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The Fire Next Door

Mexico’s Drug Violence and the Danger to America
About the Book

Since the Mexican government initiated a military offensive against its country’s powerful drug cartels in December 2006, some 50,000 people have perished and the drugs continue to flow. The growing violence has created concerns that Mexico could become a failed state, and U.S. political leaders also worry that the corruption and violence is seeping across the border into the United States.

In his compelling new book, Ted Galen Carpenter details the growing horror overtaking Mexico and explains how the current U.S.-backed strategies for trying to stem Mexico’s drug violence have been a disaster. Boldly conveyed in The Fire Next Door, the only effective strategy is to defund the Mexican drug cartels by abandoning the failed drug prohibition policy, thereby eliminating the lucrative black‐​market premium and greatly reducing the financial resources of the drug cartels.

About the Author

TED GALEN CARPENTER is a senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., and the author of eight books and more than 350 articles and policy studies. Dr. Carpenter is also a contributing editor to the National Interest and serves on the editorial boards of Mediterranean Quarterly and the Journal of Strategic Studies.

What Others Have Said

"The Fire Next Door documents the human cost that the war on drugs is inflicting on Mexico and so many other countries. U.S. leaders need to understand that by insisting on waging that conflict they are expecting societies in the Western Hemisphere to accomplish the impossible. The primary beneficiaries of the current strategy are the violent, criminal drug cartels, who gain great financial resources that would otherwise be unavailable. Ted Galen Carpenter builds a strong case of a new, far more humane policy."
—Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Former President of Brazil, 1995-2002

"Ted Galen Carpenter's thoughtful new book demonstrates the need for change with great clarity. Both Mexico and the United States would be wise to adopt the strategy discussed in The Fire Next Door."
—From the Foreword by Vicente Fox, Former President of Mexico, 2000-2006