Accession Number:

ADA528715

Title:

Good Bridges Make Good Neighbors

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1996-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

5.0

Abstract:

A small group of U.S. soldiers is serving in a peacekeeping operation in the jungles on the border between Ecuador and Peru after both nations agreed to end their boundary dispute at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield. The agreement to stop fighting and demilitarize the border was brokered by Brazil which along with Argentina, Chile, and the United States provided troops to monitor the agreement. This is only one example of the historic opportunities that now exist for the nations of the Western Hemisphere to build stable bridges of communication, cooperation, and trust that increase the security of our neighborhood. Times have changed. The hemisphere has embarked on a new era of democracy, peace, and stability. Most previous Secretaries of Defense looked south and saw only security problems. When I look south today, I find security partners. Just ten years ago, nearly half the nations of the region were ruled by military dictatorships. Now all but Cuba are democracies led by elected governments. Nearly every part of the Americas is free. The end of the Cold War offers a chance to consolidate these many democratic gains. With a decline in insurgency and increase in bilateral and multilateral cooperation, peace dominates the region. Negotiation has replaced confrontation. All parts of the hemisphere are reaching out to one another as even traditional enemies become trading partners. In the process, the Americas have been linked in a considerable and expanding economy. The gross hemispheric product will exceed 13 trillion by the end of the decade. Thanks to this growth, per capita income in Latin America is expected to increase by a fifth--a success that promises to ease poverty and raise living standards to enhance political stability. If these trends continue, including new agreements on free trade, Latin America will be a larger U.S. trading partner than Western Europe.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE