Bad Neighbor Policy
Washington's Futile War on Drugs in Latin AmericaBook - 2003
Reveals the impact the United States' war on drugs has had on neighboring Latin American nations, noting problems related to high federal spending and bureaucratic anti-drug tactics while citing the potential benefits of revising current systems and policies.
The domestic phase of Washington's war on drugs has received considerable criticism over the years from a variety of individuals. Until recently, however, most critics have not stressed the damage that the international phase of the drug war has done to our Latin American neighbors. That lack of attention has begun to change and Ted Carpenter chronicles our disenchantment with the hemispheric drug war. Some prominent Latin American political leaders have finally dared to criticize Washington while at the same time, the U.S. government seems determined to perpetuate, if not intensify, the antidrug crusade. Spending on federal antidrug measures also continues to increase, and the tactics employed by drug war bureaucracy, both here and abroad, bring the inflammatory "drug war" metaphor closer to reality. Ending the prohibitionist system would produce numerous benefits for both Latin American societies and the United States. In a book deriving from his work at the CATO Institute, Ted Carpenter paints a picture of this ongoing fiasco.
In this scathing attack on the United States' "War on Drugs" in Latin America, Carpenter (Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute) pronounces the policy to have given rise to a rising tide of corruption and violence and a growing hostility among Latin Americans towards their own governments and the United States. He describes the roots of the policy in the Nixon years, examines its expansion and militarization under the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and looks at the possibilities for spreading violence in Colombia and Mexico because of the policy. He also devotes one chapter to discussion of the domestic consequences of the Drug War, urging the abandonment of prohibitionist strategies throughout the Americas. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)