The Coming US-Mexican Opium War

The topic of heroin has been something bantered about on our podcasts the last few months. One of the main reasons is most of the heroin “explosion” of the last 8 years I have missed.

It’s not that it wasn’t completely unavailable during my time on the streets, it’s just “the game” primarily focused on other types of drugs and narcotics. I can honestly say from 1990 up through late 2008 I only saw heroin twice. In both instances, it was biker-drug runners who brought it across the border to “try it”. Back then we called it, “Black-tar” and “horse” but in both of those cases, said biker gangs didn’t even know those old street names.

Mexican Drug Cartel Operations inside the United States

Mexican Drug Cartel Operations inside the United States

When dopers don’t have street names for their product, you know it’s something new. So what happened?

General breakdown of Cartel territory in Mexico. This changes monthly.

General breakdown of Cartel territory in Mexico. This changes monthly.

The explosion of prescription opiate abuse has driven those users to find more readily available and cheaper opiates which drove the heroin trade sky high. A few data points you might want to consider:

  • All heroin comes across international borders. I would guess high 90% across the Mexican border.
  • The US heroin trade is 100% feed and controlled by the Mexican drug cartels.
    The cross border heroin drug trade has become so lucrative, that Mexican drug cartels have shifted a significant amount of marijuana production to fields inside the United States to free up smuggling resources.
  • As a result, cartel level violence has come into the US to operate and defend local pot production in rural, farming communities.
  • There have been 4 opium wars fought in modern times: Two Opium Wars were fought between the west and China in the 1800’s
  • China and Laos fought an Opium War in the 1960’s.
  • The US is fighting an opium war in Afghanistan since 2001.
  • Research Taliban funding sources.
  • Also research The Golden Triangle.
  • I personally know heroin is a problem in Europe, US, Canada, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, India. I would assume others but have no personal experience.

Now look back at this photograph from 1962. New York City. Notice the amount of heroin on the table. Notice the Class III machine pistol (MP38/40). Notice how similar the subject’s face looks to modern mug-shots of heroin users?

Heroin Bust NYC 1962. Notice the German Sub-Gun. That's full auto.

Heroin Bust NYC 1962. Notice the German Sub-Gun. That’s full auto.

Some things never change. Including solutions. The heroin trade has two huge vulnerabilities that are easy to exploit from a law enforcement perspective. It’s highly addictive with a very low user function rate since it takes more and more to achieve a similar result. The other is it’s production is fairly easy to detect since it’s climate sensitive.

Dopers cutting heads on in Mexico. Never gets reported by mainstream media.

Dopers cutting heads off in Mexico. Never gets reported by mainstream media.

I personally don’t feel that heroin use in the United States has to be this bad and that there’s nothing to be done. I don’t believe that one iota. If we pulled all our military resources out of ASTAN and placed that same capability in Northern Mexico, we’d shut 90% of the heroin trade down stateside. All without the long, expensive logistics tail into the mountains of South-West Asia.

Mexico has not been a good neighbor. Another Opium War is coming. A real, live shooting war between the US military and Mexican drug cartels. I can’t say when and I can’t say how. But as assuredly as the sun will come up tomorrow, one day conventional US Military forces will identify cartel operations, cross into Northern Mexico, close with the enemy and destroy them on the battlefield.

And then we’ll warn the Mexicans to get their house in order or we’ll be coming back.

“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

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