A worldwide security report put together by the U.S. military states that Mexico and Pakistan need to be under constant scrutiny for signs of "rapid and sudden collapse."
The Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008) report examines global threats to security as well as sites of looming military conflict.
"In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico," the authors of the report state.
The document's authors recognize that its readers will consider the situation in Mexico to be far-fetched.
"The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone."
President-elect Barack Obama said Monday that his administration will begin work immediately to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Obama characterized the existing friendship between the two border nations as strong, but said he believes it can be made stronger. He promised to try to make it so.
A week and a day away from taking over as president, Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, continuing a longstanding tradition by which new American presidents meet with their Mexican counterparts either before or shortly after they are sworn in.
Calderon, whom U.S. officials have praised for deploying troops to fight cartels and capturing top drug kingpins, won a multimillion-dollar, anti-drug aid package from Washington last year. Obama supports the plan, known as the Merida Initiative, and has promised to take up another of Calderon's causes: ending gun-smuggling from the U.S. to Mexico.