Small Wars Journal

Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels, and U.S. National Security

Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels and U.S. National Security

Center for a New American Security (CNAS)

CNAS report launch and discussion on the growing national security threat of organized crime in the Western Hemisphere.

Date and Time:

September 30, 2010

4:30: Guest check-in and registration

5:00-6:30: Event

6:30-7:30: Reception


Willard Intercontinental Hotel's Crystal Room

1401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20004

To RSVP for this event, click here.

Last month, the Mexican government announced that the drug wars have claimed 28,000 lives since 2006. These drug trafficking groups have evolved to pose significant challenges not only to Mexico and the United States, but to governments and societies across the Western Hemisphere.

On September 30, 2010, from 5:00-6:30 p.m., the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will host an event to launch Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels, and U.S. National Security, a groundbreaking CNAS report that surveys organized crime throughout the Western Hemisphere, analyzes the challenges it poses for the region and recommends the United States replace the "war on drugs" paradigm with comprehensive domestic and foreign policies to confront the interrelated challenges of drug trafficking and violence ranging from the Andean Ridge to American streets.

At the event on September 30, a diverse panel of experts will discuss this multi-layered national security challenge including:

Roberta Jacobson

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Canada, Mexico and NAFTA

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

Michael Shifter

President of the Inter-American Dialogue

Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown

Foreign Policy Fellow for The Brookings Institution 21st Century Defense Initiative

Author of Shooting Up: Counterinsurgency and the War on Drugs

Colonel Robert Killebrew, USA (ret.).

CNAS Senior Fellow

Stay tuned in the coming days for the release of Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels, and U.S. National Security. This event will also be webcast live at Webcast viewers can submit questions to panelists via Twitter @CNASdc.



Mon, 10/24/2011 - 8:25pm

Is there any change that could take place in the law that would radically affect gangs and cartels ability to organize?

If there were a law against gangs and cartels that embrace criminal goals, including drug trafficking and murder,
Would that law, in your opinion, affect the ability of these groups to organize?

It seems to me that preventing the organization of complex tasks involved in committing the crimes, would have a
Significant effect.

The law would make it illegal to be a member in a gang or cartel, and to participate in any part of a crime committed by the organization.

Also, could the threat of loss of citizenship for being part of a gang or cartel have a significant deterrent effect?

Answering whether changes in the law could radically affect the very existence of gangs and cartels is a necessary first step.