U.S. Security Strategies: Trade Policy Implications for Latin America   [open pdf - 750KB]

"Security was defined as 'freedom from avoidable internal or external threats to a country's territory, citizens, institutions, and interests.' Regional security, free trade, economic performance, and effective sovereignty are closely related. Instability, social violence, crime and criminal anarchy, and terrorism thrive as a result of poor economic performance. Not understanding and dealing with the linkages among these elements can endanger effective sovereignty, and lead a country into failing and failed state status. The cumulative negative effects of the current U.S. security and trade policy in the hemisphere come at a time when regional economies are in decline, and emphasize four highly related recommendations: Advance hemispheric understanding of the nontraditional internal security concerns of each country, and those that the region as a whole faces. Develop multilateral or bilateral civil-military structures and processes to identify and address threats, and find mutually acceptable solutions in the contemporary security environment. Foster expanded dialogue, consultations, and cooperation for building consensus principles and concepts for regional security and economic cooperation- and enhanced trade. Go beyond training and equipping small units to fight narco-terrorists, and adapt U.S. military efficacy to the contemporary threat environment at the strategic level. 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- security deterioration in the region will profoundly affect the health of the regional economies, the U.S. economy-and the concomitant power to act in regional and global security arenas."

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