U.S. Policy Toward Russia
The Commission on U.S. Policy toward Russia is a joint project of The Nixon Center and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The Commission has presented its recommendations to senior Obama Administration officials and top Russian officials, including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
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.