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The Challenge of Governance and Security

Edited by Dr. Max G. Manwaring.

March 2006

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 ninth in a series of major annual conferences dealing with security and defense matters in the Western Hemisphere on February 1-3, 2006, in Miami, Florida. The conference, entitled "The Challenge of Governance and Security," brought together over 150 conferees who participated in a robust program of panels, question and answer sessions, and workshops. They exchanged perspectives and evaluated the contemporary hemispheric security situation. The dialogued amicably, with less tendency than in the past to either blame the United States for everything, or look to Washington to solve all of Latin America’s problems. At the same time, civilian and military participants engaged in little "fingerpointing" and participants made no effort to keep police forces out of the dialogue. None viewed of the military as a menace, but rather as an important asset that had to be utilized effectively along with other instruments of national and international power to generate security, stability, development, democracy, and effective sovereignty. In this context, the conference dialogue centered on a broad and virtually all-inclusive internal threat environment, and the need for "good governance" to deal with a situation in which "everything is a part of everything else."

Key Points and Recommendation.

• A contemporary assessment of Latin American and Caribbean security must address a comprehensive, all-inclusive threat environment and consider the utility of all instruments of state power.
• Significant threats to individual and collective security, within the context of stability, development, democracy, peace, and effective sovereignty seriously diminish overall Latin American and Caribbean security.
• Dealing with threats in such an interrelated and interdependent context requires “good governance,” an imperative that must be taken seriously and operationalized.

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