Former Attorney General William Barr implied Friday that the United States should take care of drug cartels south of the border with the same ferocity used to all but wipe the Islamic State off the face of the earth.
Appearing on Newsmax, Barr told Greta Van Susteren that the Biden administration’s strategy against the illicit international criminal organizations is not working.
“They are effectively terrorist organizations,” Barr told the host of “The Record With Greta Van Susteren,” referring to drug cartels. “They are increasingly building their connections with terrorists. Their paramilitary can take on the Mexican military, and they have so much money they can corrupt any system.”
Barr added, “The United States [has been] relegated to working through Mexico to try to deal with the cartels, and I think that’s a losing proposition.”
The former attorney general declared that these nefarious actors should be treated “more like ISIS and less like the mafia.”
Under his old boss, former President Donald Trump, the U.S. military liberated millions of people from ISIS while dwindling their control of land in the Middle East. Military leaders credited Trump’s aggressive but non-micromanaging approach to that success at the time.
“We don’t get second-guessed a lot. Our judgment here on the battlefield in the forward areas is trusted. And we don’t get 20 questions with every action that happens on the battlefield and every action that we take,” Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend said in 2017, The Washington Examiner reported.
“Commanders now … aren’t constantly calling back to higher headquarters asking for permission,” he explained. “They’re free to act.”
Brett McGurk, a White House special envoy under both President Barack Obama and Trump, credited that change in tactic for Trump’s success against ISIS.
“These delegations of tactical authorities from the president has really made a difference on the ground,” McGurk said in 2017. “I’ve seen that with my own eyes.”
Currently, the Biden administration has “essentially abandoned the border” to the cartels, according to Barr. Barr also said these cartels are bringing in “poison” responsible for more than 100,000 American deaths per year. Last fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fentanyl was a leading cause of death in the opioid crisis in 2020. The federal government has reported that the “Sinaloa and the New Generation Jalisco (Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación or CJNG) cartels are likely the primary trafficking groups responsible for smuggling fentanyl” into the U.S. from Mexico.
Recently, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met with Biden at the White House in what was largely considered to be an effort to repair relations after López Obrador snubbed the U.S.-led Summit of the Americas in June. The meeting focused on the worsening immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border.