Why Trump should hit pause on designating Mexican cartels as terrorists

Cleveland, Ohio need not worry. That’s because cartels know that it is in their revenue interest to avoid provoking the ire of the general U.S. population, no doubt aware that American ire has inspired harsh reactions such U.S. military invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. That would be bad for business.

One of the most cited national security justifications for FTO designation is the opioid crisis and drug overdose deaths. But this supposition falls apart on examination. While Islamic terrorist groups would no doubt purposefully drug masses of Americans to death, Mexican cartels want them alive and paying. A prosperous United States is the most vital source of continuing wealth accumulation for cartels.

American drug consumers do not fit the definition of innocent noncombatants who do nothing contributing to their overdose deaths; they willingly buy the drug cartels’ supply. Their deaths are more akin to suicides. Any argument that this voluntary transactional circumstance presents a national security threat on the order of World Trade Center Tower destruction and vehicle-ramming attacks on New York bike paths can’t really be taken seriously.