The Compass

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Why the U.S. Indifference to Mexico?

mexicodrugwar.jpg

Washington's foreign policy loves nothing more than to go abroad in search of monsters to destroy, but as Stephen Walt points out, they really don't need to travel all that far:

[T]he drug war in Mexico was never mentioned during the presidential debates, even though over 60,000 Mexicans have been murdered over the past six years and even though this violence has killed several hundred Americans in recent years too. Prominent senators like John McCain keep harping about violence in Syria and the need for greater U.S. involvement; why doesn't violence that is closer to home and that affects Americans more directly get equal or greater attention? To say nothing of the effects that Mexican meth and other drugs have on the United States itself.

It's a serious question: why do some fairly distant and minor threats get lots of play in our discourse and command big-ticket policy responses, while more imminent threats get downplayed?

Walt offers up several plausible explanations in his post but it is a very curious thing.

(AP Photo)