Latin America 2020: Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests
By Craig A. Deare
July 7, 2020 —
U.S. national security interests in Latin America are undermined by three key threats: transnational criminal organizations, which exploit weak levels of governance across the majority of countries in the region; extra-regional actors, which fill the vacuum created by U.S. distraction and inattention to its neighborhood; and finally, a number of regional political actors embracing ideological positions opposed to open political systems and free markets, which undermine progress toward democratic governance and stability. The United States must acknowledge the deeply rooted causes of the weak levels of governance and engage with greater attention and presence while recognizing its limitations for helping to resolve those weaknesses in the short term. U.S. prestige is on the line within this hemisphere as we confront the ambitions of revisionist powers undermining global order.