Adam Isacson is a key member of WOLA’s Regional Security Policy team. He is a leading expert on defense, civil-military relations, and U.S. security assistance to the Americas. He collaborates on Just the Facts—a constantly updated source of information and analysis of the United States’ often troubled relationship with Latin America’s militaries. He helped found Just the Facts in the early 1990s.
Mr. Isacson has co-authored dozens of publications, including “Ready, Aim, Foreign Policy” and “Waiting for Change,” which examine the increasing role of the military in U.S. foreign policy. During the 2000s, Mr. Isacson focused on Colombia, the principal destination of U.S. aid to Latin America at the time. At the end of the decade, he published “Don’t Call It a Model,” a comprehensive look at the lessons to be learned from Plan Colombia.
He has testified before Congress on international drug policy, Colombia’s conflict, U.S. military aid programs and human rights, and has organized several congressional delegations to the region. He is “among the few in Washington who genuinely affect how policy-makers in Congress and the administration shape their decisions and policy proposals,” says a congressional staffer who closely follows Latin America policy.
He is known for his pithy commentary, shared online daily through regular contributions to Just the Facts and other blogs. Among Latin America analysts, he has been a leader in cutting-edge use of technology for transparency, instant analysis, and advocacy.
Mr. Isacson joined WOLA in 2010 after fourteen years working on Latin American and Caribbean security issues with the Center for International Policy (CIP). Before WOLA and CIP, he worked for the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress in San José, Costa Rica as a program assistant for demilitarization.
- M.A. Yale University, International Relations
- B.A. Hampshire College, Social Science
- "Tackling Urban Violence in Latin America: Reversing Exclusion through Smart Policing and Social Investment" (June 2011).
- “Don’t Call It a Model: On Plan Colombia's tenth anniversary, claims of “success” don't stand up to scrutiny" (2010)
- “Enmendando el ‘Pacto’: El cambio en el equilibrio civil-militar en la Colombia de Álvaro Uribe,” in FLACSO: Influencias y Resistencias. Militares y Poder en América Latina (2010)
- “Waiting for Change: Trends in U.S. Security Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean” (2010)
- “After Plan Colombia: Evaluating "Integrated Action," the next phase of U.S. assistance” (2009)
- “Ecuador’s Humanitarian Emergency” (2009)
- “A Compass for Colombia Policy” (2008)
- Los Angeles Times - March 10, 2013 - Immigration reform's next hurdle: Is the border secure?
- The Washington Post - February 12, 2013 - Lateral deportation: Migrants crossing the Mexican border fear a trip sideways
- The Christian Science Monitor - January 29, 2013 - Why combat role for US women could reverberate worldwide
- Reuters - November 16, 2012 - Amid tempered hopes, Colombia, FARC set for talks in Cuba
- The Christian Science Monitor - October 29, 2012 - Colombia: How peace could impact the FARC's role in illegal mining
- The Guardian - October 22, 2012 - Mexican drug cartel boss confirmed dead, says US
- Bloomberg - October 17, 2012 - Colombia Starts Talks to End Half-Century of Armed Conflict
- The New York Times - October 17, 2012 - Colombia Tries Again to End Drug-Fed War
- The Washington Post - October 14, 2012 - Once a partner of Colombian guerrillas, Venezuela now helps in peace talks
- Associated Press - October 12, 2012 - Colombia armed forces' crucial role in peace talks
- Associated Press - June 23, 2012 - Allies criticize Paraguay over ouster of president
- Al Jazeera - May 31, 2012 - Nicaragua's 'revolutionary' drug war
- World Politics Review - May 22, 2012 - Conflict Resolution in the Americas: The Decline of the OAS
- Bloomberg - April 26, 2012 - Colombia Uribe Says Venezuela Is Paradise for Terrorist
- EFE - April 19, 2012 - Incremento de vigilancia en frontera México-EEUU no ha mejorado la seguridad
- El Universal (México) - April 19, 2012 - WOLA: sin impacto, medidas fronterizas
- Latin American Herald Tribune - April 19, 2012 - Greater Vigilance Along Border Has Not Improved Security
- Associated Press - April 15, 2012 - Summit of the Americas: Cuba Absence Causes Tension Between U.S. and Latin America Leaders
- Associated Press - April 12, 2012 - Americas summit host seeks role as regional leader
- Associated Press - April 3, 2012 - Ransom kidnapping a big hurdle to eventual Colombian peace
- The Wall Street Journal - February 27, 2012 - Colombia Rebels To Halt Kidnappings
- Bloomberg - Februray 27, 2012 - Colombia's FARC Rebels Vow to Halt Kidnappings, Free Hostages
- BBC Mundo - February 16, 2012 - Fuerza que mató a Bin Laden podría operar en América Latina
- The Washington Post - December 6, 2011 - On Mexican border, doubts about deployment
- Reuters AlertNet - October 27, 2011 - Colombia vote to test Santos' agenda, Uribe's sway
- CNN - May 26, 2011 - Colombia to return land to victims of long-running conflicts
- El Espectador - February 15, 2011 - El fin de la era Plan Colombia
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