Mexiko/USA

Gates, Mullen, To Join U.S. Del­e­ga­tion to Mex­i­co

By Don­na Miles
Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2010 — Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will trav­el to Mex­i­co City next week as part of a U.S. del­e­ga­tion focused on help­ing the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment fight drug-traf­fick­ing car­tels and oth­er secu­ri­ty threats.
Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton will lead the del­e­ga­tion to the March 23 Meri­da U.S.-Mexico High Lev­el Con­sul­ta­tive Group meet­ing, State Depart­ment offi­cials announced.

Home­land Secu­ri­ty Sec­re­tary Janet A. Napoli­tano, Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence Den­nis Blair and oth­er top-lev­el U.S. gov­ern­ment offi­cials also will par­tic­i­pate in talks expect­ed to be dom­i­nat­ed by ways to strength­en the Meri­da Ini­tia­tive.

The ini­tia­tive pro­vides a frame­work for the Unit­ed States to pro­vide Mex­i­co equip­ment, train­ing and tech­ni­cal exper­tise to sup­port its crack­down on drugs, traf­fick­ing and cor­rup­tion. Among oth­er capa­bil­i­ties, it pro­vides heli­copters and sur­veil­lance air­craft to sup­port the Mex­i­can military’s drug-inter­dic­tion activ­i­ties.

Although the Meri­da Ini­tia­tive ini­tial­ly was planned as a three-year pro­gram, “it’s clear now to us that our gov­ern­ments should work togeth­er on a con­tin­u­ing basis, because that work is not done,” act­ing deputy State Depart­ment spokesman Gor­don Duguid told reporters ear­li­er this week.

Next week’s vis­it will build on the last high-lev­el con­sul­ta­tive group ses­sion, when Clin­ton and Mex­i­can For­eign Sec­re­tary Patri­cia Espinosa dis­cussed ways to evolve Meri­da Ini­tia­tive in Decem­ber 2008. Those talks focused on break­ing the pow­er of drug-traf­fick­ing orga­ni­za­tions, improv­ing bor­der secu­ri­ty and strength­en­ing the rule of law, as well as demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions and human rights.

Gates last vis­it­ed Mex­i­co City in April 2008, when he became the first defense sec­re­tary to vis­it Mex­i­co in 12 years.

The sec­re­tary empha­sized dur­ing that vis­it that help­ing Mex­i­co ulti­mate­ly helps the Unit­ed States. “It is in our inter­est that our friends have greater capa­bil­i­ties to pro­tect their own secu­ri­ty and to take care of transna­tion­al crim­i­nal activ­i­ty such as the drug car­tels,” he said. “It is in our inter­est, because we have [a] shared inter­est to enhance the capa­bil­i­ties of the Mex­i­can armed forces.”

Gates called the effort a move for­ward in strength­en­ing the “still rel­a­tive­ly young” U.S.-Mexican mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship in a way that respects Mexico’s sov­er­eign­ty and rec­og­nizes Mex­i­can sen­si­tiv­i­ties. “I would say that the rela­tion­ship is lim­it­ed, but both sides are look­ing for oppor­tu­ni­ties where we can cau­tious­ly grow it,” he said.

More edu­ca­tion­al exchanges and expand­ed infor­ma­tion shar­ing are two poten­tial growth areas Gates said he and the Mex­i­can lead­ers dis­cussed. “We just have to take it a step at a time and explore what the oppor­tu­ni­ties are for expand­ed coop­er­a­tion,” he said.

Mullen vis­it­ed Mex­i­co City in March 2009, when he praised Mex­i­can lead­ers for their firm stand against drug car­tels and the destruc­tion they bring.

“From my per­spec­tive, we have shared respon­si­bil­i­ties for the cause and shared respon­si­bil­i­ties for the solu­tions,” he told his hosts. “How we work those shared respon­si­bil­i­ties is very impor­tant.”

More intel­li­gence shar­ing and more intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and recon­nais­sance sup­port, as well as a stronger mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship, could improve the Mex­i­can military’s capa­bil­i­ties for the chal­lenges they face, he not­ed as he returned to Wash­ing­ton.

Mullen empha­sized dur­ing that trip that oth­er U.S. agen­cies, includ­ing the State and Home­land Secu­ri­ty depart­ments and the Drug Enforce­ment Agency, play impor­tant roles in sup­port­ing Mex­i­co. “There are fair­ly far-reach­ing areas of coop­er­a­tion,” he said. “These are very much ongo­ing.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →