Trump could use covert Special Forces teams to take out leaders of Mexican cartels: report

The former president also suggested that the US government should have a "kill list of drug lords" that it strategizes to eliminate. 


Former President Donald Trump is reportedly considering deploying special-ops units into Mexico to target the leaders of major drug cartels if he is elected president again. 

Three sources close to Trump told Rolling Stone magazine that Trump endorsed this idea in conversations with allies, including a Republican lawmaker. Trump is reportedly contemplating this strategy whether or not the Mexican government approves it. He allegedly questioned why such a mission has not been pursued before, stating that the US military possesses "tougher killers" than the cartels. 

Trump reportedly likened the proposed covert operations to the raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2019. The former president also suggested in these conversations that the US government should have a “kill list of drug lords” that it strategizes to eliminate. 

In 2023, Rolling Stone reported that Trump directed his advisors to compile a list of military options for confronting Mexican drug cartels. These options included potential drone strikes, air assaults, troop deployments, and more.

As Trump continues to campaign for another term as president, he has publicly promised to “make appropriate use of Special Forces, cyber warfare, and other overt and covert actions to inflict maximum damage on cartel leadership, infrastructure, and operations.”

While in office, President Trump heavily pressured the Mexican government to crack down on what he referred to as “bad hombres” that were operating along the US-Mexico border.

Mexican cartels have continued to engage in drug smuggling, human trafficking, and violent shootouts along the southern border. Cartel members along the border have armed themselves with "military-grade" weapons, according to federal authorities.

Calls for stronger action against Mexican drug cartels have also emerged from within the Republican Party. Senators Tom Cotton and Morgan Luttrell introduced legislation in February aimed at pressuring the Biden administration to devise plans for capturing or eliminating the leaders of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, known as one of the most brutal and dangerous cartels in Mexico.

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