The Latin American Narcotics Trade and U.S. National Security

By Donald J. Mabry | Go to book overview

Foreword

Anthologies are often accompanied by a statement of defense for their existence. Yet, in the case of the present volume it is surely redundant to justify the relevancy of a study of the impact of illegal drug trafficking on American national security--one of the most important concerns of our society today. This intricate web of international issues was analyzed in depth during this past year by the best scholars in the field under the expert leadership of Professor Donald Mabry, a Senior Fellow of the Center for International Security and Strategic Studies, Mississippi State University.

These studies are the fruit of long debate on the importance of narcotics diplomacy within the context of U.S.-Latin American relations. Since Mexico is both a source country and an important link in the trans-shipment route for South American narcotics, and therefore a focal point in the trafficking flow, special attention was given to the views of the Mexican members of the study group. Moreover, the complexity of the issues examined also required that the potential role of the U.S. military in the war on illegal drugs be addressed fully. Ultimately, through their endeavor the group has not only provided a historical perspective on U.S. narcotics policies towards Latin America but also offered a workable solution to the difficult multi-faceted problem of illegal drug trafficking.

Professor Mabry and his team advance immediate clues and longer range perspectives. They quite rightly emphasize the point that the narcotic trade is not only an American national security issue but a grave hemispheric security problem. The solution must come in wide range hemispheric cooperation, including the elimination of the U.S. illegal drug market.

The Center for International Security and Strategic Studies is honored to sponsor this study and extends special thanks to His Excellency Cesar Atala, Ambassador of Peru; the Honorable Mike Moore, Attorney General of the State of Mississippi; Louisa O. Dixon, Public Safety Commissioner of the State of Mississippi; Lt. General Stephen Olmstead, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Drug Policy and Enforcement), Office of the Secretary of

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