Must be some new definition of ‘winning’

AP story: Government Winning Mexico Drug War, Despite Violence

Now, after daytime shootouts and beheadings Ö 443 murders in the last three months of 2008 alone Ö Tijuana is quieter. Skeptics say the lull could be only a short-term truce among traffickers. But a top Mexican army commander says the powerful gang’s warring factions are spent.
“They wore each other down,” Gen. Alfonso Duarte Mugica told The Associated Press. “They couldn’t keep going at that pace.”

The whole article is an interesting look at the shifts in cartel powers, but has absolutely nothing to do with the government “winning” anything, let alone a drug war.
Let’s take a quick look at the situation…
Violence was relatively low and trafficking went on as usual. Government steps in and violence skyrockets and trafficking goes on as usual, with government claiming victory because of violence. After many, many deaths, there is a reduction in violence (or perhaps a lull) and trafficking goes on as usual, and government claims victory.
The laws of supply and demand are unavoidable. The governments of Mexico and the United States may capture or kill cartel leaders, they may fracture cartels into smaller groups, they may instigate infighting within the traffickers, but they will not, cannot win the drug war any more than they can repeal the laws of gravity.

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