Security and Defense

Mexican Security Diagnosis and a Proposal to Eradicate Violence

Eleven years ago, Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa declared a “war against drugs,” a strategy that essentially consisted of full frontal assault on organized crime, as well as the implementation of an unconventional security strategy that incorporates the armed forces and the Federal Police in public security tasks outside of their area of competence.

Why are Homicides on the Rise Again in Mexico? What Can Be Done About It?

Summary by Eric L. Olson, Senior Advisor, Mexico Institute & Deputy Director, Latin American Program

The tragic news that Mexico set another record for homicides in 2017 is not only disheartening but puzzling. After a peak of 22,409 homicides in 2011, Mexico’s homicide rate began to trend downward and bottomed out at 15,520 in 2014.  Some of the cities with the highest homicide rates, like Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, saw significant reductions as well.

Changing Patterns of Extremism and Terrorism in Pakistan

Current tensions between the United States and Pakistan underscore the problems posed by the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network, groups that Washington blames for orchestrating attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan from safe havens in Pakistan. However, the story of extremism and terrorism in Pakistan extends well beyond these two groups, and it continues to evolve—even as Pakistan has experienced major reductions in terrorist violence in recent years.

Trump and South Asia, One Year On: A Case of Policy Continuity With the Past

Despite several notable differences, President Donald Trump’s policy in the region—so far—has largely been strikingly similar to that of President Barack Obama’s.

When assessing President Donald Trump’s efforts abroad over his first year in office, there are copious examples of major foreign policy breaks with his predecessor, Barack Obama. Trump has taken a hard line on Iran, backed out of the Transpacific Partnership agreement, cracked down hard on immigration, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and rejected the idea of climate change.

China’s Increasing Pressure on Taiwan

After a decade of relative quiet, tensions across the Taiwan Strait are poised to return to the fore as a major issue in the Asia-Pacific and a significant driver of tension between China and the United States. Beijing’s negative reaction to the election of Tsai Ing-wen as president of Taiwan has continued to fester, despite her efforts to engage the mainland on her own terms, and is beginning to escalate tensions in an area that has previously been relatively quiet.

Doubling Down on Pakistan

President Trump has doubled down on U.S. policy toward Pakistan.  On New Year’s Day, before most of us were even out of bed, Trump fired off a seemingly out-of-the-blue Twitter blast at Pakistan, accusing America’s problematic ally of giving us “nothing but lies & deceit.”  Pakistan provides “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help.  No more!”

U.S. National Defense Strategy

On January 19, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced the first U.S.

Taking Stock of Mexico's Security Landscape

The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute invites you to attend its fifth annual Mexican security review. The forum will provide a careful examination of security challenges in Mexico, featuring presentations from leading policy analysts, including David Shirk, Viridiana Rios, Matthew Ingram, and others. Of particular interest will be a review of 2017 and a discussion of trends in 2018, including establishing new bonds in U.S.-Mexico military-to-military relations and strengthening the rule of law in Mexico.

What to Watch in South Asia in 2018

Two thousand eighteen will be a significant year for domestic politics and regional security in South Asia. Three issues are worth highlighting in particular: Elections, India-China rivalry, and conflict risks.

Preparing for Polls

Pakistan has national elections in 2018. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and India will be preparing for national polls in 2019.