First, the recent news (courtesy of Narco News): A company called Wind Zero, founded by a former Navy SEAL, is "seeking approval to develop a nearly 1,000-acre military and law enforcement training camp near the U.S. border in Southern California," about a 20-minute drone flight from Tijuana and San Diego.
The camp would cost about $100 million to build—a similar camp was proposed by Blackwater (renamed Xe) but was abandoned after "community opposition."
The center would include:
... numerous shooting ranges allowing for some 57,000 rounds of ammunition to be fired off daily; a mock-up of an urban neighborhood for practice assaults; a 6-mile dual-use race track for teaching defensive and offensive driving (and for private-pay recreational use); enough housing and RV camper space (along with a 100-room hotel) to accommodate a small battalion of warriors; a 50-foot high, 28,000-square-foot “administrative” building; an 80-foot high observation and control tower; at least two heliports and a 4,000-foot airstrip
Now why build such a big, expensive, privately funded drug-war training center when the American hard-line attitude towards drug use is softening (see California's prop 19) and even Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, is advocating the legalization and regulation of all drugs as a better road to control the problem of addiction and cut the narco-gangs off at the knees?
Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL sniper and the founder of Wind Zero, explains why in a YouTube video (jump to minute two for this brainiac's assessment of how to deal with the drug war):
Mexico is very close to civil war right now; it doesn’t take much to buy off somebody and next thing you know, the president is assassinated and then what? A civil war breaks out, and we have a million Mexican citizens crossing the border into the U.S., and it’s the same situation that you have in Afghanistan and Pakistan. You have all these refugees coming across and Pakistan’s like, “What do we do with this?”
It’s not outlandish for that scenario to happen. So how do you prepare for that? You got to train these guys, and that’s law enforcement and the military.
So that's the Navy SEAL's take: keep the status quo, keep the drug war, keep the violence, and nurse a perverse wish for the violence to escalate so you can make good on your predictions and investments.
Which, obviously, is a stupid, cruel, and ultimately self-defeating way to approach the problem.
Now for the old news: William S. Burroughs might have been shocked to hear, in 2010, the well-respected former president of Mexico Vicente Fox agreeing with the radical drug-policy positions advocated by the old junkie in 1955. But it has happened. Here's Burroughs on how to take care of the drug problem. And this, of course, is him writing before the drug war began ravaging entire communities of non-users and non-producers—a ravaging that has become so thorough, even leading Mexican businesses like Cemex are stepping into the fray to try and solve the problem because the drug war is cutting into their profits and security.
The Burroughs quote is slightly long, but it's a Sunday afternoon:
Junk is the ideal product... the ultimate merchandize. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy... The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client. He pays his staff in junk.
Junk yields a basic formula of "evil" virus: The Algebra of Need. The face of "evil" is always the face of total need. A dope fiend is a man in total need of dope. Beyond a certain frequency, need knows absolutely no limit or control. In the words of total need: "Wouldn't you?" Yes you would. You would lie, cheat, inform on your friends, steal, do anything to satisfy total need. Because you would be in a state of total sickness, total possession, and not in a position to act in any other way. Dope fiends are sick people who cannot act other than they do. A rabid dog cannot choose but bite.
Assuming a self-righteous position is nothing to the purpose unless your purpose be to keep the junk virus in operation. And junk is a big industry. I recall talking to an American who worked for the Aftosa [Hoof-and-Mouth Disease] Commission in Mexico. Six hundred a month plus expense account:
"How long will the epidemic last?" I inquired.
"As long as we can keep it going... And yes... maybe the aftosa will break out in South America," he said dreamily.
If you wish to alter or annihilate a pyramid of numbers in a serial relation, you alter or remove the bottom number. If we wish to annihilate the junk pyramid, we must start with the bottom of the pyramid: the Addict in the Street. And stop tilting quixotically for the "higher ups," so called, all of whom are immediately replaceable. [He's talking to you, Mssrs. Webb and Calderon and Kerlikowske.] The addict in the street who must have junk to live is the one irreplaceable factor in the junk equation. When there are no more addicts to buy junk there will be no more junk traffic. As long as junk need exists, someone will service it.
Addicts can be cured or quarantined—that is, allowed a morphine ration under minimal supervision like typhoid carriers. When this is done, junk pyramids of the world will collapse. So far as I know, England is the only country to apply this method to the junk problem. They have about five hundred quarantined addicts in the U.K. In another generation when the quaratined addicts often die off and pain killers operating on a non-junk principle are discovered, the junk virus will be like smallpox, a closed chapter—a medical curiosity.
Burroughs was a little too optimistic about the collapse of addiction in England—people have been using opium since the beginning and will be using it until the end. So how to deal with the problem? Perpetual warfare, with escalating violence and public cost (and private profit to drug warriors on both sides of the battle) as advocated by the former Navy SEAL?
Or the quieter route of legalization, control, and treatment as advocated by the ancient junkie—and the former president of Mexico?