DRUG WARS

Troops Heading to the Border?

President Obama’s anti-drug efforts could be drastically stepped up in the coming months. The Pentagon is working on a $350 million initiative that would give the president the power to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to help wage the war on drugs. The plan is meant to give Obama more flexibility in responding to drug-related violence, which has escalated in recent months and threatened to spill over the border. Critics say the plan doesn’t provide for enough oversight, unlike the existing $1.4 billion Merida Initiative, a State Department program that fights drug trafficking in Mexico and Central America. The Pentagon tucked the plan into a supplemental budget request sent to Congress last month.