Security and Defense

More than Neighbors: New Developments in the Institutional Strengthening of Mexico’s Armed Forces in the Context of U.S.-Mexican Military Cooperation

With strong commercial and economic ties cemented by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and fostered by strong bilateral political will, the U.S. and Mexican defense establishments have been drawn closer together in the past 10 years than ever before.

Why Has There Been Such an Increase in Homicides in 2017?

Homicides have been increasing (and unfortunately this trend will continue) because the federal government has decided to continue with a militarized security policy that is generated “from the top”, and that addresses the consequences/the symptoms and not the structural causes of the violence and insecurity in the country.

New Crime, Old Solutions: The Reason Why Mexico is Violent Again

The upsurge in Mexico’s violence is the result of a multi-level, uncoordinated judicial system that has been incapable of controlling criminal networks that are increasingly fractured and geographically dispersed. Today’s crisis is the result of changes in the modus operandi of criminals that are not mirrored by changes in Mexico’s judicial and police institutions. 

Behind Mexico’s Spiraling Violence

With more than 25,000 murders and an estimated average of 69 homicides per day, 2017 marked one of the deadliest years in Mexico’s recent history of violence.

Most analysts have attributed the surge in levels of homicide to the divisions and violent confrontations within and between Mexican criminal organizations, particularly the Sinaloa cartel and the Jalisco New Generation cartel. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s extradition to the United States, which took place a year ago, has also been cited as an important reason behind Mexico’s homicide spike,

Why Did Homicides Increase So Much in 2017? What Should the Mexican Government Do About It?

The wave of violence and insecurity that Mexican citizens experienced and suffered in 2017, and the deaths that it has produced cannot be understood in a vacuum. This is not a phenomenon that occurs inexplicably and from one day to the next.   The fact that over 25,000 people lost their lives in one year is the by-product of a series of events and policies that began ten years ago with the so called “war” against organized crime and drug cartels headed by President Felipe Calderón.

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 ’s policy in the region—so far—has largely been strikingly similar to that of President Barack Obama’s.

When assessing President ’s efforts abroad over his first year in office, there are copious examples of major foreign policy breaks with his predecessor, Barack Obama. 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.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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