McCormick: Consider limited military action against drug cartels

(The Center Square) – With thousands of Pennsylvanians dying from overdoses, Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Dave McCormick wants an aggressive policy to stop the international drug flow.

“Our great commonwealth is under siege from this fentanyl crisis — and so is America,” McCormick said at a roundtable on fentanyl in Luzerne County.

He praised the work of local officials, who argued for stiff penalties on dealers.

“It’s become almost a cliché now, we can’t arrest our way out of the problem,” Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said. “On the other hand, there are people that should be blamed. This influx — it was by deliberate design to get people addicted. We need to see bigger penalties for the people that traffic in these drugs.”

The Senate candidate wants to make fentanyl a national priority, he said, and criticized President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey for failed leadership. He also proposed transforming the fight beyond local and state law enforcement.

“I think these drug cartels are such a threat that we should consider also, hopefully in concert with the Mexican government, of taking limited military action to stop the cartels from pushing fentanyl across our borders,” McCormick said. “That’s something that happened to some degree in the drug wars in Colombia … the consequences of not stopping this are so large that we need to sort of break the glass in terms of the actions we would consider.”

Others at the roundtable focused on getting drug users into recovery and making the public aware of fentanyl’s dangers.

“We can prosecute the dealers, the traffickers; the big piece that we’re missing is the education part and being extremely vocal about it,” said Shana Stefanick, national director of business development for STR Behavioral health, who has been in recovery for nine years. “I am not one of those people that was homeless, living under a bridge — I had the house, the husband, the kids, the white picket fence, and still became a heroin addict.”

Though she said treatment has improved, major problems remain.

“The average 28-day stay inpatient isn’t enough,” Stefanick said “This is a disease that I battle every single day and will battle for the rest of my life. It’s easier, though, when I have the tools and the resources to deal with that.”

No matter the approach, taxpayers carry a heavy burden.

“It’s a daily problem we have to deal with that’s costing our taxpayers millions of dollars in resources both to help fight addiction and for law enforcement and first responders,” Sanguedolce said.

Anthony Hennen is a reporter for The Center Square. Previously, he worked for Philadelphia Weekly and the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. He is the managing editor of Expatalachians, a journalism project focused on the Appalachian region.

This article was republished with permission from The Center Square.

4 thoughts on “McCormick: Consider limited military action against drug cartels”

  1. May I suggest McCormick should concern himself with how many cartel members have already infiltrated the U.S. military? An 8-10 million army just crossed our border and how many of them that do not love the U.S. will become soldiers in its various armies? If McCormick thinks there is an effective solution to stop the flow of drugs, why has that effective solution not been implemented yet?
    Money. And lack of patriotism. Many of our leaders are focused on one and lack the other.

    1. The United States does not have the authority to pursue unilateral military action in Mexico. The current Mexican government lacks a consistent and aggressive approach to their operation inside its borders. These are the realities. The drugs are smuggled in because the demand is virtually insatiable. The United States should consider a more aggressive approach to addressing the drug smuggling and distribution within our own borders and couple that with an honest and thorough approach to rehabilitating the addicts.

  2. Frank, You are correct. You could also add that the current U.S. government lacks a consistent and aggressive approach to their operation inside its borders. The border states, too. However, when the state of Texas finally started to get serious about putting up barbed wire obstacles the U.S. federal government and U.S. federal courts tried to stop them. Why? Because it was too effective. If the U.S. Senate thinks they can close the border under certain circumstances (more than 5,000 people cross – on average – over a 7 day period) it means the U.S. Senate admits they could close the border if they wanted. Too many people want to make money off selling drugs – just ask Gov. Shapiro. Shapiro wants to legalize marijuana. Almost every single mass shooter uses marijuana. Don’t believe me? Read this report:

    Alex Berenson, author of Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, pointed out that the New York Times had curiously removed from an article about the Uvalde school shooter a former coworker’s recollection that he complained about his grandmother not letting him smoke weed. The Times didn’t append a correction to the story as it might be expected to do when fixing a factual inaccuracy. Assuming the elided detail was accurate, it would fit a pattern. Mass shooters at Rep. Gabby Giffords’s constituent meeting in Tucson, Ariz. (2011), a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. (2012), the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (2016), the First Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas (2017), and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. (2018), were reported to be marijuana users. It could be a coincidence, but increasing evidence suggests a connection.

  3. This is a bogus argument. For anyone who was alive during the hectic years of the “war on drugs” of the 70’s through 90’s, they should recall that we already tried a limited military response to this crisis in both Central and South America. It did nothing. Burn a cocoa field here, they move there. Arrest El Chapo, another person rises in their place. You have to grasp the scope of the operations and the scale of the money flow into cartels to grasp what size response is necessary. They are armed and comparable in size and knowledge to traditional armies. We cannot resolve this mess with a “little military”. If we have the stones to deem drug cartels the true threats to our National sovereignty and national security that they are, then we can find an appropriate level of response. And unlike the failed war on drugs, and our many military actions from Vietnam to now, we cannot just half-_ _ _ this. We need to be willing to do whatever it takes to protect our kids and our towns from this menace once and for all.

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