In the study of U.S.-Mexico security cooperation, there exists a fundamental challenge to counterdrug operations; the underlying socioeconomic foundation of narco-trafficking. I argue that the historical and current practice of merely relying on military and law enforcement aid is not sufficient when it comes to addressing this socioeconomic foundation of narco-trafficking and transnational crime organizations (TCOs). Using a rational policy model, the analysis evaluates the Mérida Initiative’s effectiveness at inhibiting drug trafficking operations and decreasing drug-related violence. After demonstrating the ineffectiveness of current counterdrugs policies, this project evaluates three options for future U.S.-Mexico security cooperation utilizing the same criteria used to evaluate the Mérida Initiative. The prerogative of this project is to demonstrate the need for a comprehensive plan that both addresses bilateral security needs as well as the underlying social foundation of narco-trafficking in order to be successful in the ongoing Mexican Narco-War.
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