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This two-part series describes shortcomings in the current U.S. approach to security assistance in the context of broader governance. Part two of the series will examine weaknesses in the U.S. government’s current security assistance policies and programs and recommend measures the U.S. government should take to develop more coherent strategies and effective tools for addressing the interrelated challenges of improving governance and security.

Looking at the timeline of arrests, extraditions and deals in recent months, it looks like the United States was moving to make the case against El Chapo completely airtight, allowing Mexico to detain him until U.S. officials were completely ready to make the official extradition request.

While guns trafficked into Mexico from U.S. stores and gun shows continue to be a blight on Mexico’s security landscape, the news about dozens of German assault rifles found near a major crime scene in Mexico last September highlight another way U.S. firearms could be fueling bloodshed in Mexico. If German firearms exported to Mexican states where corruption is rampant are fueling crime, to what extent are U.S.-government approved firearms exports to Mexico doing the same?

Under the Mérida Initiative, the United States can withhold 15% of its aid to Mexico that falls under its anti-narcotics (INCLE) and foreign military (FMF) programs if the Secretary of State reports that specific human rights conditions are not being met. The State Department’s own report shows that they are not. 

The U.S. removed Paraguay from its list of major narcotics transit or producing countries in September 2010 because illicit substances from there are mostly "trafficked to the neighboring countries of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay but not to the United States." Still, it would be a mistake for the U.S. ignore narcocorruption in Paraguay just because drugs from there don't usually end up in the United States.

Tunisia will become the sixth Arab country (sixteenth overall) to receive this designation following Morocco, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait and Jordan. While the designation seeks to elevate the country’s significance as a regional ally, there are interesting questions about what the designation may mean practically for Tunisia.

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Recent Blog

Oct 23, 2019
The arms, training, and other security assistance that the United States provides foreign...
Aug 18, 2019
According to the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the U.S. views the “reemergence of long-term,...
Jul 22, 2019
A recent article by SAM Director, Christina Arabia, explains how the already difficult task of...
Jul 22, 2019
July 3rd marked the sixth anniversary of the 2013 coup in Egypt, which ousted the now deceased...
Jul 15, 2019
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, R. Clarke Cooper, endured two hours...