Opening the Mexican door : continental defense cooperation
Burkett, Jeffrey W.
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Today's security environment has changed dramatically and the institutions, which defend our continent against common threats, must adapt to remain viable. Otherwise, the safety, security, and economic prosperity of North America will be in jeopardy. The World Trade Center attack demonstrated that asymmetric threats can approach the U.S. from any direction. This attack also reinforced that natural and technological disasters can have binational consequences and continental impact. Given this, a noticeable missing element in the defense relationship with Canada and Mexico is the absence of a formal policy for bilateral military cooperation in support of civil authorities. Also missing is a Mexican defense coordinating presence at NORAD and USNORTHCOM. This thesis examines U.S.-Mexican security challenges and argues that a bilateral transnational emergency management framework that incorporates a civil-military partnership can serve as the cornerstone upon which North American defense can be built.