September 28, 2010

CNAS Releases New Report - Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels and U.S. National Security

Washington, D.C., September 28, 2010 - As illustrated by the unprecedented violence in Mexico, drug trafficking groups have evolved to not only pose significant challenges to that country, but to governments and societies across the Western Hemisphere, including the United States.

A new report released today by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels and U.S. National Security, surveys organized crime throughout the Hemisphere, analyzes the challenges it poses for the region and recommends the United States replace the "war on drugs" paradigm with comprehensive domestic and foreign policies to confront the interrelated challenges of drug trafficking and violence ranging from the Andean Ridge to American streets.

Crime Wars is the result of a yearlong study by authors Colonel Robert Killebrew, USA (Ret.) and Jennifer Bernal.  They write, "Criminal networks linking cartels and gangs are no longer simply a crime problem, but a threat that is metastasizing into a new form of widespread, networked criminal insurgency. The scale and violence of these networks threaten civil governments and civil societies in the Western Hemisphere and, increasingly, the United States as well."

Crime Wars will be launched at an event this Thursday, September 30, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in the Willard Intercontinental Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom. A reception follows from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. RSVP for the event here. The event will feature a panel of leading experts including: Colonel Robert Killebrew, USA (Ret.), Non-Resident Senior Fellow at CNAS; Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown, Fellow at The Brookings Institution; Roberta Jacobson, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs; Thomas Ricks, Senior Fellow at CNAS; and Michael Shifter, President of the Inter-American Dialogue.

The Crime Wars event will also be webcast live at Webcast viewers can submit questions to panelists via Twitter @CNASdc.