U.S. Military Intervention in Latin America: Past and Future
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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U.S. Latin America policy has historically been driven by the desire to exclude external powers from the region and to maintain peace and stability. Those motives drove the U.S. intervention in Grenada, though protection of U.S. citizens was also a factor. By the time of the 1989 Panama invasion, blocking outside interference in the Americas was no longer a key consideration the primary motives were maintaining stability in a strategically important country, protecting American citizens, and promoting human rights and democracy. In 1994, when the U.S. intervened in Haiti, the U.S. objectives were restoring order in a neighboring state from which countless refugees were fleeing, and protecting democracy and human rights in the region. A number of conclusions are drawn from these cases external interference and cross-border aggression are vanishing threat in the Americas democracy and human rights have joined order and stability as key objectives of U.S. Latin American policy threats to the lives of U.S. citizens may trigger military interventions direct interventions are more likely in Central America and the Caribbean than in South America the appearance of failed states in the region could lead to U.S. military intervention transnational threats could trigger U.S. interventions the Panama Canal remains a vital interest which the U.S. would defend by force military action is most likely when it will be quick, cheap and decisive unless the state in crisis invites outside intervention, the U.S. is not likely to find partners in the region for military action.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics