Consequences of a Failed Mexican State to U.S. Interests

Greetings everyone! Here is my first Blog!

My research topic investigates how a failed Mexican state may affect the U.S. in terms of security and economic national interests. The topic for this study was actually inspired by a Joint Forces Command Article.

The Joint Forces Command lists two countries, Pakistan and Mexico, that they expect to collapse economically and internally in terms of security. Of course, while Pakistan poses its own specific threats, i.e. increased Islamic-Terrorism, that may threaten U.S. interests in the Middle East, Mexico has it’s own threats to U.S. interests.

As a U.S. neighbor, there becomes the fear of spill over violence across the U.S.-Mexico border, economic concerns as a trade partner and with U.S. companies having factories located in Mexico, as well as immigration concerns with refugee spill over.

My paper will look at typical indicators that would suggest a possible failed state such as economic concerns, security concerns, perceived government corruption, and legitimacy of the government. I also hope to make some policy suggestions as how to prevent a failed Mexican state. These policy suggestions will take a page out of history of successful preventions of failed states such as U.S.-Colombia cooperation to overpower Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel during the late 1980s early 1990s. Additionally, I will look at unsuccessful U.S. interventions such as the mid-1990 U.S. intervention in Somalia. Essentially, I hope that this case studies (and the others I will use), will highlight how the U.S. can intervene either overtly or covertly.

Furthermore, I will use case studies of failed state consequences for their bordering neighbors as a warning as to the negative repercussions for not acting appropriately soon enough to prevent such state failures.

I haven’t done too much work on international affairs work, so by all means if anyone out there has suggestions please do not hesitate.

Until next time,

Joshua B. Branch


About jbb5160

Greetings, I'm a senior Penn State student majoring in political science and participating as a Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.
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One Response to Consequences of a Failed Mexican State to U.S. Interests

  1. alexognibene says:

    Hey Josh, this is an interesting topic. One suggestion: be careful to define exactly what you mean by “failed state,” and use the term cautiously. The “failed state” label has been abused and overused within foreign policy circles and lacks analytical precision. It doesn’t appreciate contexts that are unique to individual countries. A CIA-funded State Failure Task Force, for example, grouped states experiencing revolution, genocide, and other political crises under the same “failed state” umbrella. I can understand why Pakistan would rank highly on some indexes of state failure (still debatable), but terming Mexico a failed state is baseless, in my opinion. A failed state is essentially a state lacking sovereignty – a central government with a monopoly on the use of force. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Afghanistan are commonly cited examples. Also be wary that the notion of “state failure” has been used by Western countries to justify foreign intervention. It has been applied infrequently to states with nuclear weapons (like Pakistan), as far as I’m aware. Good luck with this!

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