Crossing the Rio Grande: A US-Mexican War in 20??
by Chris Nuttall
Just something I started thinking about when reading of more problems in Mexico.
Mexico, some say, is on the verge of becoming a failed state. There is a growing surge of violence and corruption and powerful drug gangs are becoming ever more powerful, weakening the foundations of the government. This is actually leading to problems spreading across the border into the US, with US police forces being targeted for subversion and bribery by the drug lords. This may even have a link with international terrorism; there have been reports of terrorists crossing the border into the US. Certainly, chaos along the border is bad for the US.
So letís have one of the drug lords mount a major offensive against the government in 2012, picked because its an election year for the US. President Obama is trying to win re-election and the last thing he needs is chaos in the south. The attempt to seize power takes out most of the Mexican government, but some of the government survives and civil war breaks out. Other parts of the Mexican government have been subverted by one or more of the drug gangs and attempt to wrest control. The fighting spreads out of control as the army struggles to keep the peace, while coming under attack by a mixture of socialists, terrorists and separations movements.
This chaos spreads north rapidly as drug gangs fight it out in the US and thousands upon thousands of Mexicans flee the chaos by heading into the US, a tidal wave that is far greater than anything faced by the US before. Many of them are (were) part of the Mexican army, or paramilitary groups, or just heavily-armed gangsters. Border Patrol forces find themselves coming under increasingly heavy attack and scream for help, but the tidal wave of refugees is too much to handle easier. Civilian groups patrolling the border also find themselves coming under attack and respond with lethal force, leading to dozens of other problems. Chaos grips the Border States as civil liberties groups attempt to bring charges against the civilians, only to be regarded as traitors by citizens who see their cities being torn apart. CNN and Fox each feed the chaos in their own way, but both agree that there is a major problem.
Washington DC is in full campaign mode. The President and the VP are out on the trail trying to whip up votes. The Democrat Party is in trouble. The chaos in the sough might send all four states Ė and others Ė solidly against the President, seeing his distraction as being unwilling to do anything about it. The chattering classes are chattering away, the far left wants decent refugee camps, the right wants all illegal immigrants sent back to Mexico before they put down roots. Fox News fuels the fire by making use of the Presidentís distraction. The Republicans challenge the President on the immigration issue. Everyone is blaming everyone else. Very little is actually being done.
The Texas Governor is the first to crack. He declares martial law and calls out the National Guard. Veterans from any of the USís various military machines are invited to become part of posses to help maintain order. A curfew is enacted through Texas and civilians are warned to stay indoors. DC attempts to block this, but Texas tells them to go to hell. Texas National Guard and militia forces take on the various drug gangs battling it out in the inner cities and crush them with extremely liberal ROE. The survivors get put behind the wire. CNN and FOX provide their individual slants on the crisis and the troop movements, but the measures have extreme public support. They also have newer crisis as companies that employ illegal immigrants and suchlike find themselves named and shamed, mainly by their competitors. The Guard and the Police forces patrol heavily, reinforcing the border with heavy ROE. Immigrants are given warning shots, then shot at if they do not abandon their attempt to cross. Texas rapidly finds itself in skirmishes with isolated units of the Mexican army and drug gangs. The chaos isnít under any kind of control.
Texasís actions tip the scales. The three remaining Border States call out their own guard and mount their own crackdowns. They also issue joint statements to DC calling on Congress to push the President into action, or impeach him. The shouting has gone so far that no one knows just where the President stands. Obama finally declares martial law over the southern US and orders federal troops from Fort Hood and Marines from Camp Pendleton to assist the local forces. The insurgency/uprising/gang war/whatever slowly gets pushed down, but the chaos in Mexico refuses to fade. One of the Mexican Governments declares war on the US and tries to send forces north to hit the border, but only a few skirmishes take place. The media blows them all up out of proportion, hinting that millions of Mexican soldiers have crossed the border. The chaos seems never-ending.
The US military has long had a contingency plan to occupy Mexico and prevent any further chaos from breaking out. The plan is now dusted off and updated as Obama finds himself pushed into preparing for war. Nothing less will please the Border States or his voters. Texas politicians are already talking hot air about invading Mexico themselves if Washington doesnít come through for them. The US rotates troops into the border and prepares for an invasion. The troops come under attack by isolated bands of bandits/enemy troops, only adding to the tension.
Obama issues an ultimatum to Mexico; seal the border, or else. Only one of the Mexican Governments reply and they desperately need American help to regain control. Mexico is falling apart right in front of them. All the countryís fault lines are exploding and tearing the country apart. The civil war seems to have no borders, no clearly-defined sides, only endless chaos. Several Generals have attempted a coup, the drug lords are commanding their own private armiesÖitís a mess.
US airpower reaches out and strikes a series of targets deep within Mexico. The CIA has attempted to pull together a list of drug lords and other undesirables who need to be removed. They do their normal excellent job and most of their targets escape death. US ground troops roll south and head towards Mexico City, this time taking care to ensure that the rear is secured. Resistance is odd; some places resist savagely, others just fall apart and surrender. Mexican soldiers and fighters go into the camps, those who surrender, but the ROE are still liberal. Those who fight donít get a second chance. US armour is effectively invincible on the battlefield; US CAS units ensure that no Mexican force can stand in Americaís way for long.
The invasion is loudly condemned by the OAS, which is unable to agree on any form of effective action. (And the chaos from Mexico is spilling into other border states as well.) Cuba sends Ďvolunteersí to fight in Mexico, but the whole thing is a dismal flop. Chavaz shakes his fist at the US, but does little else.
US forces discover a country on the verge of falling apart completely. US civil affairs units make contact with Mexican civilians and provide considerable aid, just enough to start rebuilding their society. Mexico City wasnít defended as such, but it was torn between different factions, making it hard to know who was who. US forces surround the city and carefully pick apart the different factions, eventually convincing most of them to surrender. Various drug lords go underground, while nationalist forces scream abuse and call for all Mexican civilians to fight to evict the hated Yankees.
The US has learned a few things from Iraq. Unemployed and generally hopeless Mexican youths are offered the chance to work for the US, earning a few dollars and helping to rebuild their country. Others attempt to fight and get ruthlessly crushed. The remains of the only loyalist/civilian Mexican government are pushed into backing a temporary American occupation, while corrupt officials are targeted for removal. Quite a few Mexican-Americans come south to assist in the rebuilding.
Most of the various factions have been broken, but a handful remains, including a charismatic Mexican nationalist. This nationalist promptly works to cause more tension between Mexicans and Americans, calling on Mexicans to rise up against their oppressors. There are a handful of incidents where Americans are killed or forced to return fire, sending more chaos down throughout Mexico. At the same time, the CIA does have generally better contacts in Mexico than Iraq and is able to help guide the US military to squash any major insurgency. It helps that the US is feeding millions of Mexicans and working with them to develop a new country.
So, comments so far?