Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Paul R. Viotti, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lynn Holland

Third Advisor

Andrew R. Goetz


American policy, Drug trafficking organizations, Failed state, Mexico, National security, Security


This thesis analyzes the implications of Mexican state failure on United States national security. The growing instability in Mexico due to the actions of the various drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), government corruption, possible human rights abuses and Mexican insurgent groups is examined in order to understand why the Mexican state may fail.

This thesis explores the implications of Mexican state failure on U.S. national security by providing possible scenarios such as continued operations into the United States by Mexican drug trafficking organizations, DTO relationships with American street gangs, regional instability, possible exploitation of the Mexican homeland by terrorist organizations, U.S. economic costs, Mexican refugee flow into the United States, and foreign state intervention into Mexico. This thesis concludes by focusing on American counter-drug policy in Latin America; the last section also provides policy recommendations for American officials.

The United States has delivered tremendous amounts of money and equipment to Mexico. The close proximity of Mexico with the United States, and the permeable border that the U.S. shares with Mexico makes this study relevant to the United States. A Mexican failed state scenario will have an adverse effect on the national security of the United States.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Shadd Allen Pease


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

132 p.


International relations, Latin American studies