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  • Author: Clint Watts
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The attacks of September 11, 2001 spawned a decade of al Qaeda inspired radicalization of disaffected Middle Eastern and North African youth and a handful of young Western men. Ten years later, foreign fighters to Afghanistan, Iraq and other jihadi battlefields appear to be declining while in contrast analysts have pointed to an uptick in United States (U.S.) based “homegrown extremism” - terrorism advocated or committed by U.S. residents or citizens.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: David J. Danelo
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Since Mexican President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006, Mexico’s drug war has taken over 30,000 lives, destabilized the U.S.-Mexico border, and become a security crisis for the North American continent. Two years ago, a December 2008 Pentagon report warned about the strategic consequences for the United States of a rapid collapse of two nations: Pakistan and Mexico. “The Mexican possibility might seem less likely,” said the report, “but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault by drug cartels.” Any sudden collapse would require a U.S. response “based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.” This scenario has not come to pass, and a full scale collapse of Mexico remains unlikely. That said, Mexico’s security situation has direct consequences in the United States. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, coalitions of sheriffs, agents, activists and concerned citizens have rallied to increase public awareness. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, Mexican drug cartels maintain distribution networks in 295 U.S. cities through brutal gang activity. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has joined a chorus of policy analysts and terrorism experts by referring to Mexico’s drug war as a “criminal insurgency.” In recent visits to Mexico, both President Barack Obama and the Secretary of State have acknowledged U.S. responsibility to reduce drug demand and invest in “partnership.” As the joint response to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus by U.S. and Mexican health officials illustrated, United States and Mexico policy responses are inextricably linked.
  • Topic: Crime, National Security, War on Drugs, Immigration, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico