A 21st Century Security Architecture for the Americas: Multilateral Cooperation, Liberal Peace, and Soft Power

  • August 01, 2002
  • COL Joseph R Nunez

This monograph is a constructive response to the question of "How can the United States best develop security cooperation within the Americas?" The author develops the necessary background to make the persuasive argument that it is time for the United States to employ strategic restraint and reassurance of allies to develop a new security architecture that is effective and efficient, not to mention reflective of our values and interests. The threats and challenges articulated are no longer state versus state on a path to eventual war, but more internal, where weak institutions struggle to deal with terrorism, natural disasters, governmental corruption, insurgency, crime, and narcotrafficking. Further complicating matters is that many of these problems transcend borders. The author argues that the United States is the only country that can provide the new direction for security cooperation, but must rely upon Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile to develop the consensus for change and materially contribute to the creation of standing multinational units. Issues such as state sovereignty and the role of the Organization- of American States must figure significantly in the overarching security structure, and that these new brigade-sized units must be able to rapidly deploy to handle missions immediately, not after the fact in an ad hoc and disorganized manner.