As long as I’m busy comparing patterns of violence within the US and abroad, here’s another article worth a look. At Foreign Intrigue, Dan Fisher writes that Mexican authorities might do well to replace their failed tactic of taking down cartel kingpins with an approach targeted at suppressing only the most violent cartels. This strategy was used to successfully reduce armed violence by Boston gangs in the 1990s.
A different, and potentially more effective, approach would be to focus enforcement on the most violent DTOs, and on the most violent individuals within those DTOs.[iii] Such an approach would represent a permutation of the highly successful Operation Ceasefire, which involved a whole-of-law-enforcement and judicial system effort to pull all available “levers” in order to reduce gang-related gun violence in Boston, MA. … Operation Ceasefire accounted for a 60% decline in youth homicide victimization in Boston. To achieve this outcome, authorities publically announced a new enforcement strategy targeting the most violent street gangs. The strategy accounted for the fact that a relatively small number of youth were the most prone to killing or being killed, reflecting an iteration of the Pareto Principle described earlier. The public announcement was coupled with conversations with gang members, in order to communicate that acts of gun violence would be prioritized for enforcement. This, along with the “pulling levers” approach, produced a substantial deterrence effect, resulting in the aforementioned significant decline in youth homicide victimization.
I’m trying to think through whether this type of strategy would also be applicable to rebel groups – the analogy doesn’t seem exact to me, but I’m still trying to figure out why not. Would love to hear others’ thoughts as well!