Ohio Republican Senator J.D. Vance is calling on the president to use U.S. military force to combat Mexican drug cartels and advised that the incoming Biden administration should use economics and tariffs to exert pressure on the cartels‘ primary source, China.
During an appearance on NBC‘s ‘Meet The Press’ Sunday, Vance addressed the increasing influence of criminal organizations, noting that their revenue has risen fourteen–fold in the past two years. He argued that the cartels are currently the most heavily–funded terrorist organization in the world and expressed concern over the Mexican government‘s ability to remain stable due to the constant influx of fentanyl from cartels.
“I want to empower the president of the United States, whether that‘s a Democrat or Republican, to use the power of the U.S. military to go after these drug cartels,” Vance told host Chuck Todd.
Vance argued that to combat the influence of fentanyl and the power of the cartels, the Biden administration must be willing to work with Mexico and China to ensure that drug precursors are not being sent to the United States or Mexico. He proposed bringing economic pressure by increasing tariffs and extracting an “economic cost“ from China.
Controversially, Vance joined his colleagues on the right to suggest that force must be used by the United States in combatting the cartels. Former President Donald Trump has championed the concept of utilizing “special forces“ and “cyber warfare“ to defeat the cartels, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called for the use of “deadly force“ against drug traffickers.
Accidental opioid overdose deaths in Ohio have increased by 1,056% since 1999, according to CDC data reported by ‘Meet The Press‘. The majority of these fatalities involve fentanyl. According to the DEA, Mexican drug cartels, most notably the Sinaloa and Jalisco groups, are the two primary sources of fentanyl in the United States.
‘Spotlight Team‘ President at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield said that from 2019 to 2020, overdose deaths in the U.S. increased by 31%.
“We have a crisis of extraordinary proportions,” Redfield told NBC News in an October 2020 interview.
With overdose deaths continuing to rise in the United States, it remains to be seen how the Biden administration will approach combating the cartels – and whether or not Vance‘s suggestion of military force will be accepted.
WATCH: Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance (R) would “empower” a president to use the U.S. military to go after drug cartels.@JDVance1: “You think the fentanyl problem is bad now, what about three years from now when the Mexican drug cartels are more powerful than the Mexican state itself?” pic.twitter.com/rhDWzhJIZ1
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 2, 2023