The Challenge of Violent Drug-Trafficking Organizations: An Assessment of Mexican Security Based on Existing RAND Research on Urban Unrest, Insurgency, and Defense-Sector Reform
Oct 21, 2011
Seeking More Productive Analogies for Responding to the Challenge of Violent Drug-Trafficking Organizations
Published in: Small Wars Journal, June 24, 2014, 10 p
Posted on RAND.org on February 16, 2015
Despite the scope of the threat to Mexico's security, violent drug-trafficking organizations are not well understood, and optimal strategies to combat them have not been identified. Regions around the world have faced similar challenges and may hold lessons for Mexico. One point is clear, however: Mexico is not Colombia. In fact, Mexico is not particularly like any other historical case characterized by "warlordism," resource insurgency, ungoverned spaces, and organized crime. Despite the lack of a perfectly analogous case, security policy in Mexico stands to benefit from historical lessons and efforts that were correlated with the greatest improvements in countries facing similar challenges. This article summarizes key findings from analyses comparing 10 different historical cases with Mexico.