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Mexico's Narco Insurgency

Mexico's Narco Insurgency

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Published by Wally Conley
A paper presented to the U.S. Army's Strategic Studies Institute on Mexico's growing Narco Insurgency and possible effects on U.S. Border Security.
A paper presented to the U.S. Army's Strategic Studies Institute on Mexico's growing Narco Insurgency and possible effects on U.S. Border Security.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Wally Conley on Jun 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Hal BrandsMay 2009
The views expressed in this report are those of the author
and do not necessarily reect the ofcial policy or position of
the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, orthe U.S. Government. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute(SSI) publications enjoy full academic freedom, provided
they do not disclose classied information, jeopardizeoperations security, or misrepresent ofcial U.S. policy.
Such academic freedom empowers them to offer new andsometimes controversial perspectives in the interest offurthering debate on key issues.This report is cleared forpublic release; distribution is unlimited.*****This publication is subject to Title 17, United States Code,Sections 101 and 105. It is in the public domain and may notbe copyrighted.
Visit our website for other free publicationdownloadshttp://www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil/
ii*****This manuscript was funded by the U.S. Army War CollegeExternal Research Associates Program. Information on thisprogram is available on our website,
, at the Publishing button.*****Comments pertaining to this report are invited and should beforwarded to: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army WarCollege, 122 Forbes Ave, Carlisle, PA 17013-5244.*****All Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications are availableon the SSI homepage for electronic dissemination. Hard copiesof this report also may be ordered from our homepage. SSI’shomepage address is:
.*****The Strategic Studies Institute publishes a monthly e-mailnewsletter to update the national security community on theresearch of our analysts, recent and forthcoming publications, andupcoming conferences sponsored by the Institute. Each newsletteralso provides a strategic commentary by one of our researchanalysts. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter, pleasesubscribe on our homepage at
ISBN 1-58487-388-4
Since 2006, Mexico has rapidly climbed the list of potentialtrouble spots for U.S. policymakers. Public security in thatcountry has deteriorated dramatically of late. Drug-fueledviolence has caused thousands of deaths, taken a severe
psychological toll on the citizenry, and, in the estimation of
some observers, brought Mexico to the edge of the failed-stateprecipice.This rapidly unraveling situation has hardly gone
unnoticed in Washington. U.S. ofcials recently unveiled
the so-called “Merida Initiative,” a multiyear counterdrugprogram designed to help the Mexican government turn the
tide in its ght against the cartels. As Hal Brands argues in this
monograph, however, the Merida Initiative may not representan optimal solution to the current crisis. It focuses largely onsecurity, enforcement, and interdiction issues, paying lessattention to the deeper problems that abet the drug trade and
its devastating consequences. These problems include ofcial
corruption; U.S. domestic drug consumption; and a host ofeconomic, social, and political questions. If left unaddressed,these ancillary issues will likely frustrate even a counterdrugprogram as ambitious and well-intended as the MeridaInitiative.To make U.S. counternarcotics strategy fully effective,Brands argues, the United States must forge a more creativeand encompassing approach to the drug trade. This strategyshould combine interdiction and enforcement initiatives witha wide array of social, economic, political, and U.S. domesticprograms, so as to create a broad, interlocking effort that attacksthe drug trade from all sides. Forging such a strategy will notbe easy, Brands warns, but is nonetheless central to addressingsuccessfully the growing crisis in Mexico and meeting thebroader challenges of counterdrug policy.DOUGLAS C. LOVELACE, JR.DirectorStrategic Studies Institute

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