To the Editor:
Robert Bonner writes that "destroying the drug cartels is not an impossible task" ("The New Cocaine Cowboys," July/ August 2010). But he really should have written, "Destroying some drug cartels is not an impossible task."
U.S. and Mexican officials regularly succeed in busting individual cartel leaders, but as the 40-year history of the U.S.-led global "war on drugs" shows -- as do my 30 years of experience working as an agent for the U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Department of Homeland Security -- the illegal drug economy as a whole is unstoppable. Whenever the U.S. government does bust a cartel head, there is someone willing to take his place, and it is always going to be that way as long as people are willing to pay for illegal drugs.