The Los Angeles Times on the Drug War Mexico's brand new attorney general, Marisela Morales, has an opportunity to make significant headway against the country's ongoing drug war in her short upcoming tenure, argue the Los Angeles Times editors. "Morales should push to implement some of the changes, such as moving from an inquisitorial system--in which prosecutors build paper files that are presented to judges--to a system that relies on oral arguments in open court," they suggest. They acknowledge that "there is no simple fix to Mexico's bloody drug war, Poverty, corruption and weak rule of law are all part of the problem," but urge that "judicial reforms are a good place to start." By improving Mexico's judicial system, Morales can combat the poverty and corruption that perpetuate this war.
Max Boot on the Case for Keeping American Troops in Iraq Max Boot, a security studies fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues in The Wall Street Journal today that the United States should not completely withdraw from Iraq just yet. Clashes between Sunni and Shiite extremist groups, the ongoing tension between Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government, and al Qaeda's presence in the country are three reasons Boot gives for staying. He also suggests that hired contractors will not be able to train Iraqi forces as well as American troops can. "We are still in Kosovo, South Korea and other post-conflict zones that are far more stable," he points out. "We need to be in Iraq too."
Juan Zarate on Not Ignoring Al Qaeda Juan Zarate, Center for Strategic and International Studies senior adviser, warns against disregarding Al Qaeda as a thing of the past and predicts that in the wake of the Middle East revolutions, Al Qaeda will be provided the perfect platform to recruit and act once again. "Demographic pressures, economic woes and corruption will continue to bedevil even the best-run governments in the region," Zarate forsees in today's New York Times. The U.S., he argues, needs to launch a serious campaign against Al Qaeda, with USAID helping "civil society groups grow," human rights groups organizing networks of dissidents, wealthy Middle Eastern ex-patriots investing in the younger generation, tech companies promoting transparency and denouncing corruption, and Hollywood and Bollywood portraying democratic characters as heroes. "If we help the protesters succeed, it will not only serve long-term national security interests but also mark the beginning of the end of Al Qaeda," he declares.
Con Coughlin on Not Letting Libya Distract From Afghanistan The Telegraph's Con Coughlin, offering a British perspective of the West's current wars, is concerned that the Libyan conflict is taking much-needed attention away from the ongoing British presence in Afghanistan, where troops are dying in face-to-face combat and al-Qaeda endures. He argues that Western involvement in Libya has quickly transformed from a quick, humanitarian intervention to a promise to ensure Qaddafi's removal. But Coughlin wants British leaders to consider the fact that "the stakes in Afghanistan are immeasurably higher than they are in Libya ...before they commit our forces even deeper into the Libyan mire." It's an argument many Americans have made as well, looking at the U.S.'s own presence in Afghanistan and Libya.
Robert Zubrin on Reducing U.S. Oil Imports Robert Zubrin, president of an aerospace engineering company, calls President Obama's goal of "reducing America's oil imports by one-third by 2025 ... inadequate" in today's online issue of National Review. "If current trends continue, there is every prospect that oil prices will more than triple by Obama’s 2025 target date, leaving us paying more for oil than we pay to the federal government," and when oil prices rise, unemployment and mortgage defaults go up; the stability of our financial system is dependent on the volatility of the oil market--more specifically, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, "a cartel of tyrannies and kleptocracies largely hostile or indifferent to the prosperity of the industrialized West." Zubrin's solution? To embrace methanol, requiring all cars sold in the U.S. be "flex-fuel vehicles ... that can run equally well on methanol, ethanol, or gasoline, in any combination, thereby giving the consumer complete fuel choice." Competition with methanol prices will keep other fuel prices low, he says.