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Enter 9/11: Latin America and the Global War on Terror

  • Markus-Michael Müller (a1)


This article offers an analysis of the transnational discursive construction processes informing Latin American security governance in the aftermath of 9/11. It demonstrates that the Global War on Terror provided an opportunity for external and aligned local knowledge producers in the security establishments throughout the Americas to reframe Latin America's security problems through the promotion of a militarised security epistemology, and derived policies, centred on the region's ‘convergent threats’. In tracing the discursive repercussions of this epistemic reframing, the article shows that, by tapping into these discourses, military bureaucracies throughout the Americas were able to overcome their previous institutional marginalisation vis-à-vis civilian agencies. This development contributed to the renaissance of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism discourses and policies in the region, allowing countries such as Colombia and Brazil to reposition themselves globally by exporting their military expertise for confronting post-9/11 threats beyond the region.

Spanish abstract

Este artículo ofrece un análisis de los procesos de construcción discursiva transnacional que permearon a la gobernanza de seguridad latinoamericana en las postrimerías del 9/11. Demuestra que la Guerra Global contra el Terror fue una oportunidad para los productores externos de seguridad y los productores locales alineados con éstos en las Américas para redefinir los problemas latinoamericanos de seguridad a través de la promoción de una epistemología de seguridad militarizada, y sus políticas derivadas, que se centró en las ‘amenazas convergentes’ de la región. Al rastrear las repercusiones discursivas de este replanteamiento epistémico, el artículo muestra que al aprovechar tales discursos, las burocracias militares a lo largo del continente pudieron superar su previa marginación institucional vis-à-vis las agencias civiles. Tal desarrollo contribuyó al renacimiento de los discursos y políticas de contra-insurgencia y contra-terrorismo en la región, permitiendo a países como Colombia y Brasil reposicionarse globalmente al exportar su conocimiento militar para confrontar las amenazas post 9/11 más allá de la región.

Portuguese abstract

Este artigo oferece uma análise dos processos de construção discursivos transnacionais que informaram a governança de segurança da América Latina após os atentados de 11 de Setembro. O artigo demonstra que a Guerra Global contra o Terror providenciou uma oportunidade de alinhamento entre inteligências internacionais e locais nas seguranças internas em grande parte das Américas. Isso se deu com o intuito de re-enquadrar os problemas de segurança da América Latina através da promoção de epistemologia de segurança militarizada e suas políticas derivadas, centrada nas ‘ameaças convergentes’ da região. Ao traçar as repercussões discursivas desse re-enquadramento epistêmico, este artigo mostra que ao acessar estes discursos, burocracias militares em todas as Américas foram capazes de superar sua marginalização institucional anterior em comparação às agências civis. Este desenvolvimento contribuiu para o renascimento de discursos e política de contra-insurgência e contra-terrorismo na região, o que permitiu que países como Brasil e Colômbia se reposicionassem no cenário global através da exportação de seus conhecimentos militares usados para combater ameaças pós 11 de Setembro na região.

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2 Arias, Enrique Desmond and Goldstein, Daniel M. (eds.), Violent Democracies in Latin America (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010).

3 Pearce, Jenny, ‘Perverse State Formation and Securitized Democracy in Latin America’, Democratization, 17: 2 (2010), pp. 286306.

4 See, for example, Arias, Enrique Desmond, Criminal Enterprises and Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016); Willis, Graham Denyer, The Killing Consensus: Police, Organized Crime, and the Regulation of Life and Death in Urban Brazil (Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015); Hilgers, Tina and Macdonald, Laura (eds.), Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: Subnational Structures, Institutions, and Clientelistic Networks (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017); Lessing, Benjamin, Making Peace in Drug Wars: Crackdowns and Cartels in Latin America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017); Pansters, Wil (ed.), Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012).

5 But see Hathazy, Paul, ‘Punitivism with a Human Face: Criminal Justice Reformers’ International and Regional Strategies and Penal-State Making in Argentina, Chile and Beyond’, Kriminologisches Journal, 48: 4 (2016), pp. 294310; Moe, Louise Wiuff and Müller, Markus-Michael, ‘Counterinsurgency, Knowledge Production and the Traveling of Coercive Realpolitik between Colombia and Somalia’, Cooperation and Conflict, 53: 2 (2018), pp. 193215.

6 Fischer, Frank, ‘Policy Analysis in Critical Perspective: The Epistemics of Discursive Practices’, Critical Policy Studies, 1: 1 (2007), p. 103.

7 See, for example, United Nations Security Council, 7272nd Meeting, ‘Threats to International Peace and Security’ (New York: UN, 2014); United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Manual for Judicial Training Institutes, South-Eastern Europe (Vienna: UNODC, 2017); US Department of State, Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism, Country Reports on Terrorism (Washington, DC: Department of State, 2017), pp. 913.

8 Neumann, Peter R., Old and New Terrorism: Late Modernity, Globalization and the Transformation of Political Violence (Cambridge: Polity, 2009), pp. 1448.

9 Sullivan, Mark P. and Beittel, June S., Latin America: Terrorism Issues (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2016), p. i.

10 Ucko, David, The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2009).

11 Miklaucic, Michael and Brewer, Jacqueline, ‘Introduction’, in Miklaucic, Michael and Brewer, Jacqueline (eds.), Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 2013), p. xiii. This nexus is also discussed as the ‘crime-terror continuum’ or the ‘crime-terror interface’; see Grabosky, Peter and Stohl, Michael, Crime and Terrorism (Los Angeles, CA: Sage, 2010), pp. 68, 71–86.

12 Müller, Markus-Michael, ‘Punitive Entanglements: The “War on Gangs” and the Making of a Transnational Penal Apparatus in the Americas’, Geopolitics, 20: 3 (2015), pp. 696727; Zilberg, Elana, Space of Detention: The Making of a Transnational Gang Crisis between Los Angeles and El Salvador (Durham: Duke University Press 2011), pp. 220–7.

13 Voß, Jan-Peter and Freeman, Richard (eds.), Knowing Governance: The Epistemic Construction of Political Order (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

14 Haas, Peter M., ‘Introduction: Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination’, International Organization, 46: 1 (1992), p. 3.

15 Durão, Susana, ‘Formação internacional, comunidades de saberes e mudança institucional: os oficiais de polícia africanos formados em Lisboa’, Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública, 9: 1 (2015), pp. 131–2.

16 Moe and Müller, ‘Counterinsurgency’, p. 207.

17 Haas, ‘Introduction’, pp. 27, 2.

18 Newburn, Tim, Jones, Trevor and Blaustein, Jarrett, ‘Policy Mobilities and Comparative Penality’, Theoretical Criminology, 22: 4 (2018), p. 572.

19 Peck, Jamie and Theodore, Nik, Fast Policy: Experimental Statecraft at the Threshold of Neoliberalism (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2015), p. xxiv.

20 Ellison, Graham and Pino, Nathan W., Globalization, Police Reform and Development: Doing it the Western Way? (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 78.

21 Peck and Theodore, Fast Policy, p. 67.

22 Riemer, Nick, ‘Internalist Semantics. Meaning, Conceptualization and Expression’, in Riemer, Nick (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Semantics (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016), p. 32.

23 Latour, Bruno, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

24 Bueger, Christian and Bethke, Felix, ‘Actor-networking the “Failed State”: An Enquiry into the Life of Concepts’, Journal of International Relations and Development, 17: 1 (2014), pp. 40–1.

25 Latour, Reassembling the Social, pp. 12, 260.

26 Mitchell, Timothy, ‘The Work of Economics: How a Discipline Makes its World’, European Journal of Sociology, 46: 2 (2005), p. 304.

27 Peck and Theodore, Fast Policy, p. 29.

28 Ucko, The New Counterinsurgency Era.

29 Cassidy, Robert M., Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War (Westport, CN: Praeger, 2006), p. 15.

30 Felbab-Brown, Vanda, Shooting Up: Counterinsurgency and the War on Drugs (Washington, DC: Brookings, 2009), p. 9.

31 ‘Threat Posed by the Convergence of Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking and Terrorism. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, 13 Dec. 2000’ (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2000), pp. 31, 13.

32 Strobe Talbott, ‘Foreword’, in Felbab-Brown, Shooting Up, p. ix.

33 Thomas E. Ricks, ‘The COINdinistas’, Foreign Policy, 30 Nov. 2009.

34 Haas, ‘Introduction’, p. 3.

35 Metz, Steven, ‘Rethinking Insurgency’, in Rich, Paul B. and Duyvesteyn, Isabelle (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012), p. 32, fn. 1.

36 Scahill, Jeremy, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield (New York: Nation, 2013), p. 468.

37 Hodge, Nathan, Armed Humanitarians: The Rise of the Nation Builders (New York: Bloomsbury, 2011), pp. 1016, 181–2, 268; Kaplan, Fred, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013), pp. 98, 140–1.

38 Ricks, ‘The COINdinistas’.

39 Key publications include Kilcullen, David, The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); Counterinsurgency (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); Coming Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla (Oxford: Oxford University, 2013).

41 Hodge, Armed Humanitarians, p. 150.

42 See Kaplan, The Insurgents.

43 FM 3-24, 5-65. (Please note that military doctrinal publications, usually, have no page numbers. Throughout this article, the numbers/letters noted after such publications refer to paragraphs/subsections.)

44 Ibid., 3-61, 3-63.

45 Ibid., A-45.

46 Ibid., I-56.

47 ‘NSDD 221: Narcotics and National Security’ (Washington, DC: The White House, 1986), p. 2, available at, last access 28 Feb. 2020.

48 Carpenter, Ted Galen, Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington's Futile War on Drugs in Latin America (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), p. 32.

49 US Congressional Record. ‘Proceedings and Debates of the 100th Congress, Second Session, Vol. 134, Pt. 18’ (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1988), p. 26331.

50 Carpenter, Bad Neighbor Policy, p. 32.

51 Nadelmann, Ethan, Cops across Borders: The Internationalization of U.S. Criminal Law Enforcement (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993), p. 473.

52 Andreas, Peter and Nadelmann, Ethan, Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 169–74.

53 Johnson, Stephen, Forman, Johanna Mendelson and Bliss, Katherine, Police Reform in Latin America: Implications for US Policy (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic Studies and International Affairs, 2012), pp. 1617. See also Neild, Rachel, ‘U.S. Police Assistance and Drug Control Policies’, in Youngers, Coletta A. and Rosin, Eileen (eds.), Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: The Impact of U.S. Policy (Boulder: CO: Lynne Rienner, 2005), pp. 6197.

54 Adam Isacson, ‘The U.S. Military and the War on Drugs’, in Youngers and Rosin (eds.), Drugs and Democracy, pp. 28–32.

55 See, last access 15 Jan. 2020; Michaels, Jeffrey M., The Discursive Trap and the US Military: From the War on Terror to the Surge (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp. 6972.

56 Emerson, R. Guy, ‘Radical Neglect? “The War on Terror” and Latin America’, Latin American Politics and Society, 52: 1 (2010), p. 40.

57 Robert Killebrew, ‘A Volatile Brew’, Small Wars Journal (2008), available at, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

58 Recent publications include Sloan, Stephen and Bunker, Robert J. (eds.), Red Teams and Counterterrorism Training (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011); Bunker, Robert J. and Sullivan, John P. (eds.), Studies in Gangs and Cartels (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013); Bunker, Robert J., Criminal Insurgencies in Mexico and the Americas: The Gangs and Cartels Wage War (London: Routledge, 2012); or Narcos Over the Border: Gangs, Cartels and Mercenaries (London: Routledge, 2010).

59 See, for example, John P. Sullivan, ‘From Drug Wars to Criminal Insurgency: Mexican Cartels, Criminal Enclaves and Criminal Insurgency in Mexico and Central America, and their Implications for Global Security’, Vortex Working Paper No. 6, March 2012, available at., last access 15 Jan. 2020.

60 Kaplan, The Insurgents, p. 158.

61 See Manwaring, Max G., A Model for the Analysis of Insurgencies (Washington, DC: BDM Management Services, 1988).

62 Corr, Edwin G., ‘Foreword’, in Manwaring, Max G., Gangs, Pseudo-Militaries, and Other Modern Mercenaries: New Dynamics in Uncomfortable Wars (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010), pp. xixii; Kaplan, The Insurgents, pp. 157–8. See also John A. Nagl's endorsement on the jacket of Manwaring, Gangs, Pseudo-Militaries, and Other Modern Mercenaries.

63 Manwaring, Max G., Street Gangs: The New Urban Insurgency (Carlisle, PA: US Army War College, 2005).

64 Manwaring, Max G., Insurgency, Terrorism, and Crime: Shadows from the Past and Portents for the Future (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008); Gangs, Pseudo-Militaries, and Other Modern Mercenaries; The Complexity of Modern Asymmetric Warfare (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2012).

65 Manwaring, The Complexity, p. 103.

66 For an earlier analysis of El Centro and the application of this framing to Guatemala, see Hochmüller, Markus and Müller, Markus-Michael, ‘Locating Guatemala in Global Counterinsurgency’, Globalizations, 13: 1 (2016), pp. 94–8.

67 See, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

68 Grillo, Ioan, El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency (New York: Bloomsbury, 2012).

69 Robert Muggah and John. P. Sullivan, ‘The Coming Crime Wars’, Foreign Policy, 21 Sept. 2018.

70 See, last access 15 Jan 2020.

71 John P. Sullivan and Adam Elkus, ‘State of Siege: Mexico's Criminal Insurgency’, Small Wars Journal, available at, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

72 See, for example, Sullivan, ‘From Drug Wars to Criminal Insurgency’; Sullivan, John P. and Bunker, Robert J.Cartel Evolution Revisited: Third Phase Cartel Potentials and Alternative Futures in Mexico’, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 21: 1 (2010), pp. 35–6, 44.

73 Devin M. Henry, ‘Criminal Networks: A Gateway for Terrorists’, Small Wars Journal, available at, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

74 Killebrew, Robert and Bernal, Jennifer, Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels and US National Security (Washington, DC: Center for a New American Security, 2010), p. 6.

75 Crandall, Russell, The Salvador Option: The United States in El Salvador, 1977–1992 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

76 This argument is developed in Müller, ‘Punitive Entanglements’, pp. 711–13.

77 ‘Masivo envío de invitaciones a la fiesta por la toma de Calderón’, La Jornada, 26 Nov. 2006.

78 US Joint Forces Command, The Joint Operating Environment 2008 (Suffolk, VA: US Joint Forces Command Center for Joint Futures, 2008); Miklaucic, Michael, ‘An Interview with General John Kelly’, PRISM, 5: 4 (2014), pp. 208–9.

79 See, for example, Bow, Brian, ‘Beyond Mérida? The Evolution of the U.S. Response to Mexico's Security Crisis’, in Bow, Brian und Santa-Cruz, Arturo (eds.), The State and Security in Mexico: Transformation and Crisis in Regional Perspective (New York: Routledge, 2013), p. 77.

80 Toledo, Roberto, ‘How Congress Has Legitimated Latin American Counter-Insurgency’, Peace Review, 16: 4 (2004), p. 503.

81 Testimony of Douglas Farah before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, 4 Feb. 2014. See, last access 28 Feb. 2020.

82 Vanda Felbab-Brown, ‘Written Testimony Prepared for the Hearing before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Global Narcotic Affairs, A Shared Responsibility: Counternarcotics and Citizen Security in the Americas’ (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2011), p. 31.

83 Ibid., p. 33.

84 US Congress, Joint Hearing before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, ‘Has Mérida Evolved? Part One: The Evolution of Drug Cartels and the Threat to Mexico's Governance’ (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2011), p. 24.

85 Available at, last access 15 Jan. 2020. See also Hochmüller and Müller, ‘Locating Guatemala’, p. 100.

86 President of the United States, Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime. Addressing Convergent Threats to National Security (Washington, DC: The White House, 2011), p. 6.

87 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, updated 8 Sept. 2010, available at, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

89 See, for example, Bartell, Dawn L. and Gray, David H., ‘Hezbollah and Al-Shabaab in Mexico and the Terrorist Threat to the United States’, Global Security Studies, 3: 4 (2012), pp. 100–14; Duncan Deville, ‘The Illicit Supply Chain’, in Miklaucic and Brewer (eds.), Convergence, p. 71; Vanessa Neumann, ‘The New Nexus of Narcoterrorism: Hezbollah and Venezuela’, Foreign Policy Research Institute E-Notes (Dec. 2011), available at, last access 15 Jan. 2020; George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute and the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College (eds.), The Hybrid Threat: Crime, Terrorism and Insurgency in Mexico (Washington, DC, 2011); Realuyo, Celina B., ‘The Terror-Crime Nexus: Hezbollah's Global Facilitators’, PRISM, 5: 1 (2014), pp. 117–31. For a rare academic analysis, see Costa, Thomaz G. and Schulmeister, Gastón H., ‘The Puzzle of the Iguazu Tri-Border Area: Many Questions and Few Answers Regarding Organised Crime and Terrorism Links’, Global Crime, 8: 1 (2007), pp. 2639. Even the DoS’ 2017 Country Reports on Terrorism states that while ‘many Latin American countries have porous borders, limited law enforcement capabilities, and established smuggling routes’, which ‘offer opportunities to foreign terrorist groups […] there have been no cases of terrorist groups exploiting these gaps to move operations through the region [the Western Hemisphere]’. See, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

90 Becker, David C., ‘Gangs, Netwar and “Community Counterinsurgency” in Haiti’, PRISM, 2: 3 (2010), pp. 137, 151.

91 Müller, Markus-Michael and Steinke, Andrea, ‘The Geopolitics of Brazilian Peacekeeping and the United Nations’ Turn Towards Stabilisation in Haiti’, Peacebuilding, 8: 1 (2020), pp. 5477.

92 C-H-B first aims at destroying/expulsing insurgents, followed by the permanent deployment of a security force, and, ultimately, the improvement of living conditions through social-service delivery, see FM 3-24, 5-51–5-80.

93 Hochmüller and Müller, ‘Locating Guatemala’, p. 103.

94 Quoted in Michael L. Evans, ‘U.S. Drug Policy and Intelligence Operations in the Andes’, Institute for Policy Studies, available at, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

95 Rejas, María José Rodríguez, La norteamericanización de la seguridad en América Latina (Mexico City: Akal, 2017); Albuja, Sebastián, ‘Stabilization Next Door: Mexico's US-backed Security Intervention’, in Muggah, Robert (ed.), Stabilization Operations, Security and Development: States of Fragility (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014), pp. 167–81.

96 Epstein, Susan B. and Rosen, Lina W., U.S. Security Assistance and Security Cooperation Programs: Overview of Funding Trends (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2018), p. 2.

99 See, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

100 US Department of Defense, Counternarcotics and Global Threats Strategy (Washington, DC: 2010), p. 5.

101 William F. Wechsler and Gary Barnabo, ‘The Department of Defense's Role in Combating Transnational Organized Crime’, in Miklaucic and Brewer (eds.), Convergence, pp. 235, 241.

102 DoD, Counternarcotics, p. 15.

103 ‘Statement of Policy by the National Security Council, United States Objectives and Courses of Action with respect to Latin America’, 3 Sept. 1954, in Foreign Relations of the United States 1952–1954, vol. 4 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1983), p. 82.

104 See, for example, Gill, Lesley, The School of the Americas: Military Training and Political Violence in the Americas (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004); Huggins, Martha K., Political Policing: The United States and Latin America (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998).

105 Carpenter, Bad Neighbor Policy, pp. 33–58.

106 Moran, Daniel, ‘Doctrine, Military’, in Holmes, Richard (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Military History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 262.

107 Bickel, Keith B., Mars Learning: The Marine Corps’ Development of Small Wars Doctrine, 1915–1940 (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2001), pp. 4, 812.

108 See, for example, Bruyère-Ostells, Walter and Dumasy, François (eds.), Pratiques militaires et globalisation, XIXe–XXIe siècles (Paris: Bernard Giovanangeli, 2014); Barkawi, Tarak, Globalization and War (Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield, 2006).

109 David E. Spencer, ‘Post-Cold War Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Latin America’, in Rich and Duyvesteyn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency, p. 240.

110 Carpenter, Bad Neighbor Policy, p. 49.

111 Muggah and Sullivan, ‘The Coming Crime Wars’.

112 According to the Stockholm Institute for Peace Research (SIPRI)'s Military Expenditure Database, the region's military budgets (for South America, Central America and the Caribbean), measured by constant 2017 exchange rates, only ‘modestly’ increased from US$33.9 billion in 1990 to US$36.5 billion in 2000. This trend reversed after 9/11, with region-wide military expenditures increasing from US$44.6 billion in 2001 to US$68.1 billion in 2018. See, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

113 ‘Top Eight Countries Dominate Defense Spending in Latin America’, Defense and Security Monitor, 20 March 2017, available at, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

114 This includes in particular the region's Special Operation Forces that, since 2004, have been regularly participating in joint training exercises within the Fuerzas Comando military competition framework, sponsored by SOUTHCOM, in order to enhance their counter-terrorism capacities by practicing GWOT tactics and methods. ‘Colombia, Ecuador y Costa Rica ganan competencia contra terrorismo’, La Prensa, 28 June 2007. See also, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

115 Lara, Gerardo Rodríguez Sánchez and Juárez, Mario Arroyo, ‘El terrorismo como método del crimen organizado en México’, in Manaut, Raúl Benítez (ed.), Crimen organizado e Iniciativa Mérida en las relaciones México–Estados Unidos (Mexico City: Colectivo de Análisis de la Seguridad con Democracia, 2010), pp. 8796; de Souza Pinheiro, Alvaro, Irregular Warfare, Brazil's Fight Against Criminal Urban Guerrillas (MacDill Air Force Base, FL: Joint Special Operations University, 2012); Eduardo de Oliveira Fernandes, ‘As ações terroristas do crime organizado no Brasil’, Defesanet, 5 Dec. 2016, available at, last Access 15 Jan. 2020.

116 A 2019 SIPRI study ranks Brazil and Colombia as having the world's 12th-highest and 25th-highest military expenditures respectively. See After 9/11, Brazil's military expenditures, measured by constant 2017 US$, increased from 19.339 million in 2000 to 30.679 million in 2018. Colombia's military expenditures rose from 4.859 million in 2000 to 10.303 million in 2018. See–2018%20in%20constant%20%282017%29%20USD%20%28pdf%29.pdf.

118 Bitencourt, Luis, Brazilian Military Culture 2018 (Miami, FL: Florida International University, Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, 2018), p. 25. For US–Brazilian military cooperation in Haiti, see also Müller and Steinke, ‘Geopolitics’.

120 On ‘human terrain’, see González, Roberto J., ‘Ethnographic Intelligence: The Human Terrain System and Its Enduring Legacy’, in Moe, Louise Wiuff and Müller, Markus M. (eds.), Reconfiguring Intervention: Complexity, Resilience and the “Local Turn” in Counterinsurgent Warfare (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 5174.

121 Exército Estado-Maior, Centro de Doutrina Terrestre, ‘Doutrina militar terrestre: Novos conceitos’, available at, last access 15 April 2020.

122 Ministerio de Defensa, Exército Brasileiro, Estado-Maior do Exército, Manual de Fundamentos, Doutrina Militar Terrestre EB20-MF-10.102, Brasilia, 2014,

123 Ibid., 7.5.4.

124 Ministerio de Defensa, Exército Brasileiro, Estado-Maior do Exército, Manual de Campanha EB-20-MC-10.217 Operações de Pacificação, Brasilia, 2015,

125 EB-20-MC-10.217,

126 Renamed ‘Intervention-Stabilisation-Normalisation’, ibid.,

127 Ibid.,,

128 Ibid., 1.2.1.

129 Ibid., 1.2.2.

130 Guevara, Pedro Javier Rojas, ‘Doctrina Damasco: eje articulador de la segunda gran reforma del Ejército Nacional de Colombia’, Revista Científica General José María Córdova, 15: 9 (2017), p. 98.

131 Ibid., p. 101, emphasis added.

132 Ejército Nacional de Colombia, Manual Fundamental de Referencia del Ejército, MFRE 3-07 Estabilidad (Bogotá, 2017).

133 US Army, FM 3-07 Stability Operations (Washington, DC: Headquarters, Department of Army, 2008).

134 Hodge, Armed Humanitarians, pp. 14-17.

135 MFRE 3-07, 3.8 [3-133].

136 Ejército Nacional de Colombia, Manual Fundamental de Referencia del Ejército, MFRE 3-0 Operaciones (Bogotá, 2017), 1.1.2 [1-14] (original emphasis).

137 Ibid., 2.3 [2-18].

138 Huggins, Political Policing; Hylton, Forrest, ‘Plan Colombia: The Measures of Success’, The Brown Journal of World Affairs, 17: 1(2010), pp. 99115; Filho, João Roberto Martins, ‘Military Ties between France and Brazil during the Cold War, 1959–1975’, Latin American Perspectives, 41: 5 (2014), pp. 167–83; Hernández, Rodríguez and Mauricio, Saúl, La influencia de los Estados Unidos en el ejército colombiano,1951–1959 (Medellín: La Carreta Editores, 2006).

139 FM 3-24, 6-5, 6-12.

140 Rosen, Jonathan D., The Losing War: Plan Colombia and Beyond (Albany, NY: State University of New York, 2014), p. 50; Tickner, Arlene B.Associated-Dependent Security Cooperation: Colombia and the United States’, in Hönke, Jana and Müller, Markus-Michael (eds.), The Global Making of Policing: Postcolonial Perspectives (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016), pp. 96113.

141 Rosen, The Losing War, p. 50.

142 Tickner, ‘Associated-Dependent Security’, pp. 99–100.

143 Ibid.; Rosen, The Losing War, pp. 68–71; Hylton, ‘Plan Colombia’.

144 Davis, Dickie, Kilcullen, David, Mills, Greg and Spencer, David (eds.), A Great Perhaps? Colombia: Conflict and Convergence (London: Hurst, 2016); Moe and Müller, ‘Counterinsurgency’.

147 Tickner, Arlene B., Colombia, the United States, and Security Cooperation by Proxy (Washington, DC: WOLA, 2014), p. 5.

148 Arlene B. Tickner, ‘Exportación de la seguridad y política exterior de Colombia’ (Bogotá: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 2016); Moe and Müller, ‘Counterinsurgency’.

149 Tickner, ‘Exportación’, p. 19.

150 Markus-Michael Müller, ‘Entangled Pacifications: Peacekeeping, Counterinsurgency and Policing in Port-au-Prince and Rio de Janeiro’, in Hönke and Müller (eds.), Global Making, pp. 77–95; Policing as Pacification: Postcolonial Legacies, Transnational Connections and the Militarization of Urban Security in Democratic Brazil’, in Bonner, Michelle, Kempa, Michael, Kubal, Mary Rose and Seri, Guillermina (eds.), Police Abuse in Contemporary Democracies (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 221–47. See also O'Reilly, Connor, ‘Branding Rio de Janeiro's Pacification Model: A Silver Bullet for the Planet of Slums?’, in O'Reilly, Connor (ed.), Colonial Policing and the Transnational Legacy: The Global Dynamics of Policing Across the Lusophone Community (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 227–52; Harig, Christoph, ‘Re-Importing the “Robust Turn” in UN Peacekeeping: Internal Public Security Missions of Brazil's Military’, International Peacekeeping, 26: 2 (2019), pp. 137–64.

152 Roberto Escoto, ‘Guerra irregular: A Brigada de Infantaria Paraquedista do Exército Brasileiro na pacificação de favelas do Rio de Janeiro’, Military Review, Jan.–Feb. 2016, pp. 3–4, available at, last access 15 Jan. 2020. For Visacro's military career, including his publications on ‘irregular warfare’, see, last access 15 Jan. 2020.

153 UNODC, ‘Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa: A Threat Assessment’ (Vienna: UNODC, 2013), p. 9.

155 Quoted in ‘Haiti: UN Peacekeepers Launch Large-scale Operation Against Criminal Gangs’, UN News Service, 9 Feb. 2007.

156 Harig, Christoph and Kenkel, Kai Michael, ‘Are Rising Powers Consistent or Ambiguous Foreign Policy Actors? Brazil, Humanitarian Intervention and the “Graduation Dilemma”’, International Affairs, 93: 3 (2017), pp. 638–9.

157 Steinke and Müller, ‘Geopolitics’, p. 76.

158 Quoted in ‘General behind deadly Haiti raid takes aim at Brazil's gangs’, Reuters, 29 Nov. 2018.

159 Steinke and Müller, ‘Geopolitics’, p. 76.

161 Stepan, Alfred C., ‘The New Professionalism of Internal Warfare and Military Role Expansion’, in Stepan, Alfred C. (ed.), Authoritarian Brazil: Origins, Policies and Futures (New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 1973), pp. 4768.


Enter 9/11: Latin America and the Global War on Terror

  • Markus-Michael Müller (a1)


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