Large-scale migration; natural, environmental, health and anthropogenic disasters; the geostrategic situation; the absence of alliances in defense; the loss of governability and governance; the vulnerability in the borders, and regional conflicts are the main threats to Mexico that the Armed Forces observe in the current Military Plan of Joint National Defense.
The document defines the risks as external or internal conditions generated by political, economic, social or non-state agents situations, as well as by natural disasters, human origin or epidemics, that without having a plan could threaten national development.
Experts in each of the risks indicated by the Armed Forces point out the magnitude of the problems, but also warn of deficiencies in the military analysis and point out that the militarization of these phenomena has only aggravated them.
Large-scale migration and vulnerability at the borders
The Military National Joint Defense Plan foresees in the immediate Mexican future a “large-scale migration” of two types. The first, constituted by “migratory movements towards the United States of America”. The second, of an internal nature, of the population “that leaves the countryside to the big cities in search of better living conditions”.
Both migratory phenomena already occur to a large degree in Mexico.
Social disasters, not “natural”
The Mexican Armed Forces pointed out a gap in the face of natural disasters: “Although there is a National System of Civil Protection (Sinaproc), there is no Civil Defense System that involves the population in their self-help”.
They emphasize that, due to its geographical location, the country “is affected by various natural disasters in both the western and eastern areas.” It refers to “hydrometeorological phenomena such as: hurricanes, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, which could manifest from one moment to another and cause great affectation to the population”.
The document adds that precisely these phenomena “are attended fundamentally with the capabilities of the Armed Forces”. Note that this attention will not be enough. The creation of the aforementioned Civil Defense System is required, because “if these natural disasters are combined with health disasters and other factors such as social discontent or the lack of capacity of the State to provide an expeditious response to the emergency, pressure groups can take advantage of this situation to destabilize the country. ”
The geopolitical situation of the country is of two types. It points out the Military National Joint Defense Plan that, on the one hand, could even be considered “one of the comparative advantages of the nation”. In a globalized world with intense trade exchanges, Mexico’s geographical position allows it to generate financial resources “with mobility” in one of the most dynamic regions of the world.
This same advantage translates into “the possibility” that another country intends to use Mexican territory to affect or attack the United States. This condition is called “approach avenue” in the document.
In order to face the complex geostrategic situation of Mexico, in principle, the Military Plan intends to “inhibit the possibility of employing Mexico as a platform to affect a third country.” Such purpose will be achieved “through the development of a Military Intelligence System, the strengthening of the capabilities of the Armed Forces and a dissuasive deployment in the national territory.”
Many of the main conflicts that Mexico suffers are of a transnational nature and are shared with the countries of North America and Central America.
José Francisco Gallardo Rodríguez, from the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the UNAM and former brigadier of the Mexican Army, lists some of these regional conflicts: drug trafficking, organized crime, corruption and the weakness of the States.
The Military Plan is abundant in that, to address this risk, it is necessary “to modernize the armament systems of the Armed Forces, acquiring technology that allows to have a dissuasive force that inhibits any type of intention of other States to use the national territory as a platform towards a third country, with the intention of damaging it and, as a consequence, affecting the national strategic infrastructure. ”
In addition, it is imperative to “modernize and complement the surveillance and air control system, transforming it into a joint system with aerial, maritime and terrestrial surveillance radars, which allows the identification of any type of antagonism in the national territory and in the areas in which is exercised jurisdiction and sovereign rights under international law, against strategic production infrastructure, which endangers the stability and development of the country. ”
Absence of alliances in aspects of defense
The Mexican Armed Forces emphasize that “the absence of alliances [of Mexico] in aspects of defense is clear”. They explain that this situation is the result of “the pacifist vocation of Mexican foreign policy.” They consider that this situation “provokes isolationism in aspects of defense and limits the ability to be dissuasive”.
In the document, it is established that faced with the risk identified as “absence of alliances in defense aspects”, the Armed Forces will promote “a foreign policy that includes an active agenda in matters of security and defense at the regional level”.
They add that they will seek to participate “in international forums, combined exercises, exchanges regarding training and reorienting the activities of military attachés abroad” ( sic ).
Loss of governance and governance
The Armed Forces observe in the Military Plan of Joint National Defense that the lack of elementary services, or the precariousness of these, make it possible for transnational organized crime groups and “groups with interests that are not in accordance with the rule of law” to co-opt populations.
The result of this situation is a loss of governability and governance. Explains this risk as a result of “the multicultural complexity of the different regions of the country” and the “failure of the State to address each cultural element in all its social dimension.” The combination of these two elements causes “intercultural dynamics to move away from the interests of Mexican society.”