Since January 2007 there have been more than 6,800 drug‐war related deaths in Mexico, and Mexican drug cartels continue to expand their operations in American cities. Washington’s response has been to expand its prohibitionist efforts with the Mérida Initiative, a U.S.Mexico anti‐drug‐trafficking program. Historically, however, prohibitionist policies have had little success in reducing the flow of drugs. Ted Galen Carpenter, Cato’s Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, suggests a new strategy must be tried.
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President Obama has promised to make spending on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq more transparent during his term. That’s a step in the right direction, says Christopher A. Preble, director of foreign policy studies, but have Americans looked at the true cost of the wars the nation is fighting?
In today’s Cato Daily Podcast, Preble examines the price the United States has paid for the past six years of war.
The costs of maintaining a US presence in Iraq through the end of 2011…will continue to be quite substantial. We’re spending on the order of $10 to $12 billion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined each month.…The costs in terms of dollars will continue to be quite high.
Preble is the author of a forthcoming book, The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free, now available for pre‐order.