Friday, May 26, 2006

The U.S. Military and Latin America

Interesting stuff. The army general in charge of the U.S. Southern Command is openly questioning U.S. policy toward Cuba, saying it needs to be rethought. In particular, he wants to be able to make contact with Cuban officers. This comes on the heels of the Pentagon publicly saying that it did not like the policy of penalizing countries that refused to provide waivers to U.S. soldiers with regard to the International Criminal Court.

There is both good and bad intertwined in this. The good is that most aspects of our Cuba policy make little sense and at times have precisely the opposite effect intended, so it’s a good idea to rethink them. The bad is that, as Dana Priest has aptly argued in The Mission, the U.S. military is making policy in many parts of the world because the White House is paying no attention and/or is not interested. Civilians should be making coherent policy, but they aren’t.


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