Exercising the Monroe Doctrine in Chinese-Influenced Panama
Strategy Research Project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
The Monroe Doctrine was postulated in 1823 with the intent of preventing Europe s powers from further colonizing Latin America. Since then, U.S. presidents employed the doctrine, or some modification of that doctrine, as a justification for denouncement of foreign meddling in the Western Hemisphere, particularly in the Caribbean. The Panama Canal is the most strategic piece of terrain in the Western Hemisphere. After the U.S. turned the canal over to Panama, and reduced its presence, it ceded its territorial and lost influence in Panama to Chinese soft power. China quickly seized the opportunity to gain access to the ports on each end of the Panama Canal along with the containers and warehousing. China now has strategic geographic and diplomatic leverage over the United States that it could use to the disadvantage of the U.S. in the future. The U.S. should counter China s influence in our most strategic terrain, applying American soft power with Panama through a whole of government approach to counter the growing drug trade and corruption, complete the 2007 Free Trade Agreement, expand educational opportunities, and clarify the U.S. right to secure the Panama Canal if deemed a threat to U.S. national security.
- Government and Political Science