As Presidents Obama and Calderón continue to discuss the United States and Mexico's efforts to combat growing drug-related violence, the leaders should look to embrace regional cooperation to combat the cartels, according to a recent report authored by Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Non-Resident Senior Fellow Bob Killebrew.
In Crime Wars: Gangs, Drugs, and U.S. National Security, Killebrew surveys organized crime throughout the Western Hemisphere and analyzes the challenges it poses to individual countries and regional security. He argues that Mexico will remain a key state in the struggle against violent organized crime in the region, and that the United States should continue to support Mexico's efforts while examining its own role in the ongoing conflict. In addition, the report notes, the United States and Mexico should:
* Increase U.S.-Mexico law enforcement and intelligence cooperation.
* Increase bilateral training and assistance.
* Embrace regional cooperation to attack cartels.
* Attack the cartels' financial networks and money-laundering capabilities.
"Whether Calderón and his successors can or will sustain a long-term, bloody fight to root out corruption in the Mexican state and reassert the rule of law is a matter of grave concern for the United States," said Killebrew.
Download Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels and U.S. National Security.
This report is also available for download in Spanish: Guerras del Crimen: Pandillas, Cárteles y la Seguridad Nacional Estadounidense.