Does the U.S. Have Sovereignty over Southwest Border Regions

A Breitbart.com story on Ben Carson reports claims that the southwest border areas are effectively without government as cartels roam free.

When you first hear about the ISIS territory inside of Iraq and Syria, it seems completely foreign to anything Americans have known. How could criminals ever set up their own “state” within the borders of sovereign countries?

But this story at Breitbart.com makes me wonder: “Exclusive — AZ Sheriff Takes Dr. Ben Carson on Helicopter Tour of Cartel Sites.”

“Nobody does,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told Breitbart News when asked who has operational control of this region of the United States of America.

Babeu was on a helicopter tour of Mexican drug cartel scout locations in caves in the side of mountains throughout the desert about 70 miles inside the U.S. border. Essentially, that means U.S. sovereignty is gone for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of square miles throughout the American southwest.

Babeu was leading the helicopter tour with Dr. Ben Carson, a GOP presidential candidate, after briefing Carson on everything happening at the border.

Among other things that Babeu showed Carson and Breitbart News on this helicopter tour were how this far inside the border on high ground there are scores of scout sites where cartel operatives serve as lookouts for smugglers bringing drugs, people and other contraband into the country.

“If they can operate up to this degree, 70 miles north of the border, in law enforcement we call that a clue,” Babeu said in a brief exclusive interview outside the helicopter after landing back at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. The lack of United States sovereignty this deep into the country is highly concerning to Carson, who told Breitbart News that this shouldn’t be happening.

I can only hope these claims are exaggerated. But I have no reason to assume that they are. Since our Executive Branch actually helped arm the drug cartels (or at least one) in “Fast and Furious,” the story also reminds me of how ISIS was started by U.S. policy arming terrorists.

I have no idea what the Federal government’s endgame is here, but it doesn’t seem possible that a nation that moves troops on the other side of the planet isn’t capable of keeping operational control over its own territory. So why are they allowing this to happen?