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Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington's Futile War on Drugs in Latin America Hardcover – February 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1403961372 ISBN-10: 1403961379 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Far from a sloganeering metaphor, the war on drugs is an all-too-bloody reality, argues this meticulous and impassioned indictment of U.S. drug policy. While it has eroded civil liberties at home, the author argues, the war on drugs has been a catastrophe for Latin American countries. Their governments have been pressured by the U.S. into adopting a heavy-handed and unpopular program of drug prohibition; peasants have had their crops poisoned by drug eradication programs; dozens of planes have been shot down at the behest of U.S. surveillance teams; and brutal DEA-organized drug sweeps have inspired large protests. Meanwhile, he says, the proceeds from the illicit drug trade flow into the hands of criminal syndicates and guerilla insurgents, fueling the civil war in Colombia and a plague of corruption and gang violence throughout Latin America. Meanwhile, despite all the attempts at suppression, the worldwide market for drugs has exploded and drug prices are as low as ever. Carpenter, a vice president at the libertarian Cato Institute and author of The Captive Press, argues that the failure of the war on drugs is the predictable consequence of defying the law of supply and demand. Given the strong market for drugs, attempts at prohibition result in high prices and irresistible profits for farmers and smugglers willing to risk criminal sanctions. The only solution, he contends, is full legalization of marijuana, cocaine and heroin. It's a provocative thesis, but Carpenter's thorough research, sober argumentation and clear writing strengthen this challenge to what he sees as the reigning prohibitionist orthodoxy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

...war on drugs is an all-too-bloody reality, argues this meticulous and impassioned indictment of U.S. drug policy. (Publishers Weekly Annex (February 3, 2003))

A refreshingly candid, controversial, and hard-hitting assessment of Washington's increasingly expensive...utterly futile campaign against illegal drugs. (Kenneth Maxwell, Foreign Affairs)

Mr. Carpenter asks Washington to stop its demeaning and costly 'spectacle of alternately bribing and threatening its neighbors....' (William H. Peterson, Washington Times)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; 1st edition (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403961379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403961372
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,198,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bert Ruiz on May 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington's Futile War on Drugs in Latin America," by Ted Galen Carpenter is arguably the best book ever written on the American war on drugs in Latin America. This book is engaging and enlightening. Moreover, it is one of the most thoughtful and perceptive analyses we've ever had on Washington's campaign against drug production in Latin America.
This book is truly special. The "Introduction" exposes thirty years of American failure. From there the author explains policy from Presidents' Nixon, to Reagan, to Bush and to Clinton. He then goes on to focus on the dangerous implications of Plan Colombia and of many other flawed strategies that create an "ugly American" image. Finally, the author's narrative arrives at Mexico and the potential for disaster.
In conclusion, author Ted Galen Carpenter bravely outlines a blueprint for peace and for ending the war on drugs. This man has unique vision and this is a very worthy book. Hats off to a tier-one scholar! Highly recommended.
Bert Ruiz
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Independent Review on January 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Ted Galen Carpenter's new book is an indispensable, up-to-date examination of `Washington's futile war on drugs in Latin America,' as its subtitle states the topic. The author, a vice president at the Cato Institute, surveys the history of this policy, dissects the `ugly American' tactics used to carry it out, and concludes with `a blueprint for peace.'
"The title Bad Neighbor Policy cuts to the quick by twisting Roosevelt's `Good Neighbor' phrase of the 1930s to fit the current reality of destructive buck passing that characterizes the U.S. drug war in Latin America today. Most Americans, including drug policy analysts, seldom take this international aspect seriously. Although U.S. policymakers since the Cold War have trumpeted U.S. support for legal, democratic, and market reforms in the region, the `prohibitionist [drug] strategy works at cross purposes to all of these objectives' (p. 167). Indeed as Venezuelan American journalist Carlos Ball remarks, `The war on drugs has done more harm to democratic institutions in Latin America than all the communist guerrillas of the last four decades of the twentieth century combined' (personal correspondence, Ball to William Ratliff, June 24, 2003)....
"Public and government `hysteria' in America reached `record levels' in 1986 after the death of basketball star Len Bias from an overdose of cocaine. This hysteria provoked passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act and the declaration that drug trafficking is a national-security issue that requires significant involvement by U.S. military and intelligence forces. The invasion of Panama to seize Manuel Noriega in 1989 was the most overt U.S. military intervention to date....
"The core of recent drug policy is the Plan Colombia, originally an integrated $7.
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Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington's Futile War on Drugs in Latin America
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