There are 1.3 soldiers in Mexico's army for every one foot soldier in Mexico's top two drug cartels -- and I'm pretty sure that the 1.3 soldier isn't as well-armed as the one foot soldier (and a third of a soldier hardly seems intimidating). The Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels (aka "Federation"/"Golden Triangle" and "Los Zetas," respectively) have not only been growing, but "are reportedly discussing a truce or merger to better withstand government forces" (FNC). According to Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora, "'Mexico has spent $6.5 billion over the last two years, on top of its normal public security budget, on the fight against drugs, but that falls short of the $10 billion Mexican drug gangs bring in annually'" (FNC).
Ten billion dollars? That number is completely inconceivable to me. Sadly, I must admit that I had to look up the number: 10,000,000,000. That's more than the GDP of all of Africa (excluding Somalia). That's 45,454.5 times the cost I would have incurred as a four-year undergrad at what was my top college choice (it's since been replaced by its rival). Ten billion dollars would buy forty billion packs of Ramen noodles. Do you know how many college students that would feed? Everyone for Eternity. Well, maybe not. But regardless of how you look at it, ten billion dollars is a lot of money for the drug industry -- or any industry, for that matter. I don't understand why people would want to waste their money (and their lives) for such a thing. But, there are at least one hundred thousand people in Mexico willing to do so -- willing to die for their . . . whatever it is they're shipping. In my opinion, Mexico (and Juarez) is a bit too close to the U.S. for the U.S. government to simply sit idly by. But then again, I'm not a huge fan of banning the sale of assault weapons, either. It's not that I want to buy one of each model, but I see the ban as a restriction of Americans' rights. But, regardless, Mexico is vying for the title of Somalia II. And I'm fairly certain that the U.S. doesn't want another Somalia.
What would you do with ten billion dollars? Anyone who has figured out the comment button is more than welcome to answer that.
If I had ten billion dollars, I wouldn't just stimulate the economy, I'd give it shock therapy. I'd tithe a billion. I don't think my church would know what to do with the money. I'd pay off college for my sister and me, and buy both of us cars. I'd let my dad take some to Baltimore, and buy whatever my mom wanted from Creative Memories (or maybe I'd just buy her Creative Memories). I'd fix up my grandmothers' houses, and pay off any vet bills my aunt's dogs would incur in the future. I'd donate at least a billion to IAVA and Invisible Children. I'd buy a flat in Washington, D.C. (or maybe Arlington), and an estate in England. I'd take my family on another cruise. Or two or three. I'd buy the Dictionary of International Relations, Neorealism, States, and the Modern Mass Military, and Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army -- actually, I'd just build myself a library. And, I'd buy some of Michael Yon's photography and a Chatham House membership. And I'm pretty sure that all of that doesn't add up to ten billion dollars, but I can't think of anything else. I suppose I'd just donate the rest to IGOs or NGOs or places like my current college -- then they could feed me decent food and fix the sidewalks and have the sidewalks plowed earlier than one p.m. after a noreaster. Maybe.