Lessons of Diplomacy: An Event in Memory of Richard C. Holbrooke
This special evening is being held in memory of the late Richard C. Holbrooke, former board director and longtime member of CFR. The panelists will discuss the lessons of diplomacy learned from U.S. engagement in Vietnam, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, three areas Ambassador Holbrooke worked on and cared deeply about.
By refocusing from more militarized bilateral security assistance to institution building, Mexico and the United States can work together to strengthen the rule of law, to the benefit of both countries.
Under the security cooperation agreement called the Merida Initiative, the United States provides military and law enforcement assistance to the Mexican government in support of efforts to combat drug cartels and organized crime. The United States and Mexico jointly developed this agreement in response to a substantial increase in drug-related criminal activity and violence on both sides of the border.
Across Mexico, the lawlessness and carnage of the drug wars have given rise to scores of local self-defense forces aiming to defend their communities. The federal government may be tempted to disband and disarm these armed vigilantes, but until it can shape up its security sector, the local groups offer an imperfect but acceptable alternative.