Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The WHINSEC debate goes on

An article at the Council of Hemispheric Affairs has generated some heat (updated: see more on COHA's own response here), as it questions the assumptions of those--particularly the School of the Americas Watch--who want the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC, formerly the School of the Americas) closed.  I don't think it is a very well-written or well-argued article, though it remind me of several problems people face when discussing this hotly charged issue.

First, WHINSEC and the SOA should not be viewed as the same thing, or at the very least that assertion should be treated as something to be proved rather than assumed.

Second, any analysis of SOA's influence on individuals should also take into account the domestic Latin American civil-military context.  Both SOA and WHINSEC have an impact, though not necessarily in the simple way (we teach, they go and practice our teachings) that many supporters and critics alike assert.

Third, the fact that WHINSEC's budget is small does not mean it should or shouldn't be closed.  Arguments should focus more on what it is actually doing.

For my 2003 academic article on the topic, see here.  I last wrote about WHINSEC on this blog in 2007.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP