While the Obama administration has accorded top priority to preserving U.S. security interests in the Western Pacific and Middle East, it can ill afford to overlook worrisome trends in Latin America, as its major geopolitical competitors, including Iran, China and Russia, seek to expand their influence in the region.
This is the finding of a new CSBA study, Hemispheric Defense in the 21st Century, by Andrew Krepinevich and Eric Lindsey.
The report places U.S. security efforts in the region in historical context, identifying the broad characteristics that have shaped Washington's strategy over two centuries within the framework of the Monroe Doctrine. It then proceeds to explore current challenges and trends in the region's security competition and presents a scenario that illustrates how these trends could play out in the decades to come.
The authors urge the United States to revisit the concept of hemispheric defense and develop and execute a new military strategy that will help maintain stability and prosperity in the region. Such a strategy must include the three proximate objectives of marginalizing the drug cartels and other non-state actors; containing regional rivals such as Venezuela; and slowing the accrual of influence by outside powers.