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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
This book is for anyone who has a vested interest in the Mexican drug war. Paul Kan does a great job of walking the reader, step by step through the reasons for the current situation in Mexico. He addresses cultural, geographic, and political principals that contribute to Mexico's violence and corruption. As an individual who works with US national security every day, i...
Published on December 19, 2012 by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Should've been a long paper rather than a short book
This is a well documented book with well structured arguments. It reads like an advanced academic thesis or a really long policy paper. As such, it provides good background for readers interested in the subject and a jumping of point for further reading. The author does a nice job of highlighting the complexities of dealing with cartels, and the pitfalls that can...
Published 12 months ago by Outnumbered


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, December 19, 2012
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This review is from: Cartels at War: Mexico's Drug-Fueled Violence and the Threat to U.S. National Security (Hardcover)
This book is for anyone who has a vested interest in the Mexican drug war. Paul Kan does a great job of walking the reader, step by step through the reasons for the current situation in Mexico. He addresses cultural, geographic, and political principals that contribute to Mexico's violence and corruption. As an individual who works with US national security every day, i found this work very informative.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and comprehensive look at our drug issues- highly recommended., November 18, 2012
This review is from: Cartels at War: Mexico's Drug-Fueled Violence and the Threat to U.S. National Security (Hardcover)
A unique and thoughtful review of the issues from different perspectives. Highly recommended for all from novice to expert giving a historical overview and possible paths forward.

I really enjoyed this book, couldnt put it down and read it the first time in a day, went back for reference and deeper review several times and expect to return to it more as a reference.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Currently one of the best books on the subject, July 5, 2014
This review is from: Cartels at War: Mexico's Drug-Fueled Violence and the Threat to U.S. National Security (Hardcover)
Far too many 'experts'--usually die-hard drug-warriors and neo-conservative pundits--have tried to fan the flames of hysteria about the 'looming terrorist menace on our southern border' and the 'narco-terrorists' coming to the USA ... usually in order to further their own bureaucratic or institutional interests.

Dr. Kan, an actual expert and a professor of national security studies at the U.S. Army War College, provides a much-needed strategic re-evaluation of the narco-violence currently wracking Mexico. He is particularly clear-headed in his assessment that what is happening in Mexico is neither terrorism nor insurgency, but rather a complex mixture of criminality and incomplete state-formation, brilliantly analyzed through his framework of 'geocriminality'. This alone is worth the price of admission. Though his work is assessed to the U.S. policy-making community, his analysis of potential pathways Mexico might take offers a sober assessment of why policy-makers on both sides of the border need to take 'la violencia' seriously. His geo-criminality framework should find a wider application in helping to analyze the challenges multinational organized crime poses to the all states in the contemporary international system.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Overly abstract and dry, February 16, 2014
By 
Richard T "Richard T" (San Antonio, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartels at War: Mexico's Drug-Fueled Violence and the Threat to U.S. National Security (Hardcover)
I couldn't get past the first few pages. The book apparently attempts to construct a conceptual model to define just what is going on in Mexico (or the hypothetical type of conflict there), without any real feel for Mexico. I found myself not caring whether this is a narco insurgency or a guerilla war or a true hot war. I don't know what happened to Mexico in the definitions process--the book could have easily been describing some overseas nation, or a foreign planet, not our next-door neighbor. This is the first book written about Mexico that I cannot read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Should've been a long paper rather than a short book, January 30, 2014
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Outnumbered (Lake Wobegon, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartels at War: Mexico's Drug-Fueled Violence and the Threat to U.S. National Security (Hardcover)
This is a well documented book with well structured arguments. It reads like an advanced academic thesis or a really long policy paper. As such, it provides good background for readers interested in the subject and a jumping of point for further reading. The author does a nice job of highlighting the complexities of dealing with cartels, and the pitfalls that can result from employing the wrong strategy and tactics.

While the arguments are well structured, they often become overly lengthy on their way to explaining relatively obvious points. Many of the arguments are revisited multiple times throughout the book (e.g. tackling cartels is a different exercise than tackling insurgencies). Then there's the matter of several phrases that have been seemingly coined by the author and used excessively with reserve meaning throughout the book, to the point where they remind me of that song you hear in the morning and still can't get out of your head at dinner time. "Hypercompetive market", "high-intensity crime", "mosaic cartel war" and "violent entreprenuers" are several that come to mind. Finally, I wish the author would have spent a bit more time explaining the relationship between cartels and US intelligence and enforcement services. Recent news suggests these relationships are quite "complex".

On balance, I found this book interesting and informative enough to finish. That said, I also found it to be a bit tedious. I find the value of this book to be in the background it provides as well as the framework it shares for thinking about the cartel problem.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incisive and Revealing, April 12, 2013
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This review is from: Cartels at War: Mexico's Drug-Fueled Violence and the Threat to U.S. National Security (Hardcover)
Well researched and well written. Analyzes Mexico's drug trafficking and its economic, political and cultural effect on Mexico and U.S. A compelling read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, August 26, 2014
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This review is from: Cartels at War: Mexico's Drug-Fueled Violence and the Threat to U.S. National Security (Hardcover)
Great book
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Cartels at War: Mexico's Drug-Fueled Violence and the Threat to U.S. National Security
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