RealNews

Readying for potential foe

As the helicopter hovered over the oil terminal 110 miles offshore, navy Vice Adm. Carlos Ponce de Leon scanned a stretch of sea that used to be crowded with small shrimp boats. Below him on the water were only two loading oil tankers, three tugboats and a navy patrol boat. Those are the only vessels allowed now within a vast exclusion zone around Mexico’s Cantarell petroleum fields, the source of 15 percent of the oil consumed in the United States. “It’s so we have a little more space to detect the enemy. It gives us more time to react,” said Ponce de Leon, commander of the navy base that oversees Mexico’s most important source of oil. That term “enemy” and its cousin “national security” have taken on new meanings in Mexico since Sept. 11, 2001. Nowhere is that more apparent than here in the Campeche Sound, where the navy has prepared to deter a foe that isn’t directly targeting Mexico, in a war that many Mexicans don’t feel is theirs. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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