Publications

To access or purchase the publication, please click on the entry that you wish to view.

Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, and Violence in the Americas Today

Edited by Bruce M. Bagley and Jonathan D. Rosen

In 1971, Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. Despite foreign policy efforts and attempts to combat supply lines, the United States has been for decades, and remains today, the largest single consumer market for illicit drugs on the planet.This volume argues that the war on drugs has been ineffective at best and, at worst, has been highly detrimental to many countries. Leading experts in the fields of public health, political science, and national security analyze how U.S. policies have affected the internal dynamics of Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Central America, and the Caribbean islands. Together, they present a comprehensive overview of the major trends in drug trafficking and organized crime in the early twenty-first century.

Mexico-United States Migration: Security Implications

By Roberto Zepeda Martinez and Jonathan D. Rosen

JGI Research Scientist Dr. Jonathan Rosen along with Mexican scholar Roberto Zepeda Martinez just released a newly published journal article titled "Mexico-United States Migration: Security Implications." This piece argues that in order to reduce migration levels, the US and Mexico must work together to regulate migration flows in order to meet the demands for labor force in the US while protecting against illicit movements.

Energy Security, Environmental Sustainability, and Development in Colombia

By Bruce M. Bagley and Jonathan D. Rosen

This work examines energy security and environmental sustainability in Colombia. The chapter begins with an analysis of coal and petroleum production. The Colombian government has sought to increase infrastructure security by combating pipeline attacks by the various guerrilla forces operating in the country. This piece also analyzes natural gas and hydroelectric power in Colombia. In addition, the chapter examines some of the environmental challenges that the country faces. Research indicates that aerial campaigns to combat coca cultivation have had negative environmental consequences. The chapter concludes with an examination of several important factors that will continue to impact Colombian energy security.

Why Raul Castro is happy Fidel is gone

By Brian Latell

What will the newly liberated Raul Castro look like as a leader? He remains as poorly understood today as at any time in his more than 60 years in public life, in large part because he has existed in the shadow of his more charismatic brother. For decades there have been contradictory images of the dogmatic enforcer and the overly sensitive patsy, but the strongest clue as to what kind of leader Raul would be emerged when he took nominal control of the country after Fidel’s illness in 2006. It has been a challenging decade for Raul who often found that his boldest reform initiatives were undermined by his weakened but still meddlesome brother who demanded until the end fidelity to his decades-long revolution. But the economic and social pressures facing Cuba give Raul little choice except to make the dramatic changes that he has long wanted to enact.

History Will Absolve Me: Fidel Castro: Life and Legacy

By Brian Latell

On trial in Santiago for leading a bloody assault on the city’s Moncada garrison, young revolutionary leader Fidel Castro uttered a phrase in court that would come to serve as a rallying cry for his 26th of July Movement and his regime thereafter: “History will absolve me.” Despite the fact that his methods resulted in great loss of life on both sides, Castro never wavered in his belief that in the final reckoning his life’s work would be vindicated—his violence necessary in bringing a new government to Cuba and a new political model to the developing world.

For over fifty years, CIA analyst Brian Latell tracked Fidel Castro relentlessly—getting to know his habits, his fears, and the passions that drove him. In this book, the master spy steps from the shadows to paint a complex and nuanced portrait of the man he came to know better than any other intelligence target—revealing the mind and motivations of one of the most mercurial, passionate, and dominating leaders of the twentieth century.

Culture and National Security in the Americas

By Brian Fonseca and Eduardo Gamarra

With contributions from leading experts, Culture and National Security in the Americas examines the most influential historical, geographic, cultural, political, economic, and military considerations shaping national security policies throughout the Americas. In this volume, contributors explore the actors and institutions responsible for perpetuating security cultures over time and the changes and continuities in contemporary national security policies.

The New US Security Agenda

By Brian Fonseca and Jonathan Rosen

War, nuclear weapons, and terrorism are all major threats to US security, but a new set of emerging threats are challenging the current threat response apparatus and our ability to come up with creative and effective solutions. This book considers new, 'non-traditional' security issues such as: transnational organized crime, immigration and border security, cybersecurity, countering violent extremism and terrorism, environmental and energy security, as well as the rise of external actors. The work examines the major challenges and trends in security and explores the policy responses of the U.S. government. By using international relations theory as an analytical approach, Fonseca and Rosen present how these security threats have evolved over time.

U.S.-Cuba Relations: Charting a New Path

By Jonathan Rosen and Hanna Kassab

This book examines the history of United States foreign policy toward Cuba, focusing on critical junctures and recent strategic shifts. Restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, which were severed officially in January 1961, was a huge shift in U.S. foreign policy. Relations between Cuba and the United States were tumultuous throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and almost escalated into full blown nuclear war in October 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis. The restoration of diplomatic relations marks a fundamental departure as the two countries chart a new course into the twenty-first century. This book traces over seven hundred years of history, setting the context to base an argument in favor of rapprochement. It illustrates the importance of the Cuba deal to break with the past and delegitimize anti-Americanism in the world.

Fragile States in the Americas

By Jonathan Rosen and Hanna Kassab

The Americas face many security challenges, including drug trafficking, organized crime, guerrilla movements, terrorism, and environmental challenges. Experts have long debated whether some countries in the region can be classified as failed states. While various states in the Americas have been labeled as failed states, calling a country a failed state is quite controversial and requires a precise definition of what constitutes a failed state. This book instead discusses fragile states in the Americas. Fragile states are weak states that are fertile grounds for organized crime groups and illegal actors as such groups are able to infiltrate the state apparatus through corruption. The goal of this book is to examine fragile states in the region and the major security challenges that these states face. The cause of state fragility is different for various states.

Theoretically, the work will conceptualize the meaning of fragility as it relates to state survival and autonomy. Empirically, the book focuses on contemporary threats to the survival of fragile states in the Americas. The book explains and analyzes the main political, security, and economic challenges of these states. It employs a wide array of cases that delve into the security and economic threats and priorities of states in the Americas.

The Key to Combating Cyber Insecurity: Changing Behavior, Training the Workforce

By Brian Fonseca

Today, and for the foreseeable future, the individual remains the biggest cyber security liability to organizations. Technologies designed to protect organizational infrastructure have improved significantly over the years and helped defend against hacking and physical attacks to steal information. In this Miami Herald Article, JGI Director Brian Fonseca discusses the need to develop and train the next generation of cybersecurity experts to combat future threats, while ultimately changing the cyber culture in the United States.

Running On Fumes: The Politics of Natural Gas in Bolivia

By Marten Brienen

This article examines energy security in Bolivia during the Evo Morales administration, focusing on natural gas. The article begins by analyzing the Gas Wars and the consequences of such events. Despite the anti-imperialistic rhetoric, President Morales’ administration has implemented fairly conservative fiscal policies. This work focuses on the various challenges that Bolivia faces. Brienen argues that Bolivia will likely become a minor energy player in the regional market as opposed to an energy power house. It is also important to note that many social programs have been funded by the profits from natural gas. However, if more natural gas is not found, it could be possible that Bolivia could become “ungovernable.”

Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking, and Violence in Mexico: The Transition from Felipe Calderón to Enrique Peña Nieto

By Jonathan D. Rosen and Roberto Zepeda

Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking, and Violence in Mexico: The Transition from Felipe Calderón to Enrique Peña Nieto examines the major trends in organized crime and drug trafficking in Mexico. The book provides an exhaustive analysis of drug-related violence in the country. This work highlights the transition from the Felipe Calderón administration to the Enrique Peña Nieto government, focusing on differences and continuities in counternarcotics policies as well as other trends such as violence and drug trafficking.

Cuban Military Culture

By Frank Mora, Brian Fonseca, and Brian Latell

The Revolutionary Armed forces (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias—FAR) have traditionally been the most powerful official institution in Cuba and the central pillar sustaining the communist regime. Beginning with the stunning victory against an American sponsored exile invasion at the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban military became one of the best and most experienced fighting forces of any small nation. This report examines how traditional FAR culture has been characterized by exalted status, confidence, high morale, strict discipline, belief in the leadership of the Castro brothers, and an assertive nationalism antagonistic towards the United States. However, today, it is about a tenth of its previous maximum strength and faces an uncertain future.

Honduran Military Culture

By Orlando J. Pérez and Randy Pestana

The Honduran Armed Forces have been closely linked to the political system since the state’s independence in 1838. The United States is responsible for the professionalization of the Honduran Armed Forces in the post WWII period. The role of the Honduran Armed Forces has shifted since its professionalization. No other military institution—or country for that matter—has had as close relations with the Honduran military than the United States. Increased military aid and training both professionalized and institutionalized the military. This report examines the historical evolution of the Honduran Armed Forces, sources of identity of the Honduran Armed Forces, and the Honduran Armed Forces and Society.

Venezuelan Military Culture

By Brian Fonseca, John Polga-Hecimovich and Harold A. Trinkunas

The Venezuelan Armed Forces, known today as the Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana (National Bolivarian Armed Force, FANB), have been key actors in Venezuelan politics and state building. The military, directly or indirectly, held political power in Venezuela through most of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. Under President Chávez, active-duty and retired military officers assumed political and bureaucratic positions, occupying up to a third of cabinet portfolios, with the FANB becoming one of the principal facilitators of government programs and policy, clearly moving from a restricted domestic role to an active one. This report analyzes the historical evolution of the FANB, sources of military identity, the FANB, and the Venezuelan society.

In Mexico It's Institutions, Stupid

By Brian Fonseca

In this Huffington Post Article, JGI Director Brian Fonseca discusses the importance in strengthening institutions in Mexico.

An Analysis of Colombian Perceptions: Internal and External Actors and the Pursuit of Peace

By Brian Fonseca, José Miguel Cruz, Eduardo Gamarra, Jonathan D. Rosen, Daniela Campos and Randy Pestana

Florida International University’s Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy (JGI) and the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) conducted a study to understand Colombian perceptions towards internal and external actors and Colombia’s pursuit of peace. The study revolved around the analysis of 14 focus groups conducted in seven Colombian cities: Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Cúcuta, Medellín, and Pasto. The results of these focus groups reflect the opinions and perceptions of those who participated in the study.

La Guerra contra las Drogas y la Cooperación internacional: el caso de Colombia

The Drug War and International Cooperation: The Case of Colombia

By Jonathan Rosen and Roberto Zepeda

This article examines U.S. foreign policy towards Colombia with respect to drug trafficking. The analysis concentrates not only on the war on drugs in Colombia but also on the interests of the U.S. in this country and in the region as a whole. The position of Colombia in the war on drugs and the response of Washington to this problem highlight the foreign policy of the U.S. towards other countries in the region regarding drug trafficking and organized crime. This work analyzes cooperation between the U.S. and Colombia regarding the drug war. We conclude the article by assessing the cooperation between the United States and Colombia, taking into account the outcomes but also the nature of cooperation

Toward a Modern Security Policy in the Western Hemisphere

By Brian Fonseca and G. Alexander Crowther

Contemporary United States security policy towards the Western Hemisphere has yet to achieve the level of strategic sophistication seen during the Cold War. Instead, much of our security orientation in the region has centered on narrow-bore, specific policy interests, namely countering drugs and terrorism, neither of which have improved the overall security of our partners in the hemisphere. In the meantime, physical security in the region continues to deteriorate. Crime and violence are rampant and transnational criminal organizations, drug traffickers, and domestic insurgencies continue to operate with impunity in many countries in the Hemisphere. (Published 2/4/2016)

The United States and Colombia: From Security Partners to Global Partners in Peace

By Dan Restrepo, Frank Mora, Brian Fonseca, and Jonathan Rosen

The article, published by the Center for American Progress, examines Colombia’s journey from near state failure to the brink of historic peace with assistance from the United States and the prospects for a stronger U.S.-Colombia partnership. (Published 2/2/16)

The Obama Doctrine in the Americas

By Hanna S. Kassab and Jonathan D. Rosen

This volume examines the foreign policy transition from George W. Bush to Barack H. Obama in relation to the countries of the Americas. In this work, contributors consider the major defining features of their respective policies in dealing with security-related issues. Specifically, they examine whether major differences or continuities truly exist between the foreign policies of Bush and Obama, especially given the perception of American decline. The volume highlights Obama’s foreign policy in the Americas, focusing on issue areas that threaten international security, such as drug trafficking, organized crime, and terrorism. This work provides both theoretical and policy insights for academics and policy analysts interested in foreign affairs.

United States Policy in the Hemisphere: Influencing the State and Beyond

By Frank Mora and Brian Fonseca

Reversing Colombia's Security Deficit: Plan Colombia

By Brian Fonseca

FARC Strategic Communications & The Colombian Peace Process

By Dan Restrepo

Part of the JGI/LACC/ARC/U.S. Southern Command Policy Roundtable Series, this commissioned paper explores the FARC's continued use of more traditional methods of communication, as well as their target audience, and the communication failures of both the FARC and the Government of Colombia in the context of the Columbian Peace Process. (published 7/21/15)

The Russian Media in Latin America

By W. Alejandro Sanchez

Part of the JGI/LACC/ARC/U.S. Southern Command Policy Roundtable Series, this commissioned paper examines Russia's messaging in Latin America, and its role in strengthening the growing ties between Russia and Latin America. {a: (published 4/21/15)

Developing Relationships with the Cuban Military, in the Context of a Changing Cuba

By Geoff Thale

Part of the JGI/LACC/ARC/U.S. Southern Command Policy Roundtable Series, this commissioned paper discusses how the initial steps toward normalizing relations with Cuba opens both opportunities and challenges for agencies of the U.S. government, including the military, as the nation moves toward more normal relations. (published 2/9/15)

U.S.-Cuba Normalizations: Strategic Impacts For U.S. National Security

By Ted Piccone

Part of the JGI/LACC/ARC/U.S. Southern Command Policy Roundtable Series, this commissioned paper discusses the strategic impacts regarding the renewed relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. Piccone discusses the implications for U.S.-Cuban bilateral relations, U.S. relations in the region, and U.S. relations on the global level.

The Politics of Disaster: Tracking the Impact of Hurricane Andrew

By David K. Twigg

From earthquakes to tornados, elected officials' responses to natural disasters can leave an indelible mark on their political careers. In the midst of the 1992 primary season, Hurricane Andrew overwhelmed South Florida, requiring local, state, and federal emergency responses. The work of many politicians in the storm's immediate aftermath led to a curious "incumbency advantage" in the general election a few weeks later, raising the question of just how much the disaster provided opportunities to effectively "campaign without campaigning." David Twigg uses newspaper stories, scholarly articles, and first person interviews to explore the impact of Hurricane Andrew on local and state political incumbents, revealing how elected officials adjusted their strategies and activities in the wake of the disaster. Not only did Andrew give them a legitimate and necessary opportunity to enhance their constituency service and associate themselves with the flow of external assistance, but it also allowed them to achieve significant personal visibility and media coverage while appearing to be non-political or above "normal" politics. This engrossing case study clearly demonstrates why natural disasters often privilege incumbents. Twigg not only sifts through the post-Andrew election results in Florida, but he also points out the possible effects of other past (and future) disaster events on political campaigns in this fascinating and prescient book.

The Winds of Change? Exploring Political Effects of Hurricane Andrew*

By David K. Twigg

Before dawn on August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into south Florida, particularly southern Dade County, and soon become the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Andrew's impacts quickly overwhelmed local and state emergency response capabilities and eventually required major federal assistance, including regular military units. While the social and economic impacts of Hurricane Andrew are relatively well researched, much less attention has been given to its possible political effects. ^ Focusing on incumbent officeholders at three levels (municipal, state legislative, and statewide) who stood for reelection after Hurricane Andrew, this study seeks to determine whether they experienced any political effects from Andrew. That is, this study explores the possible interaction between the famous “incumbency advantage” and an “extreme event,” in this case a natural disaster. The specific foci were (1) campaigns and campaigning (a research process that included 43 personal interviews), and (2) election results before and after the event. ^ Given well-documented response problems, the working hypothesis was that incumbents experienced largely negative political fallout from the disaster. The null hypothesis was that incumbents saw no net political effects, but the reverse hypothesis was also considered: incumbents benefited politically from the event. ^ In the end, this study found that although the election process was physically disrupted, especially in south Dade County, the disaster largely reinforced the incumbency advantage. More specifically, the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew allowed most incumbent officeholders to (1) enhance constituency service, (2) associate themselves with the flow of external assistance, (3) achieve major personal visibility and media coverage, and yet (4) appear non-political or at least above normal politics. Overall, this combination allowed incumbents to very effectively “campaign without campaigning,” a point borne out by post-Andrew election results.