David Lipton: Our neighbors

November 2, 2012 

Our neighbors

The foreign policy debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney failed to discuss about our biggest national security threat. It is a country in our back yard. It has a population of over 100 million people. The historical borderlands are indistinct. Over one-half the current artificial border was established by treaties in the 1840s resulting from wars in which the United States occupied its capital and annexed a large amount of its territory. Its historical and current governments have been chaotic and partially dysfunctional. Eighty-five percent of its exports come to the United States, but the income gap between the peoples of United States and Mexico is the largest between any two countries in the world that share a contiguous borders.

Geography dictates that the United States and Mexico will become closer. Policy-makers on both sides of the border may be able to dictate the terms and circumstances of the geographical union. The vision must be a stable and prosperous Mexico. If not, we risk following historical examples where there were artificial borders between highly developed societies and less developed societies that over time shifted in favor of the more backward society.

David Lipton,


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