Monday, March 02, 2009

The Rising Power of the Drug Cartels

A few months ago, over at New Atlanticist, I argued that NATO, as a security organization, was ignoring new threats and perils along its southern frontiers. Back then, piracy loomed as the major threat, but just behind it has been the growing reach of the drug cartels.

Now, Scott Baldauf of the Christian Science Monitors speculates whether the Colombian drug cartels might have been behind the assassination of the president of Guinea-Bissau.

He notes:
In recent years, Colombian drug cartels have begun flying small planes across the Atlantic, landing on tiny islands dotting the Guinean coastline. Since Guinea-Bissau has no navy to patrol its waters, the cartels were free to unload tons of cocaine destined for Europe. The drugs were then distributed to impoverished African migrants, who would carry the drugs north by boat to the shores of France, Italy, and Spain.

Government corruption, fed by poor government salaries at the bottom and uncertain political leadership at the top, means that Guinea Bissau has few tools to stop the drug trafficking.

Add to that what is happening in Mexico--grave enough for Foreign Policy to label it part of the Axis of Instability, and you have a problem that deserves more attention than it seems to be getting.

France Italy and Spain...

Sure but lets not forget PORTUGAL.

Guinea-Bissau's former colonial power, from where there are direct flights to and from Bissau.
Thanks for the correction, Miguel.
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