1.Israel-Egypt vs. India-NaPak
Why is the Israel-Egypt border peaceful? First because that serves the mutual interests of both regimes. But equally so because Egypt controls the Sinai border very stringently. Egypt has taken intense steps to ensure that Hamas & other anti-Israeli terrorists don’t cross the Sinai into Israel.
Contrast that with the India-NaPak line of control and see how intensely hot it is. That is because NaPak allows anti-India terrorists to cross that long mountainous line to commit terrorism in India. Finally fed up, the Indian Government launched a deep airstrike on terrorist camps into NaPak controlled territory three months ago. On a smaller scale, Iran is also acting against NaPak on the other side along the line of control in Baluchistan.
The point is that it is the absolute responsibility of every Sovereign Government to ensure their territory is not used as a means or a channel to attack the neighboring countries. If a Government does not live up to their responsibility, then that Government becomes an accessory or even an active abetter of the subversive/inimical actions against the neighboring country.
Egypt is fulfilling these sovereign obligations vis-a-vis Israel. Yes, Egypt is doing so by committing atrocities against Hamas & Hamas-type elements in Egypt to ensure they don’t cross the border. And atrocities by Egypt’s Arab Muslim government against Arab Muslim terrorists inside Egypt don’t provoke intense reactions either inside or outside Egypt.
NaPak is actually the other extreme. Emboldened by their arsenal of nuclear weapons, that regime is training & pushing extremist Islamic terrorists into India. All the verbal exhortations by India, even the US, to stop have been ignored. Now India has served notice that they will react militarily & the world, petrified of a nuclear conflict, has begun to put intense pressure on Napak.
Mexico is in between Egypt & NaPak. Unlike NaPak, Mexico is not actively training & supplying the caravans of migrants from Guatemala & Honduras that are traversing Mexico to enter America. But, unlike Egypt, it is absolutely failing in its sovereign international obligation by allowing such non-Mexicans to use Mexican territory to break US law & harm the US.
It is the absolute responsibility of President Trump to stop this organized flow. It doesn’t matter whether the Democrat House or that party is also complicit in this “invasion” of America. The responsibility for action is of the President.
- The “easiest” & the purest way is to send the U.S. Military to close the 150-mile long southern border between Mexico & Latin America. That would be a violation of Mexico’s sovereignty but Mexico has already surrendered its sovereignty to the migrant caravans.
- A second & more complicated way is to use the U.S. Military to cross the border & occupy about 25 miles of Mexican territory across the US border as a defensive measure. That would mean sending enough US infantry to occupy & patrol those 25 miles. So migrants could be arrested en masse & kept there on foreign territory without breaking US asylum laws. This can be done in parallel with the first option.
It is not clear that the US military has enough infantry troops to accomplish the second task. Also that would create massive outrage both within America and globally. The other factor against such a military action is U.S. history post WWII. Despite winning the initial stages of combat, the U.S. has almost always bogged down in its occupation. And U.S. military occupations have proved extremely expensive besides unsuccessful.
That is why President Trump has chosen the least invasive way to address this problem. By acting against Mexico via trade, President Trump is serving notice that Mexico MUST live up to its sovereign responsibilities & STOP allowing its sovereign territory to be used as a channel for an invasion of USA.
This action has nothing to do with the USMCA or trade with Mexico. It is using all the abilities within the American arsenal to protect America’s land border & American Sovereignty from an invasion* from Mexican sovereign territory & abetted by Mexico.
*Remember invasion is also defined as “an incursion by a large number of people or things into a place” ; “an unwelcome intrusion into another’s domain”.
3. A Shift in American Global Strategy
This is consistent with what Dr. Friedman of Geopolitical Futures describes as America Charting a New Path:
- ” … a shift in American global strategy has emerged. The United States is reducing its use of direct military action and instead using economic pressure to drive countries like China, Russia, North Korea and Iran into conceding to U.S. demands. … The use of economic power to shape behavior isn’t new; what is new is the focus on economic rather than military warfare … The final step is to resort to economic warfare by initiating or extending sanctions or a blockade “.
The above quotes are from an article written on May 14, 2019 titled US-China Trade Talks and American Strategy. His concluding paragraph is:
- “The U.S. is the world’s largest military power, but it is also the world’s largest economy and importer. For the most part, U.S. military engagements over the past 74 years have not ended well, but the use of economic warfare, which takes advantage of the fact that China and other countries are heavily dependent on the U.S. market, gives Washington an alternative to the military option. … The geopolitical reality of our time is that economic action has emerged as a major foreign policy tool of the United States.”
This is classic asymmetric warfare, according to Dr. Friedman. Apply it to Mexico & see that if China could be hurt far more in a tariff war with America, Mexico would be devastated. In addition, such a tariff war would actually create a reverse transfer of wealth from the Mexican economy into the American economy.
The trouble with such an approach has been that American consumers could be hurt in their purchasing power. Previous Presidents didn’t want to take that risk &, frankly, they did not have the political courage to act.
This brings us to our oft-repeated resemblance between President Trump and the determination & actions taken by President Roosevelt in the 1930s. It is important to remember that FDR acted with economic weapons years before America entered the military conflict against Japan & Germany. And remember FDR didn’t care much about the stock market when national issues were at stake.
From what we hear, President Trump’s trade actions against China are proving very popular with the American electorate. It is likely that this resolute action against Mexico would prove popular as well.
A tariff war with America is an existential threat to the Mexican economy. The question is how much pain will Mexico endure before AMLO seals Mexico’s southern border, perhaps with help of U.S. Military. If AMLO does that, we could see a US-Mexico summit that could also become a trigger for Congressional ratification of USMCA.
And wouldn’t that create an awesome rally in both US & Mexican stock Markets?
Send your feedback to email@example.com Or @MacroViewpoints on Twitter