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Hemispheric Strategic Objectives for the Next Decade

Edited by Dr. Max G. Manwaring.

May 2004

Brief Synopsis

The Latin American and Caribbean Center of Florida International University, the U.S. Southern Command, and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College held the seventh in a series of major annual conferences dealing with security matters in the Western Hemisphere, in Miami, Florida, on March 17-19, 2004. The conference focused on "Hemispheric Strategic Objectives for the Next Decade." This event brought together over 190 leading representatives of government, the military, academia, and the private sector from the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the European Union (EU). Attendees participated in a program of "on-the-record" panels and discussions to exchange perspectives with fellow experts on the region. The principal objectives were to evaluate the evolving definitions of hemispheric security, review the debate surrounding the institutional structures that will support it, and examine the concepts required to strengthen security cooperation in the Western Hemisphere. The dialogue centered on a complex geopolitical situation that might be called "Wizard's Chess." After the horrific events of 9/11 and before the sobering terrorist bombings on Madrid's commuter railway system on March 11, 2004, it acted as a catalyst that moved leaders toward the idea of a "New Security" in the international security arena.

Key Points and Recommendations:

• Various actors and instruments are exerting power on the global community from many directions, with lethal political, economic, social and security effects. This changing and integrating world has lead to new directions toward a viable security concept for the Western Hemisphere.
• Hemisphere and world leaders are considering an aggregate security concept through the Organization of American States (OAS). The debate includes how military power can address “nonmilitary” issues, and how “nonmilitary” economic or other types of power can be applied in a security context.
• The aggregate solution embraces legitimate and strong nation-states. Any effort that does not strengthen the state can deteriorate existing democracy, free market economies. and prosperity. These have been achieved over several years and profoundly affect the health of the U.S. economy and its ability act in the global security arena.

- In this context, as one example, the U.S. military responsibility goes well beyond the narrow purview on unilateral training and equipping of tactical units to broader multilateral professional military education and leader development.

The OAS should:

• Seek binding international agreements that generate a management structure for multilateral harmony, accountability, transparency, and a means to impose effective sanctions.
• Establish a multilateral, comprehensive, and phased policy and strategy to implement its vision.
• Provide good offi ces to help states move toward aggregate national security strategies.
• Provide good offi ces to generate national level management structures to strengthen the state; to guarantee unifi ed civil-military efforts; and to oversee, professionalize, and modernize the military-police component.
• Establish programs to exchange expertise, intelligence, and other resources, and to develop further confi dence-building and cooperation measures against threats to security and stability.

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