Opinion: We’ve seen the results of shootouts between government forces and para-military that have left thousands dead, including several Americans. This time this isn’t half a world away in Syria, Afghanistan or Sub-Sahara Africa. It is on our own border, in Mexico. 

The Mexicans need U.S. assistance, but troops on the ground will not solve their problems. 

Many of the hawks in this country are calling for the United States to get involved in what they’re calling “a failed state.” Last month some of those worst fears were realized.: A drug cartel paramilitary force faced down Mexico’s own army following the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, a son of “El Chapo,” the Sinaloa cartel kingpin who was convicted in U.S. federal court and sentenced to life in prison last February.

Within minutes of Guzman’s capture, the Sinaloa cartel declared war and demanded his release. They went on a rampage of violence that left 13 dead. Buses, bridges, and toll booths were torched. The National Guard troops were forced into their own headquarters.