Americas

2009: The Year America Discovered Mexico

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Andrés Martinez
iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mexico. … Mexico? Really? Mexico! All of a sudden, it seems, Mexico popped up on the list of scary places that should keep you up at night. The escalating violence associated with the drug trade has been catapulting the United States’ oft neglected neighbor past perennial hot spots in the ranking of foreign messes that people who worry about foreign messes must fret about. Americans can’t turn on the news, pick up a newspaper, or read a Pentagon paper about future worst-case scenarios threatening U.S. national security without being exposed to the war next door.

The more informed you are about Mexico, the more far-fetched talk of a failed state is, and yet there is no denying that the mayhem — more than 6,000 dead in 2008 alone — being fueled by Americans’ appetite for illicit drugs is grim indeed. But is it so grim so as to merit being the only foreign-policy crisis raised at U.S. President Barack Obama’s March 24 prime-time news conference? I don’t think so.

Excerpt reproduced with permission from Foreign Policy, www.foreignpolicy.com. Copyright 2009 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive LLC. Read the full article at [http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4798]

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