Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

U.S. Navy Seal becomes military attaché to Mexico

Thursday, March 15, 2012 |


Posted on Borderland Beat Forum by Athena

Houston Chron


MEXICO CITY - The U.S. government has dispatched a career Navy SEAL and anti-terrorism expert to the U.S. embassy in Mexico City to serve as liaison with Mexican troops waging war on gangsters.

Rear Adm. Colin Kilrain a former senior commander of the U.S. Navy’s special forces who last year worked on anti-terrorism for the National Security Council, recently took up the post of military attaché. He arrives amid a rising debate over the role and effectiveness of Mexico's military in President Felipe Calderon's anti-gangster campaign.

"It is an interesting choice," U.S. political scientist Roderic Camp, who has specialized in Mexico's military, said of Kilrain's appointment. "From the U.S. point of view, it is placing someone there who has special skills and experiences complementary to battling the cartels."

A champion wrestler at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Kilrain joined the SEALs after graduating in the early 1980s. Since 2001, he's been involved in counterterrorism activities, serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere

It is an interesting choice," U.S. political scientist Roderic Camp, who has specialized in Mexico's military, said of Kilrain's appointment. "From the U.S. point of view, it is placing someone there who has special skills and experiences complementary to battling the cartels."

A champion wrestler at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Kilrain joined the SEALs after graduating in the early 1980s. Since 2001, he's been involved in counterterrorism activities, serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Prior to his assignment at the National Security Council, Kilrain was commander of Naval Special Warfare Group Two in Norfolk, Va., which coordinates SEAL activities in Europe and the Americas. Married to a former Navy flier and NASA astronaut, he was promoted last year to rear admiral.

While they report to an ambassador, U.S. military attachés are managed by the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency. Their job is to monitor a country's armed forces, said Army Lt. Col. Robert Kirkland, who wrote a book about Cold War-era U.S. military attachés in Latin America.

Future uncertain

Generals or admirals traditionally have been assigned as embassy attachés only in Russia and China, Kirkland said. For that reason alone, Kilrain's posting to Mexico "is significant," he said.

Kilrain will serve in Mexico under Ambassador Anthony Wayne, who arrived here last summer after a stint as second-in-command of the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan.

"It's a development that is part and parcel of the larger concern and focus on Mexico by the United States," said Kirkland, who teaches military science at the University of Southern California.

Under the Merida Initiative begun under the Bush Administration, the U.S. government has committed $1.6 billion to support Calderon's anti-crime efforts. Most of that aid has been earmarked for military-style equipment and training for Mexico's federal security forces.

Calderon leaves office Dec. 1. The three candidates vying to replace him have all signaled they favor scaling back, if not ending, military involvement in gang wars. The drug war carnage has claimed more than 50,000 lives - most in gangland-style executions and shootouts - since Calderon unleashed troops against the criminal syndicates five years ago.

Shock troops

With Mexico's local and state police often bought off or otherwise overwhelmed by the gangsters, as many as 60,000 Mexican soldiers and marines have been deployed against the criminal gangs. In the past several years, elite units of Mexico's naval infantry, or marines, have been used as shock troops against the gangsters, especially priority targets.

The marines killed top gang boss Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009 in a U.S.-assisted operation in Cuernavaca, 50 miles from Mexico City.

A secret memo from the Mexico City embassy, published 15 months ago by WikiLeaks, was critical of the Mexican army's performance in anti-gang operations while praising naval efforts. The memo, written by the embassy's recently departed second in command, reportedly infuriated Mexican army commanders. Then-U.S. Ambassador Pasqual’s was removed last year at Calderon's request.

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31 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Kilrain really being placed in Mexico to observe the cartels, or to keep an eye on Irans movements within the country. Apparently his wrestling background in college is playing a big role in this decision either way.

Anonymous said...

Nothing Changes.They make it sound pretty cool though.

Anonymous said...

It is funny how you people are trying to make it look like. Is an admiral, is not like if the navy seals are going down there, is only one person.

Anonymous said...

he aint gonna do nothing but piss people off

Anonymous said...

Hmm ? Interesting ..Very Interesting

Anonymous said...

THIS ASSHOLE WILL DIE IN A WEEK....

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to the rear admiral, The presence of the admiral is just a show, The sad truth is he and anyone else is powerless to stop these cartels, not even Chuck Norris can stop this. The only way to stop this is to go back to the way it use to be before Caldron declare war on the cartels. The war on drugs is a failure.

Anonymous said...

Good move, better late than never,just hope that the pressure stays on if the Narco PRI gets in.Bless the Mexican Marinas they have done a world of good, need to audit every F ing elected official in Mexico NOW see where the $ comes from?? What do they own??

Anonymous said...

When are the gringos going to understand that sending more muscle into a losing (drug) war in Mexico still won´t win it? It took years (and lives) in Vietnam before the US pulled the pin. And what are we seeing in Aphganistan today? More wasted time/$$$/lives.

Legalize now!

Anonymous said...

Breaking news 2 bodies were hung in puente gonzalez on west side of nuevo laredo with narcomanta!!!!

Anonymous said...

im not impressed, if it was Dick Chenney then yes watch out, theyre deffinitely up to something

Anonymous said...

Someone owed this Admiral a favor & wanted to give him a "TOP" position within the U.S. Government to make him look & feel good as well as to try & intimidate the Cartels.He's a desk cowboy,thats all!!

Anonymous said...

You stupid fuck it wasnt calderon who has mexico like this. Its the zetas . The other cartels didnt bother the families that didnt have nothing to do with there buisness. They were realy narcos thats somebody that works with drugs. I dont know why they call the zetas narcos the only thing they are leaving from is the mexican people.

Anonymous said...

I hope that he will bring his seal buddies to play down in Mexico. Thats the only way those big cartel figures will be taken out.

Anonymous said...

In general US Embassy military attaches are CIA, but with this being a high-profile appointment, it sounds like Kilrain is being sent to Mexico City as window-dressing, on behalf of both of the current administrations in the US & Mexico.

One man isn't going to train the Mexican marina, and dreams about American Seal teams taking out important Zetas or other cartel leaders are wet dreams coming from little boys who live in mommy's basement.

Anonymous said...

Damn, who did he piss off to get thrown all the way to the very back burner. Out of site, out of mind I guess. Poor guy.

@ 5:56 PM The Narco PAN are much worse, they create war instead of business. And, the American Marines need to monitor our elections to keep corruption out of them.

Anonymous said...

Wuts 1 person going 2 do? NOTHING!! THAT PERSON AINT GOING 2 CHANGE ANYTHING DOWN THERE. UNLESS HE PLANS 2 WRESTLE THEM DOWN... COME ON NOW THIS FOOL IS JUST BORED, THATS THE REASON HE IS GOIN DOWN THERE. SEND THE US TROOPS AND NOW WE ARE TALKING..

Anonymous said...

He will assess the gravy train situation. If the political winds are right they will franchise. Listen for a great sucking sound of tax payer money going to country clubs.

Anonymous said...

HIS GOING TO TRAIN MEXICANS WHO WILL BECOME ZZZ.

Anonymous said...

everything is about the BLACK GOLD,people , open your eyes, they have to take care about it.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately watever he teaches the mexican law enforcement or marines will eventually be passed on down to da cartels making them harder to get rid off!! Corruption on all levels is wat needs to be done and clean house should be a priority!!! Whoever said audit the governmennt officials, hit it on da head!!

Anonymous said...

Navy seals are known for integrity. Sure its probably been a long time since R Admiral Kilrain fired a round, but it seems like someones finally on site who wont just take his piece of the cake and look the other way, even while staring death right in the face. Hopefully the taste of luxury hasnt corrupted him. We all know the drug war is a miserable failure, but the killing and extortion of innocent civilians has got to stop. Yes I know, Americans are guilty of this crime also. USN Honor, courage, and commitment.

Anonymous said...

60,000 Mexican troops respond to the loss of 50,000 lives lost; how about a troop surge?

Anonymous said...

@ March 15, 2012 9:51 PM,Yeah,you know the Biz,All expense paid vacation,from country clubs to 5 star restaurants & the best Escorts/Female or Male entertainers U.S. tax payer dollars can buy!

Anonymous said...

People like you make me sick why do you want to see our troops fight another war. why don't you join the military and go fight and risk your life. war isn't a Call of Duty game where you have multiple chances if they get you with one good shot bam your dead for good
Think about the things tipi day next time bud

Anonymous said...

All show. BB should have never published this USA propaganda. Dovetails with popularity of new movie. Hollywood, Washington style, pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

he there to not only train some tactics but also establish contacts. i think this is Calderons solution to Chapo always getting away

and whoever said USA more muscle to Mexico won't help is crazy. not only do we have muscle like SEAL Team 6 to preform hits on high profile targets. we also have allot of technology to help like when hunting Pablo that we not gonna just hand over to Mexico.


~~~el spaceio~~~

Anonymous said...

Lmao

Anonymous said...

What makes anyone think the US has any interest in sending any troops to Mexico? They don't hate us enough? We need to get more US killed trying "fix" another 3rd rate country?

US should put more police and soldiers on the border. Put up warnings - if you try to cross with drugs/contraband we will shoot. If you shoot across the border at us we will shoot back. If you try to cross illegally we will shoot. Respect US rules or else. What does Mexico have that we need now? Volkswagons? Electric guitars? The cheap labor is already here.

Send the Navy Seals - right. We'll send a has-been Rear Admiral. He can shoot the breeze all day without doing anything.

Anonymous said...

Really dude...u think the cartels are that stupid ...why do you seem pissed he be is going to Mexico?

Anonymous said...

More prof mexico cant fix the problem we need more U.S miltary here pronto give thnm the guns and maps of the hole country let the U.S fix this problem we wanted the UN 2 years a go didnt get no help 50 or 6o k murder how many life culd be saved if U.S came faster mmmmmmm look at my city alone juarez

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