The number of overdose deaths, especially those related to fentanyl, in the U.S. has reached a historic level. Like Derek Maltz, former head of the DEA's Special Operations Division, Dan Steiner says much of the blame rests at the feet of the China and Mexican drug cartels. The retired Air Force colonel spoke to One News Now about what he has coined "the back yard theory."
"If China can disrupt their opponent's back yard, then they'll preoccupy their ability to be proactive in theirs," he explains.
In other words, if the Chinese want to prevent the United States from paying attention to what's going on in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or the South China Sea, then they'll do everything in their power to create an environment in America's "back yard" that demands a response from its citizens. In this case, Steiner says, it involves the drug trade.
"Fitting right into the back yard disruption concept," he says, "the social disruption China can cause with fentanyl production coming from the cartels in Mexico is on full display in the United States."
As Steiner points out, tens of thousands of Americans have died from fentanyl overdoses in the U.S., adding that "the precursor chemicals for the drug are coming from the Chinese." He contends the development of fentanyl by Mexican cartels and its movement across the southern border is damaging the stability of American society.
"It is China's ultimate objective – to disrupt [the American] home front," he adds.
Objective: Buy influence & erode U.S. economy
A second issue related to the back yard of the U.S., the retired Air Force officer notes, is that China is buying "influence" in Central and South America – adding to the infrastructure, ports and rail systems that are being built, for example.
"China is doing everything it can to convince Central and South America that the future of the 21st century is Beijing, not [the District of Columbia]," he tells One News Now.
According to Steiner, China wants to expand its economy and its status – but it is also motivated to damage America's back yard. He explains that by making Central and South America more dependent on its influence, China can decrease dramatically the ability of the U.S. to have influence and an expanding economy.
The retired Air Force colonel further explains that by chipping away at America's economic resources – which, again, is part of China's plan – Beijing erodes the strength of that economy and, by extension, the strength of the U.S. military.
"If the Chinese do not want to face a superior military 25 years from now, then it's important [for them] to damage the U.S. economy in every way it can, at every place it can," he states emphatically.
"China is playing a very complex game," Steiner warns. "Bringing issues to the back yard [of the United States] is strategic, and [American citizens] need to wake up to the process before it's too late."