Potential Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Joe Arpaio: ‘We Should Send Troops To Mexico’

Joe Arpaio, an Arizona sheriff known for his controversial immigration enforcement tactics, says he’s “considering” running for governor of Arizona. “I would run for governor for two reasons, because the people want me, and I know I can do the job, that’s not being egotistical,” he said.

This morning, Arpaio was on MSNBC to discuss the brutal murder of three U.S. consulate officials at the hands of the Aztecas drug gang in the Mexican city of Juárez. Arpaio argued that the U.S. should send troops to Mexico to deal with the drug cartel problem:

I don’t ­want ­to ­be ­an ­extremist­. W­e ­do­ send ­our ­military ­to ­other ­countries. ­I ­know­ it’s­ a­ difficult ­economic­ and­ diplomatic ­problem­ what ­I’m ­going­ to ­say ­but ­possibly ­we­ should ­send­ the­ troops ­into­ Mexico, ­work ­with ­the ­Mexican ­government, ­give­ them­ resources,­ not ­just ­technical ­equipment. When­ I ­was ­in ­the ­DEA ­we ­worked­ undercover,­ involved ­in ­gun battles.­ We­ were operational. ­Maybe ­we ­should­ get ­more­ operational ­in ­that ­country ­especially­ at ­the­ border ­areas.

Watch it:

Many experts have pointed out that militarizing the drug war is counterproductive. Shortly after his inauguration in 2006, President Felipe Calderon began assigning large numbers of troops to fighting the drug war. The National Human Rights Commission specifically cited the case of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, when it concluded that “using the Mexican military against drug cartels has brought no improvement in public safety.”

Chances are U.S. troops wouldn’t necessarily be welcomed with open arms either. Jorge Angel Pescador Osuna, the former Mexican consul general in Los Angeles, stated in 2008 “[Mexican] foreign policy has been subordinated to that of the Americans, the policemen of the world. … What we need here is to strengthen our democracy, and we will not accomplish that by using the military for civilian law enforcement.”

More at The Wonk Room.