Reports that a squad of Mexican military troops recently disarmed two US soldiers near the US border bring up renewed questions of how seriously the US government is taking border security. The two soldiers were accosted by Mexican troops who allegedly believed that the US soldiers were in Mexico, even though they were clearly north of the border. The Mexican troops then returned to their truck and drove back into Mexico.
Some believe that the story that the Mexican troops believed the US troops were in Mexico may have been a cover story for troops acting as lookouts for drug cartels. It’s not uncommon for Mexican soldiers and police to be paid by drug cartels to look the other way when moving drugs across the border, or to distract Border Patrol officers.
This latest incident isn’t the first time this has occurred, either. There have been hundreds of incidents of incursions across the border by Mexican forces, with one even involving a Mexican helicopter firing on Border Patrol agents. US forces have been ordered to stand down when encountering Mexican troops, so as not to become engaged in a gun battle and risk creating an international incident. But it is clear that Mexican forces have no such orders, which is curious since the overwhelming amount of illegal activity is focused on traveling from Mexico to the US and not vice versa.
Given the crisis at the border and the dozens of such incidents that occur each year, you would think that the US government would take these types of incidents more seriously. Particularly in the case of US troops patrolling the border, one would expect troops to be operating in larger groups so as not be outnumbered, to have better communications devices so as to be able to call in reinforcements immediately rather than after the fact, and to be more heavily armed so as to be able to repulse any attacks should they come under fire.
While President Trump has warned that incidents like the recent one had better not happen again, the likelihood of another such incident is highly likely. Then we’ll have to see how serious President Trump is about border security and whether he takes concrete steps to make sure such incidents don’t happen again.