Perry suggests US military role in Mexico drug war

MANCHESTER, N.H., (Reuters) – Republican presidential  candidate Rick Perry said on Saturday he would get the U.S.  military involved in Mexico’s war with drug cartels, in  comments likely to upset the Mexican government.

The remarks appear to be a new misstatement on foreign      policy by Perry, the Texas governor who is struggling to hold  on to the mantle of  frontrunner for the Republican  nomination.

Perry said that as president he would work with Mexico in  the same way that the United States has worked with Colombia to  combat drug cartels.

“The way that we were able to stop the drug cartels in      Colombia was with a coordinated effort,” he said in a campaign  speech in New Hampshire. “It may take  our military” working  with the Mexican government to win Mexico’s drug war, he said.

The U.S. military has advisers in Colombia who are involved  mainly in training, logistical support and intelligence backup  for the Colombian armed forces as they fight cocaine  traffickers and leftist guerrillas.

But there are no U.S. armed forces in Mexico fighting the   drug  war and Mexico strongly opposes any U.S. military  involvement in its territory, although it has received more  than $1 billion in U.S. aid to take on the cartels.

More than 42,000 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug   feuds since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.

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