Defence Of The Western Hemisphere AUTHOR Major W. A. Warner, USMC CSC 1988 SUBJECT AREA National Security EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TITLE: DEFENCE OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE I. Purpose. To establish a case for the revision/review of the National/Maritime Strategies of the United States, specifically as they relate to the security of the Western Hemisphere. II. THESIS: While the defense of Western Europe [NATO] and the concept of bottling-up the Soviets in their own waters is a critical aspect of our National and Maritime Strategies, are we doing enough in our hemisphere to thwart Soviet expansion and aggression? III. DATA: After World War II Europe was in an economically, politically and military exhausted state. NATO was formed by the (western) allies in order to combat the potential aggressions of the Soviet Union. The National and Maritime Strategies of the United States have been based almost exclusively on the defense of Western Europe, our NATO allies. The Soviet Union, knowing and understanding this, has not stood still. They have been working over the last two decades to build into their military (specifically the Navy) the ability to project power. U.S. National and Maritime Strategies have not kept pace with the growing Soviet expansion and potential threat. The security of the Western Hemisphere is one specific area where our strategies are very weak. The Soviet Union and its allies intend to spread the threat throughout the Western Hemisphere (I.E. Nicaragua, Cuba, El Salvador, Panama, etc.). If they accomplish this they will destroy the United States ability to support NATO. If the Military forces of the United States are overly committed in this hemisphere they cannot fight in Western Europe! The United states must revitalize its National and Maritime Strategies to meet and eliminate the Soviet threat in the Western Hemisphere. The United States can accomplish through renewed interest in the hemisphere. IV. Conclusions: Renewed interest in the hemisphere must be accomplished by updating the National and Maritime Strategies. Increasing military aid, foreign aid and economic assistance to our neighbors is one way to secure this hemisphere, as well as renewed military operations with and for our neighbors. V. Recommendations. That the United States take a long hard look at how the Soviet threat has changed and the potential that it represents. And, that the United States change/ update to meet the threat, particularly in this hemisphere. This will ensure that the strategies represent a coherent plan to provide security for the world and not just Europe. DEFENSE OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE OUTLINE While the defense of Western Europe and the concept of bottling-up the Soviets in their own waters is a critical aspect of our National and Maritime Strategies, are we doing enough in our own hemisphere to thwart Soviet expansion and aggression? I. History of East-West Relations from WWII A. Europe after WWII B. Birth of NATO C. Role of NATO II. Our Maritime/National Strategies vs USSR Strategy A. USSR'S military growth and strategy B. Where does U.S. stand Maritime Strategy III. The Threat A. Addressing potential Soviet threats B. The security of the Western Hemisphere C. Present Soviet threat in Western Hemisphere D. Potential ramifications of threat in Western Hemisphere to NATO IV. Changing the National/Maritime Strategies A. Ensuring stability in Western Hemisphere B. Reducing/Eliminating the Soviet threat C. Direct U.S. actions in Wesstern Hemisphere DEFENSE OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE Our present Maritime Strategy emphasizes deterrence, and if deterrence fails, defending as far forward as possible. While this concept is and entirely sound one, what I object to is that the Maritime Strategy does not accurately or completely address all the aspects or contingencies that this country's maritime forces may well encounter. While the defense of Western Europe and the concept of bottling-up the Soviets in their own waters is a critical aspect of our National and Maritime Strategies, are we doing enough in our own hemisphere to thwart Soviet expansion and aggression? Most Americans would prefer that the battleground for any war fought against the USSR be Western Europe. That is a given. No one in their right mind, except the Soviet Union or their advocates, would desire war on their home soil. So, the United States has correctly addressed itself to maintaining a free and secure Western Europe. Obviously, after World War I and II this country became keenly aware of the threat posed by the Soviet Union. We realized that to deter another war, we needed to help rebuild Western Europe economically, politically and militarily. For this reason the United States poured billions of dollars into the restoration of Europe and banded together with Western European countries to form NATO. NATO has been our and Western Europe's answer to potential Soviet aggression. If Western Europe would fall into Soviet hands, the balance of power in the world would be dramatically altered, and the econonic interests and political ties the U. S. presently has would be crushed. This would ultimately lead to the undermining of the United States ability to foster democracy and freedom aroung the world. The question is not whether NATO and our commitment to it is a sound one. It is whether we are doing enough in other strategic locations throughout the world, specifically this hemisphere. Our strategy (maritime) has been a good one for four decades. The Soviet Union and its military leaders know our intent, however. They are highly capable of reading our manuals and discovering our thoughts on military strategy and tactics. They fully understand that our Maritime Strategy is based upon forward deployment of forces. Forces which include our Navy and Marine Corps. They understand that we intend to keep our critical SLOCs open by bottling up their navy and forcing a confrontation over there. Recent history shows that they are working very hard to counter our strategy. Their intent regarding our strategy is to take a page out of our book(s). If we intent to fight them over in Western Europe, bottle-up their fleet and maintain our SLOCs, they will ensure that we are occupied somewhere else (to the greatest extent possible). They will spread the "threat" to locations and countries throughout the world. The Soviet Union is very commited to the defense of their homeland, a defense we call the"Bastion Concept". Their fortification of their homeland has consumed their political and military leaders to the tune of well over 15% of their GNP annually. Their "Bastion" is second to none. Their navy is almost four times our size. True, it is built up of many World War II vintage subs, ships and small craft; but, it also has many nuclear powered subs that dwarf ours, new nuclear powered aircraft carrier(s) and nuclear powered cruisers, etc. The Soviet Union is not standing still. They are starting to counter our Maritime Strategy. It is not difficult to understand what the Soviet Union is doing militarily. When we couple their military intentions with the economic needs of the Soviet Union in the next century, the need and desire of the Soviet Union to expand its economic base and influence throughout the world becomes readily apparent. Keep in mind that the next century has been coined "the century of the pacific". The seeds of their intent have been published before. During the early stages of the Soviet naval buildup, for example, Gorshkov's writings gradually altered to disclose evidence of a far more comprehensive Soviet aim in the employment of their sea power. Typical of his broadening strategic thoughts is in his 1979 passage: Today, a fleet operating against the shore is able not only to solve the tasks connected with territorial changes, but directly to influence the course and even the outcome of the war in this connection. Operations of the fleet against the shore have assumed paramount importance in armed conflict at sea.1 There can be little or no doubt about the meaning of the 1S. G. Gorshkov, "The Power of the State" (London: Pergamon Press, 1979), pg.219. statement made by the Soviet's Commander-In-Chief of the Naval forces. While the Soviet Union has avoided any direct confrontation with the United States, they have nevertheless commenced to exhibit an increasing willingness to expand their influence to strategic points around the world-moving in some cases to areas where a Russian military presence has never before been a significant factor. Certainly, the current attempt to spread Soviet influence throughout Central America, Africa, the Indian Ocean and, most recently, to the South China Sea (Cam Ranh Bay and Danang) are perfect examples. This expansion of Soviet influence poses potentially serious threats to Americans, to Western Europeans and to the Japanese. During the past two decades, we have witnessed deployment of the most up-to-date Soviet warships at unprecedented distances from the USSR's home waters. As the number of truly oceangoing ships coming off the building ways increase, the trend must become obvious. The Soviet Union intends to thwart our Maritime Strategy by using our strategy. That is, to make the enemy (the U.S.) fight in their own hemisphere. If this concept is successful, our forces will not be able to put the concept of deterrence by defending as far forward as possible into effect. We will be too committed here at home. The Soviet Union's building of nuclear subs, aircraft carriers and other ships represents a move to project power to foreign soil by use of amphibious forces, naval aviation and nuclear weapons. We already know how effective these concepts are, because they are ours! We can no longer simply adhere to an out-of-date Maritime Strategy. We must reevaluate it and remold it into a more complete strategy to address all of the potential Soviet threats. So, where do we stand with respect to a reliable maritime strategy to counter this Soviet threat? Willlian S. Lind, a constant predicter of doom and intense adversary of the U.S. military had the following to say: The United States correctly committed itself to a continental strategy when NATO was formed. Europe had been devastated by war and was unable to defend itself. The United States held unchallenged nuclear supremacy over the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union's ability to inflict damage on the United States with its strategic nuclear forces was considerably less...It is time to reconsider this continental strategy. A true maritime strategy...is a plausible alternative.2 Further, The Commission on Intergrated Long-Term Strategy had the following to report about this nation's strategy: But the strategy has had some setbacks. Soviet power has bypassed the lines we drew and has pushed into Southern Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America...The Commission is not proposing to replace the strategy. We believe in forward deployment of American forces...But we also believe that the strategy needs to be brought into line with contemporary realities. The following statement was made by General Fred F. Woerner, USA, Commander-In-Chief, U.S.Southern Command. 2Willian S. Lind. "Bad Strategy or Global Deterrent?" Proceedings/February 1988, page 57 3The Commission On Integrated Long-Term Strategy, Discriminate Deterrence, (US Government Printing Office) January 1988, page 5. The intrusion of the East-West conflict into our relations with our neighbors [Central and South Americans] has added a new dimension to the fashioning of a coherent strategy within our political process...Their strategy priorities have always focused on internal economic and political development, while ours have focused on the global strategy of dealing with Soviet power. We must carefully balance the two for our strategy to be effective.4 As more and more commissions publish their reports on our strategy, and the more articles are published by military proponents and adversaries alike, the more it becomes apparent that the Maritime Strategy of the United States must be altered/revised to meet the ever-changing Soviet threat. The Maritime Strategy is but one part of our national strategy, but it is a big part. The Maritime Strategy need not be scrapped, but it must be revitalized. No longer is NATO and Western Europe the only game in town. The Western Hemisphere is starting to play and ever increasing role in the formulation of coherent global strategy. In order to ensure our Maritime Strategy is a coherent and functional strategy, it muse address all of the potential threats that Soviet aggression throughout the world may pose. What is the threat to the U.S. and NATO if the Soviet Union employs a sizable fraction of its vast attack and nuclear submarine force in the South Atlantic? They could potentially interdict the flow of exported and imported raw material from the U.S., as well interdicting military reinforcements and supplied in transit from North America to Western Europe. Moreover, such threats to NATO and the 4General Fred. F. Woerner, USA,"Shield of Democracy in Latin America", Defense/87 November-December, pg. 21. U.S. is not necessarily confined to the sea lanes. The Caribbean provides a prime example of how the defense of Western Europe can be endangered outside of their continent. The two channels which connect the Gulf of Mexico to open water are the Straits of Florida and the Yucatan Channel. Through these passageways approximately 60% of all U. S. imports and exports for the eastern half of the U. S. flow. Of critical significance to Europeans, in the event of war, is the fact that more half of all reinforcements and follow- on supplies destined for Western Europe would depart from U. S. Gulf ports. It requires little intelligence to recognize that the spread of Comunist revolution in the Nicaraguan mold to other countries in Central [and South] America would inevitably generate potential perils to this maritime traffic.5 Without a secure Western Hemisphere this country's full attention and military might cannot be brought to bare against a Soviet aggressor in Europe. So crucial is the security of this hemisphere that President Reagan had the following to say: The defense of North America is the nations's most fundamental security concern. Since the second World War this has entailed a hemispheric security system, composed of a strong U.S. nuclear deterrent, greater cooperation with Canada, and the promotion of collective security arrangements with Latin America. New threats and new opportunities for democracy in the Western Hemisphere require that this traditional approach be revitalized by building on the interests we share with our democratic 5Instituite For Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc., "Naval Forces and Western Security, Pergamon-Brassey's, pg. 25. Caribbean, North, Central and South American neighbors... Many of the current challenges for the United States fall outside of the formal collective security arrangements created in previous decades. Our national security requires an emphasis on political and economic support for the hemisphere's democracies and diplomatic initiatives to strengthen alliances.6 During the past decade(s) the U.S. has witnessed the shocking growth of the Soviet war machine, more specifically the Soviet Navy, and a very effective and aggressive policy for expansion of their realm of influence and spread of communism. This growth cannot be ignored. Any national or military strataegy that is developed must take into consideration all prospects and contingencies of an East-West conflict. The communist virus is now fully entrenched in Cuba and Nicaragua. Anyone who would doubt that a similar fate for the rest or part of South/Central America is not a possibility is naive to say the least. The following state- ment is made in Pergamon-Brassey's "Naval Forces and Western Security": These states of Soviet and surrogate military forces throughout the Carribbean Basin...If war comes to Europe...large American forces --army, navy, and air-- would have to be committed to a campaign directed at regaining control of the Caribbean Basin and protecting the exits from the Gulf of Mexico. Theses forces would... be needed to shore up NATO's defenses...The American pledge to rush to Western Europe's aid in time of war is imperiled by these developments in the Carribean.7 A comprehensive Maritime Strategy must take into account potential threats within this hemisphere first. The war may 6Ronald Reagan, "National Seurity Strategy of the United States, Reprint by C&SC, January 1988,pg. 14. 7Institute For Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc., "Naval Forces and Western Security", Pergamon-Brassey's 1987, pg.27 be fought in Western Europe, but will never get there if we can't get out of the Gulf of Mexico or if we are too engaged in our own hemisphere. The state of affairs in the Carribbean is becoming alarmingly unstable. Honduras and Guatemala hang in the balance as Nicaraguan and Cuban forces supported by the Russians attempt to spread communism throughout this hemisphere. In and article written by Alexander Haig which was published in The Christian Science Monitor, the former Secretary of State had this to say: ...shutting off Soviet-Cuban inroads and shoring up Central America's economy, not establishing "democracy" in Nicaragus, should have been the aims of Washington policy...the strategic dimension of Central America... is the violation of international law by Castro's Cuba and the Soviet Union, and intervening in the internal affairs of Central America republics...8 President Ronald Reagan had this to say about the regional policies as they apply to the Western Hemisphere: Aggressive Marxist regimes in Cuba and Nicaragua have made the Western Hemisphere, once considered indisputably secure for the United States, an area of strategic opportunity for the Soviet Union. The fragility of social and political arrangements in Latin America and the presence of these two Soviet client states, with their support for guerrilla movements in other Latin nations and their ties to international terrorism, promise continued instability and conflict in the region. This situation is compounded by continuing economic and debt-servicing problems, the on-going problem of drug trade...have begun to pose serious challenges for the reborn Latin democracies.9 The report of the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy 8Alexander Haig, "Al Haig: where the contra policy went wrong", The Christian Science Monitor, February 17, 1988. 9Ronald Reagan,"National Security Strategy of the United States". reprint by C&SC, January 1987, pg. 13-14. on Disriminated Deterrence (whose members included such knowledgeable public figures as Henry Kissinger,Zbigniew Brzezinski, W. Graham Claytor, Jr., James L. Holloway, III, William P. Clark and John W. Vessey) had the following to say regarding the emergence of new threats in the Western Hemisphere: If the Sandinista regime consolidates its power in Nicaragua and continues to receive Soviet support, hostile Communist regimes might gradually become established elsewhere in Central America--for example, in El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama. Any such trend could be expected to endanger control of the Panama Canal and threaten the political stability of Mexico. These developments would force the United States to divert far more of its foreign policy resources and defense assets to the Carribean region, leading to a reduced American role in NATO.10 What has been bluntly pointed out by all of the quotes listed so far is that the United States cannot fight effectively with its NATO allies if the Western Hemisphere is not secure. Why then shouldn't the United States expend more of its energy and dollars on doing just that? Agood question! Some of the signs of distress of our Latin neighbors because the evolution to civilian democratic governments has not been accompanied by a corresponding growth and development in the social and economic sectors. Democracy cannot long endure in Central America without supporting social and economic development. Some signs of the problems are: declining trade, high unemployment, inflation, declining income levels, insufficient diets, 10The Commission On Integrated Long-Term Strategy, "Discriminate Deterrence", January 1988, pg.11. inadequate education, extremely high foreign debts and a lack of confidence by investors in the local economies. As the United States looks to the future of this hemisphere, there are four basic needs that need addressing. They are (1) defense of the homeland, (2) our economic well-being, (3) our stake in international order, and (4) the strenghtening of our values as a people. Latin America is important to the defense of the United States because a secure southern flank affords us flexibility in our global strategy. We no longer enjoy such unimpeded security. A combination of social and economic factors has been exacerbated by a relentless and sophisticated push by the Soviets, the Cubans and recently the Sandinistas to insinuate violence and totalitarian solutions to the problems of the region.11 It is clear that the United States must ensure stability in its own hemisphere. But, how can we do this? It simply is not a matter of abandoning one ally for another. We must ensure stability throughout the world if possible. Priorities must be re-evaluated and funding for foreign aid (security assistance), military assistance (in the form of military aid and stationing of U.S. military personnel). The 1987 budget for military assistance (for example) was 5 billion dollars. Congress has earmarked 62% for Egypt and Israel, 17% for Greece and Turkey and 6% for Pakistan. With the obvious need to provide funds for El Salvador, Honduras 11General Fred F. Woerner, USA, "Shield of Democracy in Latin America". Defense/87, November-December Issue, pg.20- 21. and the Philippines, the Administration had less than 10% for the rest of the world.12 Truly this country is not responding in a very expeditious manner. The vast majority of U.S. funds for foreign aid and military assistane goes overseas to European, Middle Eastern and Asian allies. It is obvious also that the vast majority of U.S. Servicemen are serving over in Europe and Asia also. While the threat of direct Soviet aggression is in Europe , the Middle East and Asia more of the funds, materiel and personnel must start to find its way back to this hemisphere. If not, then the threat we are now experiencing can only elevate. So, how could the United States rid itself of the Soviet threat in this hemisphere? Many potentialities are open to any Congress and/or Administration willing to try. Let's sample a few. Alexander Haig had the following to say regarding getting the Cubans and Soviets out of our hemisphere: A degree of linkage between things that the Soviets want and things we want is a fact of life...it is not an option. It's a reality. And I believe we have enough hunger in Moscow for normalization, for western credit, for international legitimacy, for technology , to take targets of opportunity and resolve them at the negotiating table.13 The Soviet Union may well be in a position to be forced to the negotiating table. The "Century of the Pacific" is on its way and the Soviet economy is and is expected to grow 12The Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy, Discriminate Deterrence", January 1988, pg. 17-18. 13Alexander Haig, "Al Haig: where the contra policy went wrong", The Cristian Science Monitor, Feb. 1988 very little over the next decades. If they do not take steps to remedy this situation, then they will surely end up in a much less favorable position than they are presently in. It is easier to bargain and coexist than to fight ones way into economic growth and prosperity. The price may be right for the United States now or in the near future to bring the Soviets to the bargaining table. Only 4% of the total worldwide security assistance goes to Central America, much less to South America. This is not enough. While Israel and Egypt need are large percentage of our security assistance, 62% appears to be an awfully inordinate amount of our total funds availabe. Some of that 62% could be sent Central America's way (even if it was just another 4%). The area also only receives 0.6% of the DOD manpower and 0.1% of the DOD budget (1987 figures). The Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Southern Command (responsible for Central and South America security and security assistance) has stated the following: I believe our overall strategy is appropriate, but its effectiveness hinges on two factors. The first is a long-term and consistent U.S. commitment...equally important is a balance in our strategy...we have been focused on...Central America, but always looming ahead is the restoration of a security relationship with South America.14 He goes on to say that the keys to regional stability and security is (1) sustaining professional military-to--military relationships, (2) promoting professional military 14General Fred F. Woerner, USA, Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Southern Command, "Shield of Democracy in Latin America", DOD, Defense/87, November-December, pg.23. institutions that support democratic development and respect human rights, (3) enhancing deterrence in Central America by signaling a firm commitment to the area, assisting in improving the readiness of local militaries, and, at the same time, providing high-quality training for U.S. military personnel, and (4) assisting in the improvement of regional defense cooperation to counter insurgent unification and narcotics trafficking, to preclude regional conflicts and to encourage collective security.l5 So, how does all of this relate to a needed in our Maritime Strategy? Simply put, the U.S. must shift some of her military assets, monies and attention to this hemisphere. If the United States plans on being successful in securing the Western Hemisphere she needs help. Help from her Central and South American neighbors. Which means we must pay more attention to their needs (economic, political and military) in order to satisfy ours. This can be accomplished by putting a lot more than 4% of our total foreign aid program into the area. It means working with our neighbors to resolve their staggering debts, or at least finding solutions that enable all to prosper. And, yes, it means putting a little less military support, equipment, and personnel in the NATO theatre. NATO cannot be abandoned. Our primary mission, support and strategy must still be based on Western Europe and NATO. 15General Fred. Woerner, USA, Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Southern, Command, "Shield of Democracy in Latin America", Defense/87, November-December, pg.23. Cooperation among American States can be accomplished by working more closely with each other. For example, our militaries do not spend enough time together working as we do, for instance, with our NATO allies. More military exercises could be conducted in this country as well as other American countries. This will build confidence among American States. When the U.S. conducts a military exercise with another American country, it does much to show our flag when our personnel and ships/equipment roll into their port. That represents instance publicity and promotes good relations. When our military personnel spend large amounts of American dollars in that port and spend much of their work time repairing roads, bridges, schools, etc., and providing medical care to those same people, it does much the same between our military and their civilian populace. The showing of the American flag and the faces of American servicemen and women cannot be over emphasized in its effective at winning the hearts and minds of our American neighbors. Which is one thing we have done poorly at throughout our illustrious history, Showing our strength, both militarily and economically, is also a must. It helps to provide our neighbors with the knowledge that we are never too far away or too removed to help them. And, it lets our enemies know where we stand. Winning the hearts and minds of our neighbors cannot be accomplished without the assurance that we will help them economically, politically and financially. Struggling democracies cannot long endure without firm foundations. We must help our neighbors build those foundations. The changing of a Maritime or National Strategy is a very complex job. Our Maritime Strategy has been a good one, but needs to be updated to meet the ever-changing world we live in and the ever-changing threat that menaces us. The points made or alluded to in this paper reflect not only personal opinions of mine but of many prominent, knowledge and informed people also. It is time for America to secure her southern flank and ensure the entire world, not just NATO countries, are adequately supported and defended. BIBLIOGRAPHY Gorhkov, S. G. The Power of the State. Pergamon Press, London, 1979. Haig, Alexander. Al Haig: where the contra policy went wrong. The Christian Science Monitor, Wednesday, February 1988. Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc. Naval Forces and Western Security. Pergamon-Brassey's Press, 1987. Lind, William S. Bad Strategy or Global Deterrent? Proceedings, February 1988. Reagan, Ronald. National Security Strategy of the United States. Reprint by Command and Staff College. January, 1988. The Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy. Discriminate Deterrence. January, 1988. Woerner, Fred F., General, USA, Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Southern Command. Shield of Democracy in Latin America. Defense/87, November-December.
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