“America’s Gangster Auxiliaries,” by TM Lutas, Flit(tm), 13 August 2005, http://www.snappingturtle.net/jmc/tmblog/archives/005512.html.
Qutong an article on strategy page, TM Lutas discusses how America has established an informal border security system
The Intel agencies have spread the word around the criminal underground that pursuit will be relentless, and punishment harsh and certain for anyone who gets too cozy with Islamic terrorists. It’s understood that the criminal gangs will do business with just about anyone (including intel agencies from just about anywhere). But even in this amoral atmosphere, the Western intel agencies have drawn a line of death for the players. At the other extreme, the word is out that valuable favors can be had for any gangsters who pass on valuable info about terrorist operations. Such deals are fairly common, although not given much publicity for obvious reasons (the resulting headlines cause major political headaches.)
This explains a major mystery. Why hasn’t Al Queda been going through notoriously corrupt Mexico with their well established illegal immigration system and launched attacks on the US? Such an obvious attack route has led to calls on the right for the militarization of our southern border. The militarization didn’t happen but the attacks didn’t come either. Al Queda didn’t show other evidence of being that kind of stupid so why not exploit a gaping hole in US defenses?
We are managing crime by informally signaling very high prices for actions we don’t like, like maintaining minimal prices for crimes that the government doesn’t care about (people smuggling). However, TM Lutas notes a fragility to this policy
The safety of the US southern border is thus now under indirect, and not direct, US control. This is tenable, for now, but we might not understand impending failure of the arrangement until two late. Two important failure modes come to mind. First, that Al Queda could inspire greater terror and flip these forces to become their auxiliaries. Second, our own tales of unendurable retribution could no longer be believed and commercial avarice could carry the day.
One might say that this is a stick-heavy approach:
Now the mystery is solved. The coyotes and drug barons who carry on illegal cross border trade have been warned in a manner that has scared them into being US allies on the issue of US homeland defense in much the same way that the Mafia was recruited into our forces for WW II duty as black hat auxiliaries.
But “carrot-and-stick” works best for changing behavior. So what’s the carrot?