How durable are alliances? And how believable are alliance commitments? Stated differently, if the U.S. under Donald Trump or another president ends up being an unreliable ally when push comes to shove, would it be consistent with what we should have expected all along? It turns out these are surprisingly difficult questions to answer.
Violence and corruption in Central America, particularly in the Northern Triangle countries, is causing a wave of outward migration. Since taking office, the Biden administration has pledged to tackle the root causes of the problem, which the Trump administration’s restrictive measures and pressure on regional governments did nothing to address. Meanwhile, efforts at reform across the region face opposition from entrenched interests that benefit from the status quo.
There is no silver bullet for solving the humanitarian challenge on display in the Darien Gap, which thousands of migrants pass through daily. But any solution must involve creating sustainable economic opportunities for residents of border towns, so they are not drawn into the lucrative business of human smuggling.