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The Military

Submission + - Mexican Cartels Build 'Mad Max' Narco Tanks

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Not content with building their own submarines, using bazookas, rocket-propelled grenades or land mines, the Washington Post reports that tdrug cartels are building armored assault vehicles, with gun turrets, inch-thick armor plates, firing ports and bulletproof glass. Called "monstruos,” the monsters look like a cross between a handmade assault vehicle used by a Somali warlord and something out of a post-apocalyptic “Mad Max” movie and have already appeared in several confrontations with Mexican authorities. “These behemoths indicate the ingenuity of the cartels in configuring weapons that are extremely effective in urban warfare,” says George Grayson, a professor at the College of William and Mary and a specialist in Mexico’s drug war. A look inside a captured "monster" truck reveals that in addition to swiveling turrets to shoot in any direction, they have hatches and peepholes for snipers, their spacious interiors can fit as many as 20 armed men, and they are coated with polyurethane for insulation and to reduce noise. Still Patrick Corcoran writes that the armored vehicles are not a game changer. "While the “narco-tanks,” as the vehicles are often called, make for great blog fodder and provide entertaining videos, seeing their rise as a significant escalation in Mexico's drug war would be wrongheaded," writes Corcoran. "In the end, the "tanks" are a sexy narrative, but these mistaken notions about the criminals' "military might" not only inflate the power of Mexico’s groups far beyond any reasonable assessment, they also obscure the problem, and its potential solutions.""

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