. We can certainly be rightly accused of taking our eye of the ball.
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[Note] For updates on Mexico’s drug war see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/mexico-drug-wars/