The U.S. and Chavez: To Confront or To Contain
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been a frequent, vocal, and harsh critic of U.S. officials and policy. He has actively opposed U.S. allies in the region, and key U.S. initiatives at the U.N. and OAS. Distant and recent U.S. history in the region, and U.S. priorities in the Middle East and elsewhere, constrain U.S. options vis-a-vis Chavez. This paper examines Venezuelan President Hugo Chavezs anti-American rhetoric, actions, and objectives, and assesses the nature of the threat Chavez poses to interests in the Western Hemisphere. Focusing on the Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic DIME instruments of national power, it then examines current, unstated U.S. containment policy under the rubric of U.S. Department of States Mission Program Plans in Venezuela, Columbia and Brazil, and U.S. Southern Commands Theater Security cooperation Plan TSCP. The paper reviews whether the U.S. ought best to confront Chavez, or contain him, examining the benefits and drawbacks of both courses of action. Finally, the paper offers recommendations on what aspects of the MPP and TSCP processes might be modified or emphasized in order to make U.S. policy towards Chavez more effective.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics