Strategic Landpower; Restoring U.S. Influence in the Western Hemisphere

  • Lieutenant Colonel Jose L. Polanco

The United States continues to face multiple strategic challenges throughout the globe. Complex issues in the Middle East, Europe and a rebalance to the Pacific have monopolized the U.S. foreign policy agenda, resulting in a loss of U.S. influence in the nearby Latin American Caribbean region. State actors outside the Western Hemisphere, such as China, have taken notice of this perceived vacuum and have sought to advance their own interests in the Americas. China’s use of soft power in this developing region is steadily making it the partner of choice over the United States. Today’s fiscal austerity further compounds this challenge as the U.S. seeks to address budgetary limitations. However, the United States does have options and one possible solution is Strategic Landpower. Strategic Landpower, if implemented correctly, as part of a holistic approach can make a difference in restoring U.S. influence in the region. Landpower can shape and influence the strategic environment and promote U.S. national interests in the Western Hemisphere by building enduring relationships through military engagement and security cooperation.