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Shooting Up

Author: Vanda Felbab-Brown
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815704508
Size: 11.88 MB
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Most policymakers see counterinsurgency and counternarcotics policy as two sides of the same coin. Stop the flow of drug money, the logic goes, and the insurgency will wither away. But the conventional wisdom is dangerously wrongheaded, as Vanda Felbab-Brown argues in Shooting Up. Counternarcotics campaigns, particularly those focused on eradication, typically fail to bankrupt belligerent groups that rely on the drug trade for financing. Worse, they actually strengthen insurgents by increasing their legitimacy and popular support. Felbab-Brown, a leading expert on drug interdiction efforts and counterinsurgency, draws on interviews and fieldwork in some of the world's most dangerous regions to explain how belligerent groups have become involved in drug trafficking and related activities, including kidnapping, extortion, and smuggling. Shooting Up shows vividly how powerful guerrilla and terrorist organizations — including Peru's Shining Path, the FARC and the paramilitaries in Colombia, and the Taliban in Afghanistan — have learned to exploit illicit markets. In addition, the author explores the interaction between insurgent groups and illicit economies in frequently overlooked settings, such as Northern Ireland, Turkey, and Burma. While aggressive efforts to suppress the drug trade typically backfire, Shooting Up shows that a laissez-faire policy toward illicit crop cultivation can reduce support for the belligerents and, critically, increase cooperation with government intelligence gathering. When combined with interdiction targeting major traffickers, this strategy gives policymakers a better chance of winning both the war against the insurgents and the war on drugs.

Aspiration And Ambivalence

Author: Vanda Felbab-Brown
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815724411
Size: 77.21 MB
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After more than a decade of great effort and sacrifice by America and its allies, the Taliban still has not been defeated, and many Afghans believe that a civil war is coming.Aspiration and Ambivalence analyzes the U.S. and international efforts in Afghanistan and offers detailed recommendations for dealing with the precarious situation leading up to the 2014 transition to Afghan control and beyond. Vanda Felbab-Brown argues that allied efforts in Afghanistan have put far too little emphasis on good governance, concentrating too much on short-term military goals to the detriment of long-term peace and stability. The Western tendency to ally with bullies, warlords, smugglers, and other shady characters in pursuit of short-term military advantage actually empowers the forces working against good governance and long-term political stability. Rampant corruption and mafia rule thus persist, making it impossible for Afghans to believe in the institutional reforms and rule of law that are clearly necessary. This must change-- otherwise, the chances of building responsive and sustainable governmental structures are slim, indeed. Felbab-Brown combines thorough research and analysis with vivid personal accounts of her time spent in the war-torn nation--powerful vignettes illustrating the Afghan aspirations for peace, stability, and sovereignty and the stubborn obstacles to securing them. "The year 2014 will mark a critical juncture in Afghanistan's odyssey. After more than a decade of arduous fighting and political involvement, the U.S. and international presence there will be significantly reduced and circumscribed. Although the international community has committed itself not to abandon Afghanistan as it did in the 1990s, the onus will be on the Afghan government to provide for the security of the country, its economic development, and governance that attempts to meet the needs of the Afghan people. Difficult challenges, major unresolved questions, and worrisome trends surround all three sets of processes. The biggest hole in the U.S. strategy and international efforts to stabilize the country is the failure to adequately address the country's fractured and brittle political system and very poor governance."--fromAspiration and Ambivalence

The Wall

Author: Vanda Felbab-Brown
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815732953
Size: 41.67 MB
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In her Brookings Essay, The Wall, Brookings Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown explains the true costs of building a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, including (but not limited to) the estimated $12 to $21.6 billion price tag of construction. Felbab-Brown explains the importance of the United States’ relationship with Mexico, on which the U.S. relies for cooperation on security, environmental, agricultural, water-sharing, trade, and drug smuggling issues. The author uses her extensive on-the-ground experience in Mexico to illustrate the environmental and community disruption that the construction of a wall would cause, while arguing that the barrier would do nothing to stop illicit flows into the United States. She recalls personal interviews she has had with people living in border areas, including a woman whose family relies on remittances from the U.S., a teenager trying to get out of a local gang, and others.

Shooting Up

Author: Lukasz Kamienski
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 1849048835
Size: 69.76 MB
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From hallucinogenic mushrooms and LSD, to coca and cocaine; from Homeric warriors and the Assassins to the first Gulf War and today's global insurgents - drugs have sustained warriors in the field and have been used as weapons of warfare, either as non-lethal psychochemical weapons or as a means of subversion. Lukasz Kamienski explores why and how drugs have been issued to soldiers to increase their battlefield performance, boost their courage and alleviate stress and fear - as well as for medical purposes. He also delves into the history of psychoactive substances that combatants 'self-prescribe', a practice which dates as far back as the Vikings. Shooting Up is a comprehensive and original history of the relationship between fighting men and intoxicants, from Antiquity till the present day, and looks at how drugs will determine the wars of the future in unforeseen and remarkable ways.

The Extinction Market

Author: Vanda Felbab Brown
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190911700
Size: 70.43 MB
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The planet is currently experiencing alarming levels of species loss caused in large part by intensified poaching and wildlife trafficking driven by expanding demand, for medicines, for food, and for trophies. Affecting many more species than just the iconic elephants, rhinos, and tigers, the rate of extinction is now as much as 1000 times the historical average and the worst since the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. In addition to causing irretrievable biodiversity loss, wildlife trafficking also poses serious threats to public health, potentially triggering a global pandemic. The Extinction Market explores the causes, means, and consequences of poaching and wildlife trafficking, with a view to finding ways of suppressing them. Vanda Felbab-Brown travelled to the markets of Latin America, South and South East Asia, and eastern and southern Africa, to evaluate the effectiveness of various tools, including bans on legal trade, law enforcement, and interdiction; allowing legal supply from hunting or farming; alternative livelihoods; anti- money-laundering efforts; and demand reduction strategies. This is an urgent book offering meaningful solutions to one of the world's most pressing crises.

The Border Challenge

Author: T. Michael Andrews
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 0761857095
Size: 63.14 MB
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This book presents an insider’s view of the federal government’s dual mission to stop the flow of illegal drugs across our borders and to prevent streams of drug money from financing drug cartels, insurgents, and terrorists. Andrews focuses on current challenges facing federal drug enforcement agencies.

Dangerous Liaisons

Author: Kevin Casas-Zamora
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815725299
Size: 42.95 MB
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The relationship between criminal syndicates and politicians has a long history, including episodes even from the earliest years of America’s colonies. But while organized crime may not get the headlines it once did in North America, the resurgence of such criminal activity in Latin America, and in some European nations, has grabbed the public’s attention. In Dangerous Liaisons noted scholars describe and analyze the role of organized crime in the financing of politics in selected democracies in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico) and in Europe (Bulgaria and Italy). The book seeks to unravel the myths that have developed around crime in these locales, while providing facts and informing the debate on how organized crime corrupts democratic institutions, especially in relation to the funding of political parties and their activities. Among the subjects studied in detail are the role of organized crime in political finance through the lens of Argentina’s presidential campaigns of 1999 and 2007; Brazil’s elected officeholders and their role in corruption; the weakness of Colombia’s democracy; the growing role of money in Costa Rica’s politics; the destructive effects of drug money on Mexican institutions; the link between organized crime—narrowly and broadly understood—and political financing in Bulgaria; and crime and political finance in Italy. The work of the scholars corrects what volume editor Kevin Casas-Zamora calls “a glaring gap in the literature on the role of organized crime in the corruption of democratic institutions.” That is, the funding of political parties and their activities—which in these cases are mostly election campaigns. The chapters not only present the evidence but also can be regarded as a call to action. Contributors include Leonardo Curzio (CISAN/UNAM), Donatella della Porta (European University Institute), Delia Ferreira Rubio (a member of the international board of directors of Transparency International), Mauricio Rubio (a researcher at the External University of Colombia), Daniel Smilov (Center for Liberal Strategies, Sofia), Bruno Wilhelm Speck (University of Campinas), and Alberto Vannucci (University of Pisa).

The Executioner S Men

Author: George W. Grayson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351483153
Size: 18.21 MB
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Los Zetas represent a new generation of ruthless, sadistic pragmatists in Mexico and Central America who are impelling a tectonic shift among drug trafficking organizations in the Americas. Mexico's marines have taken down the cartel's top leaders; nevertheless, these capos and their desperados have forever altered how criminal business is conducted in the Western Hemisphere. This narrative brings an unprecedented level of detail in describing how Los Zetas became Mexico's most diabolical criminal organization before suffering severe losses. In their heyday, Los Zetas controlled networks of American police, politicians, judges, and businessmen. The Mexican government is losing its "war on drugs," despite the military, technical, and intelligence resources provided by its northern neighbor. Subcontracted street gangs operate in hundreds of US cities, purchasing weapons, delivering product, executing targeted foes, and bribing the US Border Patrol. Despite crippling losses Los Zetas still dominate Nuevo Laredo, the major portal for legal and illegal bilateral commerce. They also work hand-in-glove with the underworld in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, as well as with gangs like the Maras Salvatruchas.

Children Of The Drug War

Author: Damon Barrett
Publisher: IDEA
ISBN: 9781617700187
Size: 18.19 MB
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Book Description: A unique collection of original essays that investigates the impacts of the war on drugs on children and young people. With contributions from around the world and utilizing a wide range of styles and approaches including ethnographic studies, personal accounts and interviews, the book asks three fundamental questions: What have been the costs to children of the war on drugs? Is the protection of children from drugs a solid justification for current policies? What kinds of public fears and preconceptions exist in relation to drugs and the drug trade?

Beyond The Eagle S Shadow

Author: Virginia Garrard-Burnett
Publisher: UNM Press
ISBN: 082635369X
Size: 79.90 MB
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The dominant tradition in writing about U.S.–Latin American relations during the Cold War views the United States as all-powerful. That perspective, represented in the metaphor “talons of the eagle,” continues to influence much scholarly work down to the present day. The goal of this collection of essays is not to write the United States out of the picture but to explore the ways Latin American governments, groups, companies, organizations, and individuals promoted their own interests and perspectives. The book also challenges the tendency among scholars to see the Cold War as a simple clash of “left” and “right.” In various ways, several essays disassemble those categories and explore the complexities of the Cold War as it was experienced beneath the level of great-power relations.