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Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: Latin America


Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: Latin America

Authored by Dr. Max G. Manwaring.

March 2003

20 Pages

Brief Synopsis

The author has been asked to analyze four issues: the position that key states in their region are taking on U.S. military action against Iraq; the role of America in the region after the war with Iraq; the nature of security partnerships in the region after the war with Iraq; and the effect that war with Iraq will have on the war on terrorism in the region.

Conclusions:

Latin Americans maintain a strong bias against North American interventions.

At the same time, Latins perceive that a possible war against Iraq and its leadership would be directed against the wrong foe and in an inappropriate manner.

The U.S.-Latin American partnership is an unequal relationship. The result of balancing Latin interests against those of the “Colossus of the North” is a dilemma. In realpolitik terms, it is not intelligent to be a “no show” when the list of supporters is posted. Thus, in the best Colonial tradition, “Obedesco pero no cumplo,” (I obey, but I do not comply).

Even so, the United States shares with its Latin American neighbors an increasingly and vitally important financial, commercial, and security/stability stake in the political and economic growth of the hemisphere. Any kind of political-economic-social-security deterioration in the region will profoundly affect the health of the U.S. economy—and the concomitant power to act in the global security arena.

The continuing U.S. Army responsibility goes beyond the narrow purview of unilateral training and equipping to broader multilateral professional military education (PME) and leader development.


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