Border Security

Duncan Wood and Alejandro Hope on Mexico’s drug cartels and ongoing violence

" For years, violent drug cartels have terrorized large parts of Mexico. Armed with sophisticated weapons, they are engaged in major drug trafficking and other illegal activities. It's estimated that more than 80,000 people have been killed since Mexico launched a war on the cartels in 2006 and thousands more have been kidnapped, some have even been beheaded. Amid all the violence, Mexico has also faced allegations of government and police corruptions. Journalists who have dared to cover these issues are often murdered."

Why Sending Weapons to Ukraine Would be a Terrible Idea for the US

The Ukraine Freedom Support Act, passed last month by the US senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, could mark a new kind of policy for the US in Ukraine.  It doesn’t propose new sanctions, or the “major non-NATO ally” designation for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, but instead grants permission to send Ukraine a variety of weapons, ammunition, and specialized equipment to fill gaps in its current military’s capabilities, with $350 million authorized for this fiscal year.

The First Binational Forum on Migration and the Right to an Identity








The Woodrow Wilson Center's Mexico Institute and the Be Foundation were pleased to host the First Binational Forum on Migration and the Right to an Identity: The Double Invisibility of Mexican Migrants in light of Potential U.S. Immigration Reform. The forum provided for the analysis and discussion of the phenomenon of immigrants whose births went unregistered and who, as a result, lack proof of identity and nationality.

Jane Harman on The Daily Rundown

Jane Harman comments on the developing ISIL situation; what might happen if ISIL did, in fact, obtain three fighter jets, the power and success of the Kurdish fighters, and the role that Turkey has played in the conflict. 

"It seems to me, three fighter jets going up against us, and even the Assad forces, are not going to last very long. And if we have any reason to believe they are around, we are going to look for them," says Jane Harman. 

The Iranian Sphere of Influence Expands Into Yemen

Stopping the Islamic State has taken over the headlines and dominated Middle East policy debates in recent weeks. While the jihadists' rampage is cause for understandable concern, it has obscured a huge strategic shift in another Middle Eastern linchpin: Yemen. The takeover of Sanaa in mid-September by the Houthis, a Shiite minority group, has dire implications for Yemen's neighbors and for the American war on terror. And further escalation seems likely. On Oct. 8, Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi called for mass demonstrations against foreign meddling in the country's politics.

Why Kobani Matters

Very few Americans had heard of Kobani until a couple of days ago. But the sleepy Syrian border town, a few football fields away from Turkey, has become a microcosm of the U.S. challenge in fighting Islamic State—and underscores why Syria is likely to be a far tougher campaign than Iraq.

After 13 Years, War in Afghanistan Grinds On

Tuesday marks the 13th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan–America’s longest war.

For U.S. combat troops, the end is in sight: By Dec. 31, most of them will have been withdrawn.

Unfortunately for Afghans, and their neighbors affected by the withdrawal, the war all but promises to continue–indefinitely.

The Nation-Building Trap

The more I think through the Obama administration's strategy on Syria the more worried I get. I feel like the guy in the Kingston Trio's classic tune "A Worried Man."

Congress AWOL on Mideast Action

A  chorus of lawmakers — including Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — has called for a special session of Congress to debate the contours of President Obama’s self-described “war” on terror groups in Iraq and Syria, and to fulfill members’ constitutional responsibility to “declare” (aka “authorize”) it. After saying he’d punt the issue to next year, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) now says he’ll call Congress back next week if the president asks.

Iran’s Dinner Diplomacy

Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, did not shake hands with Barack Obama at the United Nations this week, a year after their celebrated cell-phone chat. The two men didn’t even pass each other in the hallway. But Rouhani did give a quiet dinner at his hotel on Tuesday for twenty former American officials—including a secretary of state, three national-security advisers, and a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—from all six Administrations since the 1979 revolution.