U.S. state-strengthening efforts in Mexico need to be expanded in order to cut cartel revenue, reduce violence, and restore the rule of law. The United States can, and should, focus on the demand side of the drug equation by examining all options from harsher punishment to legalization. The United States also should work to reduce arms trafficking into Mexico. But the most meaningful assistance we can provide would resemble that of Plan Colombia: a combination of intelligence-gathering and -sharing efforts for counterterrorism and anti-crime purposes as well as military and technical assistance for counternarcotics operations such as border interdiction.
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