A former director of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency’s Mexican office once stated:” The heroin market abhors a vacuum.” The truth in this statement can be extended to not only the heroin trade but also the trade of numerous other drugs of abuse; from cocaine to methamphetamines, the illicit drug trade has had a way of fluidity that allows insert itself into any societal weakness. Much like any traditional commodity good, illicit drugs have become not only an economy in and of themselves, they have transformed into an integral part of the legitimate global economy. Whether or not military or law enforcement action is the most prudent or expedient method of minimizing the ill-effects of the illicit drug trade is of little consequence to the understanding of the economic reality of its use in the United States ongoing “War on Drugs”. As it stands, not only has the illicit drug trade transformed itself into a self-sufficient global economy, so too has the drug-fighting trade. According to a CNN report in 2012, in the 40 years since the declaration of “The War on Drugs”, the United States Federal Government has spent approximately $1 trillion in the fight against illicit drugs. Additionally, a report in the New York Times in 1999 estimates that federal spending in the “War on Drugs” tops $19 billion a year and state and local government spending nears $16 billion a year. Given the sheer magnitude of federal, state, and local spending in the combat of the illicit drug trade, one would reasonably expect that the violence, death, and destruction that so often accompanies the epicenters of the drug economy would be expelled from the close proximity of the United States. While this expectation is completely reasonable to the ...
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Price, Bob. “Expert: Mexican Military Incursions Into Us 'not Rare'.” Breitbart. March 11, 2014. Accessed April 14, 2014. http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/03/11/Sen-Coburn-Reveals-Possible-Mexican-Military-Incursion-into-US-Territory.
Reuters. “U.S. Border Agent Kills Mexican Teen.” Toronto Sun. June 08, 2010. Accessed April 1, 2014.http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2010/06/09/14316756.html
Sanchez, Ray, Evan Perez, and Elise Labott. “After Years On Run, Sinaloa Cartel Chief 'el Chapo' Guzman Arrested.” CNN. February 22, 2014. Accessed April 6, 2014.http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/22/world/americas/mexico-cartel-chief-arrest/index.html.
Valdez, Diana Washington. “Mexico Is Transit for 90 Percent of Cocaine; Corruption Hinders War On Drugs.” El Paso Times. February 27, 2009. Accessed April 7, 2014.http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_11800490.
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