Jamaica Defence Force
Caribbean Journal of Strategic and Security Studies: Volume 1 Number 1
Jamaica Defence Force (JDF)
Business & Money
Caribbean Journal of Strategic and Security Studies: Volume 1 Number 1
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At the crossroads of the Western Hemisphere, the Caribbean Basin assumes a degree of importance far beyond the size of the countries and economies in the region. The sub-region is an increasingly complex and challenging environment. Murder rates in the Caribbean are higher than in any other region of the world. These exceptionally high rates are the result of a number of factors, including powerful local gangs and transnational criminal networks, corruption, and the trafficking of narcotics, weapons, and people. Many Caribbean nations also face pressing resource insecurity, including the lack of affordable and sustainable supplies of energy, food and water. Natural disasters, like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes are ever-present dangers, while rising sea levels could eventually threaten urban settlements and critical infrastructure (such as harbors and airports), in low-lying areas. High levels of violent crime and corruption deter investment, stunt development, and spur migration, perpetuating a downward spiral of socio-economic trends. If left unchecked, this will create a growing number of poorly-educated, disaffected, marginalized youth who see crime and violence as the way to wealth, status and power.

Regional leaders are grappling with these challenges, and are also now having to show their resolve in confronting the threat of terrorism. This threat includes the potential radicalization of ‘lone wolf’ terrorists, the small but steady stream of Caribbean nationals who have joined ISIL in Syria and Iraq, and the potential exploitation of the region’s economic citizenship programs by individuals of highly questionable backgrounds and intentions.

No country whose shores are touched by the Caribbean can contend with these enormous security challenges in isolation. International cooperation is essential in order to contain and manage these threats to peace and stability. Many of the police and military organizations in the region have not yet achieved the level of cooperation, intelligence-sharing and interoperability required to degrade and dismantle the powerful networks of criminals and their facilitators, so this is now a crucial area for action. The search for solutions to these profound problems requires international dialogue and cooperative action.

I am therefore pleased to support the initial edition of this very important and timely new forum, the Caribbean Journal of Strategic and Security Studies, which will bring together a wide swath of regional professionals to share and test the ideas and solutions - to resolve the challenges of the Caribbean region. As you will see in these pages, it will take all of us — U.S. and Carib- bean government and security enterprise leaders; defense, law enforcement, and development professionals; and academic institutions and the private sector alike. It will require all hands on deck
— so let’s get to work.

Admiral Kurt Tidd
Commander, United States Southern Command

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