Strategic Balance and Confidence Building Measures in the Americas

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Examining Latin American security in the post-Cold War era, policymakers and analysts from across the Americas assess the security threats and agendas of different subregions and evaluate the potential for wider hemispheric cooperation. With the decline in Cold War tensions and external interference, along with a near-consensus favoring democracy and free market economics, Latin America faces an unusual opportunity to shape its own regional strategic agenda. Traditional threats such as border disputes must be addressed even while growing transnational problems challenge the capacities of young democracies. With increasing globalization, national security is inseparable from regional security and depends on the establishment of effective mechanisms for cooperation. The contributors assess both the theoretical and empirical background of cooperation in the Americas, and argue that different subregions--such as the Caribbean Basin, the Andean nations, and the Southern Cone--approach cooperation from different strategic perspectives and traditions. They show that building hemispheric security requires pragmatic attention to local complexities and a concerted effort to emphasize common interests, including the defense of democracy, economic stability, citizens' security, and environmental protection. The book asserts that the creation of a framework for regional cooperation will depend on the establishment at the local level of what it calls ConfidenceBuilding Measures (CBMs). It evaluates the potential roles of such international organizations as the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Defense Board, and studies the changing regional policies of the United States for their effectiveness and impact on regional security.