This partnership would support coordinated strategies to:
- Produce a safer and more secure hemisphere where criminal organizations no longer threaten governments and regional security; and
- Prevent the entry and spread of illicit drugs and transnational threats throughout the region and to the United States.
To achieve these goals, President Bush has requested $550 million as part of a multi-year program to provide:
- Non-intrusive inspection equipment, ion scanners, canine units for Mexican customs, for the new federal police and for the military to interdict trafficked drugs, arms, cash and persons.
- Technologies to improve and secure communications systems to support collecting information as well as ensuring that vital information is accessible for criminal law enforcement.
- Technical advice and training to strengthen the institutions of justice – vetting for the new police force, case management software to track investigations through the system to trial, new offices of citizen complaints and professional responsibility, and establishing witness protection programs.
- Helicopters and surveillance aircraft to support interdiction activities and rapid operational response of law enforcement agencies in Mexico.
- Initial funding for security cooperation with Central America that responds directly to Central American leaders’ concerns over gangs, drugs, and arms articulated during July SICA meetings and the SICA Security Strategy.
- Includes equipment and assets to support counterpart security agencies inspecting and interdicting drugs, trafficked goods, people and other contraband as well as equipment, training and community action programs in Central American countries to implement anti-gang measures and expand the reach of these measures in the region.
Does this sound crazy to you? Me too.
We can't spend money to secure our own border, but we can dish out $500 million to a country whose leaders keep encouraging it's citizens to thumb their noses at our laws.
Well it sounds good to Bush:
...The White House is trying to stuff major portions of the Merida Initiative into the war spending bill–while our fences go unbuilt and immigration chaos reigns on our soil:I have a great idea. Use the $500 million to protect the United States from illegals trying to enter this country and undermine our sovereignty.
President Bush on Wednesday showcased his request for $500 million in U.S. military assistance to help Mexico combat murderous drug cartels in a bid to build congressional support for the more contentious part of his spending package — the latest multibillion dollar request for emergency war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bush crafted plans for the U.S. military assistance to Mexico at a meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon 14 months ago and sketched details last October, including money for military equipment such as helicopters, training and assistance in combating corruption in the criminal justice system.
Of course, with the current candidates for President, this is the type of thing we will grow accustomed to in the years to come.