The Perry Center is proud to announce the publication of Security and Defense Studies Review vol. 16. This volume, in anticipation of a number of regional and sub-regional executive events including the upcoming 11th Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas (CDMA) in Arequipa, Peru, focuses on thematic issues of import to the region: cooperative security efforts in the Americas, cyber security, the use of the military to combat transnational organized crime, and external actors in the Americas, among others.
This volume contains seven articles and two book reviews, covering a wide array of topics related to Inter-American security and defense concerns. The volume begins with an article from a group of Argentine authors, Ricardo L. Alessandrini, Silvana L. Elizondo, Virginia Iribarne, and Silvana Pascucci, on cooperative security efforts in Latin America. The authors examine the numerous theoretical dimensions of the topic and the history of cooperative security in the region. They propose a bold reform to the system, one that emphasizes regional initiatives yet also extends responsibility for specific threats to experts.
Lucas Fonseca and Tiago Delgado of Brazil scrutinize the cyber security challenges faced by many Latin American nations. The authors examine the OAS Strategy on Cyber Security and, in particular, the development of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) in many nations. The authors contend that the capacity of government experts to keep up with the rapid evolution of information technology, inadequate or antiquated legislation on cyber security that is rapidly overcome by developments in the computer industry, and sufficient education of prosecutors and judges are challenges faced by most countries in the Americas.
Next, Peterson Silva, a recent alumnus of the Perry Center, examines the 2008 Brazilian National Security Strategy. Silva provides a detailed analysis of the development of the national strategy and an assessment of its functions after five years. Our readers, especially those involved in developing modern defense strategies in a rapidly changing, multi-faceted security environment, might draw important lessons from Brazil’s experience.
Perry Center Editor-in-Chief Pat Paterson and former Perry Center research assistant Cristy Blain of Colombia examine the risks of using the military in operations against transnational organized crime. Paterson teaches the human rights and rule of law course at the Perry Center, and Blain has extensive experience on human rights issues from her studies in France, the United States, and Colombia. After a detailed theoretical discussion of the issues, they use the US experience in Iraq from 2003 to 2008 to demonstrate the clear dangers of deploying the armed forces in support to civilian authorities without adequate education and the proper strategy.
The Perry Center’s Dr. Evan Ellis contributes the next article on China’s growing role in the Americas. Dr. Ellis, one of the United States’ leading authorities on China in Latin America, has published three books and scores of articles on the topic. His most recent analysis takes the readers deep into Chinese foreign relations in Latin America and provides an extraordinary level of detail.
The next chapter of the journal is a summary of Congressional testimony provided by General John Kelly of the US Southern Command and General Chuck Jacoby of the US Northern Command. Between the two of them, they have responsibility for, foremost, protecting the US homeland and, secondly, coordinating security efforts on behalf of the US with its partners in the Western Hemisphere. Their candid reports to Congress are excellent synopses of the multi-faceted forms of crime and threat that the US and its partners face.
The next item in SDSR 16 is drawn from the March 2014 Hemispheric Forum conducted at the Perry Center on the topic of women in peace and security. Perry Center Professor Celina Realuyo hosted a panel of distinguished academic, diplomatic, and defense officials who spoke on that topic. The prestigious panel included representatives of the diplomacy, defense, and development pillars of US national security strategy.
SDSR 16 concludes with two book reviews. Perry Center Assistant Editor Patricia Kehoe provides an in-depth book review of Narcoland, a recent publication by Mexican author Anabel Hernandez, who reports from the frontlines of the war against organized crime in Mexico. Hernandez’s story is a gripping account of the last few years of the drug war in her country, the risks she took to research the book, and the collusion of government officials with traffickers.
Perry Center Professor Kevin Newmeyer provides the second book review on the ethics of US foreign intelligence collection. The book, Balancing Liberty and Security: An Ethical Study of US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance 2001–2009 by Dr. Michelle Louise Atkin, examines the competing theories of utilitarianism and contractarianism to describe how US officials shaped elements of the national security strategy following the 9/11 attacks. It is a profound example of the dilemma Latin American nations also face as they combat elusive threats while at the same time try to respect civil liberties of their constituents.
Our next edition, SDSR 17 (due out in Spring 2015), will focus on stability operations and security consolidation efforts in the Western Hemisphere.