Lindsey Graham joins other GOP lawmakers in call for military action against cartels

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he is prepared to introduce a bill that would ‘set the stage” for U.S. military force in Mexico in the wake of the violent kidnappings of four Americans in Tamaulipas Friday.

Two of the victims were found dead Tuesday and two survivors were rescued and are back on U.S. soil. Mexican investigators said that the kidnappers were part of a Mexican cartel.

“I would put Mexico on notice,” Graham told Fox News host Jesse Watters Tuesday. “If you continue to give safe haven to drug dealers, then you are an enemy of the United States.”

Graham said that he would introduce legislation to designate Mexican cartels as “foreign terrorist organizations under U.S. law and set the stage to use military force if necessary.”

“I would tell the Mexican government if you don’t clean up your act, we’re going to clean it up for you,” he said.

Graham has joined the ranks of other GOP lawmakers who believe that U.S. military action is needed to combat powerful and sophisticated Mexican criminal enterprises facilitating the flow of deadly narcotics and illegal migrants into the U.S. that are also responsible for the rampant exploitation of migrant women and children amid the exploding human crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and elsewhere.


While Graham has yet to formally proffer legislation, two House Republicans introduced a similar bill in January.

Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) introduced legislation that would give the president the authority to use military force against drug cartels bringing fentanyl across the border.

The Republican lawmakers, both of whom are U.S. military veterans, said that Mexican cartels had destabilized the U.S.-Mexico border to such an extent that the tools available to local law enforcement, the Border Patrol, and the Mexican military are no longer powerful enough to stop the massive flow of deadly narcotics into the U.S., The Washington Examiner reported at the time.

“The cartels are at war with us — poisoning more than 80,000 Americans with fentanyl every year, creating a crisis at our border, and turning Mexico into a failed narco-state,” Crenshaw said.

“We cannot allow heavily armed and deadly cartels to destabilize Mexico and import people and drugs into the United States. We must start treating them like ISIS — because that is who they are,” he continued.

Waltz said that the proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) legislation would give the president tools including “sophisticated military cyber, intelligence, and surveillance resources to disrupt cartel operations that are endangering Americans.” 

The Hill noted in its reporting on Sen. Graham’s proposal Tuesday that an AUMF is unlikely to “pass a divided Congress” and pointed out that Biden, as commander-in-chief, has ultimate control over the U.S. military.


Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) asserted on Tuesday that the U.S. military should “strategically strike and take out the Mexican Cartels” in a statement posted on her Twitter account, referring to the criminal organizations as “international terrorists and criminals” who are “murdering Americans every day with drugs and crime.” The tweet specifically referenced the Tamaulipas kidnapping.

“The only difference between the Cartels and ISIS is that the Cartels are on our southern border,” the congresswoman added.