In November 1997, the United States Army War College joined with the U.S. Southern Command, the Inter-American Defense Board, the National Guard Bureau, and the Latin American Consortium of the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University to cosponsor a conference entitled "The Role of the Armed Forces in the Americas: Civil-Military Relations for the 21st Century." The meeting was held from 3 to 6 November in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was hosted by the New Mexico National Guard.
The conference brought together over 150 prominent civilian governmental and military leaders and some of the most noted scholars from throughout the Americas. It was designed to support the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Southern Command's objectives of strengthening democratic institutions, assisting nations in eliminating threats to their security, supporting economic and social progress, and enhancing military professionalism. In addition, the meeting sought to promote the Army Chief of Staff's goals of conflict prevention through peacetime engagement, strategic outreach to organizations and institutions outside the Department of Defense, and the enhancement of Active and Reserve component integration. Included in this publication are the papers and speeches delivered at the conference, rapporteurs' synopses of the working group discussions and an analysis, with recommendations, of the implications for civil-military relations and U.S. policy. These presentations, the level and scope of participation, the candor of the dialogue, the outstanding support provided by our cosponsors, and the charming atmosphere of Santa Fe all contributed to making the meeting a success.