America can no longer tolerate narco-terrorist cartels. Operating from havens in Mexico, their production of deadly drugs on an industrial scale is flooding our country with this poison. The time is long past to deal with this outrage decisively. Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) and Michael Waltz (R., Fla.) have proposed a joint resolution giving the president authority to use the US military against these cartels in Mexico. This is a necessary step and puts the focus where it must be.
Overdose deaths every year—more than 100,000—exceed the number of Americans killed in action during the bloodiest year of World War II. But the devastation from drug abuse goes much deeper. A 2017 analysis, accounting for the costs of healthcare, criminal justice, lost productivity and social and family services, estimated that the total cost of America’s drug epidemic was more than $1 trillion annually, or 5% of gross domestic product. Given the explosion in illicit drug deaths since then, this estimate now seems conservative.