Cartel de los Soles

By InSight Crime

The term “Cartel of the Suns” (Cartel de los Soles) is used to describe shadowy groups inside Venezuela’s military that traffic cocaine. 


The Peace and Security Quandary in Mali

By Njoki Wamai

Since Mali adopted a new constitution in 1992, the country was considered democratic as subsequent elections were lauded free and fair as President Alpha Oumar Konare served his term and retired graciously after 2002. His successor President Amadou Tuomani Toure was on the verge of retirement after his two year term, when he was arrested by the military led by Captain Sanogo in March 2012 making Mali the main concern for the African Union’s peace and security agenda in the continent.


The Coming Storm: NATO Withdrawal and Afghan Opium in Central Asia

By John Still

The topic of Afghanistan dominated the May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago. The majority of the discussion revolved around the specifics of NATO’s withdrawal of combat troops in 2014 and the need for continuing aid, training and funding for the Afghan National Security Forces. The problem of illegal drugs was largely ignored.

NATO Conference

Pakistan Defiant As US, NATO Plan to Quit Afghanistan

By Rajeev Sharma

Pakistan is increasingly discarding its role as an ally in the war on terror that it used to get arms and funds from the West and has now launched a campaign of defiance, even as the US finalized its plans to quit Afghanistan at the NATO Chicago Conference on 21 May. In a display of brinkmanship and responding to aid cut by the US Senate, it has even resorted to heaping insults, almost daily, on the US. 

Atlantic Community

Partners in Democracy, Partners in Security: NATO and the Arab Spring

By Alexander Corbeil, Gillian Kennedy, Geoffrey Levin, Vivien Pertusot, Josiah Surface

The Arab Spring has created significant challenges and unprecedented opportunities for NATO and its partners in the Mediterranean region. New security issues have emerged alongside new regimes and regional instability looms. State failure, civil conflict, and institutional collapse could present a number of major security threats, among them the creation of a refugee crisis affecting NATO members, increased illegal arms trafficking, and a breeding ground for militant groups in a Somali-like setting near European shores.

Olympic Security

The Emergence of a National Police Counter Terrorism Service in the UK

By Arthur Hayes

The first edition of the UK Terrorism Analysis was published in early February 2012 by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). One particular section of the report, ‘The Post Olympic Challenge – Staying Secure’ examines the potential reforms to the UK national counterterrorism (CT) community once the 2012 Olympics are over. 


Drones and Targeted Killing, the Protagonists of America’s Modern Warfare

By Nathalie Van Raemdonck

On 10 January 2012, a predator drone killed five presumed terrorists in Pakistan’s North-Waziristan region on the border with Afghanistan. This attack signalled the resumption of drone strikes in Pakistan for the first time since late November 2011, when such actions were curtailed following a misguided NATO airstrike which resulted in the deaths of at least 24 Pakistani soldiers in the country’s north-east.