Beyond Merida: A Cooperative Counternarcotics Strategy for the 21st Century
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The focal point of the United States war on drugs has shifted to countering Mexican drug trafficking organizations. To date its efforts and agreements with Mexico have largely concentrated on reducing drug supplies with little effect on reducing consumption. The Merida Initiative continues this strategy, but it has added elements that indicate a desire to address larger issues relative to the problem of narco-trafficking. In pursuing an expanded roll in assisting Mexico, the U.S. must recognize the potential negative impacts on Mexican stability that militarization of the mission or a heavy-handed U.S. approach may have. This paper attempts to demonstrate that the U.S. can develop a comprehensive engagement strategy with Mexico that effectively reduces drug trafficking and violence in Mexico without delegitimizing the Mexican government in the eyes of its people. To do so will require the U.S. to address the issue of domestic drug demand and to establish a better means of managing all U.S. government efforts with Mexico.
- Sociology and Law