Aug 8, 2011

Whack-a-mole Drug War: Critical Strategic Decisions - the Future of US/Mexican Defense Relations

 An analytic paper on the options facing the next Mexican president in addressing the drug cartels and the consequences that his choice will have for U.S. - Mexico relations, particularly for the military relations that have deepened during the Calderon administration. The paper is from the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies of the National Defense University, U.S. Department of Defense. In other words, this is from the Department of Defense's think-tank.

The preface to the paper notes, "With this study on the future of US/Mexico defense relations, we inaugurate the new Occasional Papers Series on strategic issues in US/Latin American relations at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS). This new series is part of an ambitious new agenda of research, conferences, publications, and outreach launched by CHDS."

Critical Strategic Decisions in Mexico: the Future of US/Mexican Defense Relations: "
Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s decision in 2006 to use the military (vs. the police) in the lead role to combat transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and to cooperate with the US in that effort resulted in the best US/Mexican military-to-military and defense relations in decades. In many ways, this positive defense interaction serves as a visible bellwether for the level of each nation’s commitment to jointly confronting the TCOs. Will this level of cooperation and collaboration continue?

The answer depends on a critical strategic decision the next president of Mexico must make after taking office in December 2013--What strategy will Mexico adopt to address the TCO threat?

This paper delineates four options that represent the range of possibilities available to the next president. These include:

A. Maintain the Calderon administration’s current approach.
B. Place law enforcement (vs. the military) in the lead role in confronting the TCOs.
C. Adopt socially-focused alternatives to address the societal causes underpinning Mexico’s culture of lawlessness and impunity.
D. Accommodate or negotiate with the TCOs"

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