Security in the Americas: Neither Evolution nor Devolution--Impasse

  • March 01, 2004
  • Dr Max G Manwaring

The author identifies the strategic-political challenge of effective sovereignty and security, with a focus on nontraditional threats. He recommends that leaders rethink the problem of nontraditional threats and develop the conceptual and strategic-political multilateral responses necessary to deal effectively with them. Piecemeal tactical-operational level responses to nontraditional threats and actors must be supplemented by broader political-strategic efforts. Additionally, cooperative national and international efforts designed to inhibit and reverse the processes of state failure must supplement military and law-enforcement emphasis on the attrition of individual "narco-terrorists." The author's recommendations constitute no easy task. However, if the United States and the other countries of the Western Hemisphere ignore what is happening in Latin America, the expansion of terrorism, "lawless areas," and general instability easily could destroy the democracy, free market economies, and prosperity that has been achieved in recent years. In turn, that would profoundly affect the health of the U.S. economy--and the concomitant power to act in the global security arena.