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Western Hemisphere Studies

Added December 13, 2010
Type: Monograph
La Familia Drug Cartel: Implications for U.S.-Mexican Security. Authored by Dr. George W. Grayson.
While claiming to do the “Lord’s work,” the ruthless leaders of La Familia Michoacana have emerged as the dominant exporter of methamphetamines to the United States, even as they control scores of municipalities in Michoacán and neighboring states.
Added September 21, 2010
Type: Colloquium Brief
A New Chapter in Trans-American Engagement. Authored by Dr. Max G. Manwaring, Eva Silkwood Baker.
The critical need to develop a serious hemispheric partnership for opening “A New Chapter in Trans-American Engagement” was stressed at the 2010 Western Hemisphere Security Colloquium, held on May 25-26, 2010, in Miami, Florida. The issues and recommendations discussed emphasized that building a viable regional security partnership in the Hemisphere is not a strictly short-term, or unilateral, or even bilateral defense effort. Regional security will result only from long-term, multilateral, civil-military partnering efforts. Thus, the generalized results of the colloquium emphasize three highly interrelated needs and an associated recommendation.
Added August 31, 2010
Type: Monograph
Dilemmas of Brazilian Grand Strategy. Authored by Dr. Hal Brands.
The author discusses the grand strategy Brazil has pursued under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He argues that Lula’s policies have raised Brazil’s profile and enhanced its diplomatic flexibility, but have also exposed Brazil to several potent strategic dilemmas that could compromise, or at the very least complicate, its geopolitical ascent.
Added May 11, 2010
Type: Monograph
Crime, Violence, and the Crisis in Guatemala: A Case Study in the Erosion of the State. Authored by Dr. Hal Brands.
In this monograph, the author argues that rampant crime and violence have led to a full-blown crisis of the democratic state in Guatemala. He discusses the various criminal groups active in that country, and outlines a strategy for improving public order, strengthening government institutions, and combating the root causes that inform criminal activity.
Added February 17, 2010
Type: Monograph
Do Oil Exports Fuel Defense Spending? Authored by Dr. Clayton K. S. Chun.
Rising oil prices facilitate the acquisition of greater resources and perhaps economic development. But oil revenues can also drive a government to finance massive military equipment purchases like Saudi Arabia did in 1979. The nature of governments that rely on raw material extraction and long-term development of military programs may affect how their current and future spending occurs regardless of oil prices. How nations decide to use their national wealth helps explain some of the perennial problems facing oil and commodity exporting nations and provides insights into their relations with other countries.
Added February 12, 2010
Type: Colloquium Brief
Drug Trafficking, Violence, and Instability in Mexico, Colombia, and the Caribbean: Implications for U.S. National Security. Authored by Mr. Evan Brown, Dr. Dallas D. Owens.
The growing violence and instability in Mexico and the Caribbean will clearly demand greater attention from the United States in the future. As the trafficking organizations continue to defy authorities, undermine governance, and escalate violence, Mexico has become much more of a national security challenge rather than simply a border problem. This conference offered an important opportunity to assess these threats, and to consider what can be done to counter them.
Added January 07, 2010
Type: Op-Ed
Something Brewing in Venezuela. Authored by COL Phillip R. Cuccia.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the January 2010 newsletter.
Added January 05, 2010
Type: PKSOI Papers
Security Sector Reform: A Case Study Approach to Transition and Capacity Building. Authored by Dr. Sarah Meharg, Ms. Aleisha Arnusch. Edited by Professor Susan Merrill.
Security sector reform (SSR) has emerged since the end of the Cold War as an important tool for stabilizing and reconstructing post-conflict countries. It offers a means of arresting the failure process in failing states and supporting failed state recovery. The U.S. Government endorses the concept of SSR as a component of stabilization reconstruction in the new (October 2008) U.S. Army Field Manual 3-07, Stability Operations.