Author Biography

Paul Rexton Kan is Professor of National Security Studies at the US Army War College. He is the author of the books, Drugs and Contemporary Warfare (Dulles: Potomac Books, 2009) and Cartels at War: Understanding Mexico’s Drug-Fueled Violence and the Challenge to US National Security (Dulles: Potomac Books, 2012). He is the author of numerous articles on the intersection of drug trafficking, crime and modern forms of armed conflict.



Subject Area Keywords

Asymmetric warfare, Irregular warfare, Narcotics trafficking, Special operations forces


Illicit drug trafficking is a prominent national security issue in a globalizing world. Drug trafficking intersects with major security issues such as rogue and narco-states, weak and failing states, insurgencies and terrorism, transnational organized crime and protracted intrastate conflicts. These are the same issues that sets the operational environment for the deployment of SOF. Rather than treating drug trafficking as a singular and separate security issue, global SOF counternarcotics operations must adapt previous approaches to new realities.