Small Wars Journal

Latin America

Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America: Consequences for U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 1:01am
This essay explores why Latin America is of paramount strategic importance for Iran, and what factors or events gave Iran access to the region so it could pursue its classic rampant penetration of other nations’ governments and cultural institutions.

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The Walled City Upon a Hill: Why the US is Responsible for the Deaths of Migrants SWJED Mon, 07/08/2019 - 9:31am
The US should embrace the fact that it is in part responsible for this crisis. America should do everything it can to help Central American migrants. This injustice must be corrected if the United States is to live up to its great legacy as the city upon a hill.

Women Peace and Security: A Competitive Edge in Latin America’s Human Domain

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 1:31am
The institutions of the U.S. national security community have recognized, but just begun to remedy, a gap in how they interact with conflict environments: the failure to understand how gender and warfare intertwine. The 2017 Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Act provides a clarion call for operationalizing a gender perspective at each command level and in nearly all activities in the environment.

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Blood and Power: The Militia-Corruption Nexus in Latin America

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 5:16am
Modeled on the Iranian Basij militia, the 'colectivos' have targeted critical media outlets, opposition politicians, and dissidents as well as exerted control over entire neighborhoods and towns. They have operated death squads with the full acquiescence of Venezuela’s intelligence agencies and in partnership with the military. Venezuela’s previous president, Hugo Chavez, organized these paramilitary groups to protect the gains of his self-proclaimed Bolivarian Revolution from the perceived threat of external powers. They rapidly transformed into a force to prop-up the political elite and to preserve the power of the regime.

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The Monroe Doctrine in 21st Century Great Power Competition

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 12:58am
After a 20-year hiatus since the fall of the Soviet Union, the 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) and 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) identify a new great power competition as the priority security threat to the United States. Although focused on Europe with Russia, and Asia with China, this great power competition is just as applicable in Latin America where China is aggressively using the economic instrument of power.

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Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 12: Brazilian Prison Gangs Attack Civil Infrastructure in Fortaleza and Other Cities in Ceará State

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 1:04am
Since 2 January, 205 criminal attacks have occurred in 46 cities in Ceará and about 360 individuals have been arrested. Ceara’s security forces have been reinforced with the assistance of the Polícia Rodoviária Federal (PRF or Federal Highway Police). The attacks have included bombings and arson directed against vehicles (including buses and school transportation), police stations, public buildings, bridges, businesses, and banks.

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Mexican Cartel Essays and Notes: Strategic, Operational, and Tactical

This second Small Wars Journal-El Centro anthology signifies the important debate that this new forum, focusing on the crime wars and criminal insurgencies taking place in Mexico and other regions of the Americas, is helping to generate in U.S. defense and homeland security circles. The debate comes at a time when neither of the two major U.S. presidential candidates were willingly to candidly discuss this issue and at the end of the recent Felipe Calderón administration which saw over 80,000 dead, 20,000 missing, and 200,000 internal refugees stemming from gang and cartel violence during its tenure in Mexico.

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Peter J. Munson Sat, 06/08/2013 - 3:49pm