Crane Hesitant to Use Military Force Against Cartels

Crane Hesitant to Use Military Force Against Cartels

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
March 11, 2024

Last January, Representatives Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Mike Waltz (R-FL) proposed using military force to take down the Mexican drug cartels, which gained traction among other Republican veterans and former President Donald Trump. Representative Eli Crane (R-AZ), a former Navy SEAL, was more hesitant in an interview with Cactus Politics, where he said he did not trust the Biden Administration to do well and would only "consider it" if Donald Trump was reelected.

Rep. Crane drew a comparison between a hypothetical military action against the cartels to the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal in 2021 that left 13 Marines dead, saying if military force were authorized now, "it would be the same leadership, the same administration wielding that sword. And here is the problem: These cartels, they do not play games. They understand violence. They understand how you strike fear into the hearts of people."

Additionally, Rep. Crane referred to President Biden as "Weekend at Bernie's," the 1989 comedy film about two men trying to convince people their deceased boss is still alive, saying, "I do not trust him to take on Nicaragua. I do not trust him to take on some podunk army somewhere."

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Moreover, he pointed to the recent Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin scandal, when he was hospitalized for surgery without proper notice to anyone in the White House.

When asked if President Trump were in charge of leading the military against the cartels since the Biden Administration is incompetent, Crane answered, "I would not even go that far. I say I would take a look at it and consider it."

Such concern arose from the fact that leadership changes every four years in the United States, and it would take far longer to decimate the cartels.

"What happens in four years when there is a change of command? The commander-in-chief changes out. The President changes out his Cabinet, and then you get an individual in there who goes completely the other way. Do you think the cartels are not going to come try and get their same pound of flesh? They will, and who are they going to be looking for? Who is vulnerable? Anybody they feel was a part of it. It sounds good, it would make a great movie, but when you start talking about serious solutions, you need to think it through a little bit," Crane concluded.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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