Accession Number : ADA530241


Title :   Drug Cartels and Gangs in Mexico and Central America: A View through the Lens of Counterinsurgency


Descriptive Note : Master's thesis


Corporate Author : NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL


Personal Author(s) : Deuel, David S


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a530241.pdf


Report Date : 04 Jun 2010


Pagination or Media Count : 89


Abstract : For decades, the United States and its partner Latin American nations have fought to stop the flow of illicit drugs from South America to the streets of North America, yet the drugs continue to feed the addiction of the millions of illicit drug users in the United States today. The Unites States has confronted the problem at all levels, but primarily through efforts to reduce demand, eradicate drug sources, and interdict drug smugglers. While addressing demand and supply are critical to ending the international drug trade, the transit zone countries of Mexico and Central America are caught in a crossfire of widespread violence, corruption, and weakened state security perpetuated by this multi-billion dollar industry. The situation in the region has regressed beyond criminal activity to a drug-fueled state of siege -- a criminal insurgency that has directly threatened the lawfulness and security of transit zone countries. This paper examines the drug war currently operating in Central America and Mexico, highlighting its similarities to other insurgencies, and offers ideas on how to apply counterinsurgency doctrine to influence the effort to deny secure transshipment points to drug cartels. In doing so, the paper highlights both the intellectual and physical linkages between the commonly accepted military history of insurgencies and the history of the fight against drug trafficking organizations. To that end, the United States, Mexico, and Central America need to challenge drug trafficking organizations and gangs through a regional counterinsurgency strategy that denies impunity for drug cartels and enables Central American and Mexican governments to reestablish the legitimacy of their governing and legal institutions and regain control over their territory for the long term.


Descriptors :   *GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , *MILITARY DOCTRINE , *COOPERATION , *CENTRAL AMERICA , *DRUG SMUGGLING , *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , *COUNTERINSURGENCY , *MEXICO , CRIMINALS , COLOMBIA , HOMICIDE , DRUG INTERDICTION , DEMAND(ECONOMICS) , INSURGENCY , CRIMINAL CORRUPTION , LAW ENFORCEMENT , HISTORY , THESES , SECURITY , THREATS , STRATEGY , LESSONS LEARNED , POLICIES , COCAINE


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Sociology and Law
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE