A strategy is a set of moves that takes into account the likely moves of various other players. One of the hallmarks of a bad strategist is that they fail to realize how an opponent will respond to their moves.
Alejandro Hope has already pointed out how a Drumpf Administration would adversely affect Mexican security. Now, he lays out some Mexican countermoves to mitigate those impacts:
- Reinforced security measures in border communities:
- Deploy more personnel to border communities;
- Provide additional funding to local and state law enforcement agencies;
- Focus on particularly violent gangs.
- Enhanced orderly repatriation programs: “The worst possible scenario for Mexico would be to have a large population of returnees stranded along the border. To prevent it in the face of massive deportation, it will be necessary to increase the financial and human resources of existing orderly repatriation programs (i.e., assistance to returning migrants to get back to their home communities) and probably support other similar initiatives.”
- Focused subsidies to selected communities: “Some localities, either along the border or inland, could be overwhelmed by a large influx of returning migrants. There might be a need for temporary and targeted assistance for those communities, including everything from housing to jobs programs. Otherwise, they could turn into a recruitment fair for criminal gangs.”
- Strengthened agency-to-agency ties: “Cooperation between US and Mexican security agencies will not stop, even under a Trump presidency. But it could become far more contingent on personal relationships and ad hoc arrangements. Those ties should be fostered beforehand, even if that means getting rid of the so-called ‘single window’ policy (i.e., the practice whereby all security-related dealings between US and Mexican agencies have to go through the Interior Secretariat).”
These are good measures, but there is a problem. (1) has been tried before; its results were questionable. (2) and (3) will require money that the Mexican government may not have, especially if oil prices remain low. And (4) requires some important flexibility on the Mexican side. I have some doubts that the first three measures will accomplish much.
And Hope realizes this! As he writes, “If Donald Trump really means what he is saying, a containment policy would not be enough. In a scenario of mass deportation, trade war, and a tightening border, the resources of the Mexican government would be overwhelmed rather quickly. That is why Mexico would need to play offense.”
And what would playing offense consist of? Watch this space. But before we discuss Hope’s ideas, your suggestions are welcome! How should Mexico respond to Donald Tru ... Drumpf?