Former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has shared in his soon-to-be-published memoirs that in 2020, concerned with increasing drug flows across the southern border, US President Donald Trump considered striking Mexican cartels by launching missiles at their drug laboratories, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
“They don’t have control of their own country. We could just shoot some Patriot missiles and take out the labs, quietly. No one would know it was us,” the former Pentagon boss quoted Trump as saying.
In 2020, US Customs and Border Protection reported the seizure of 706,800 lb (320 metric tons) of various drugs at the southern border. The Mexican government has been fighting the cartels for decades, and according to Justice in Mexico, a US-based activist group, in 2019 drug-related violence in Mexico claimed the lives of 34,588 people.
Mr. Esper was reportedly left all but speechless when the president shared his idea for combating drug crime in Mexico. The former official wrote that he would have thought it was a joke had he not been staring Mr. Trump in the face.