Tuesday, January 08, 2019

U.S. and Russia in Latin America

Ted Galen Carpenter writes in The National Interest that the U.S. needs to "enforce" the Monroe Doctrine with regard to Russia. By this he means the U.S. should "stress to Moscow" that it cannot have any "military ties" to Latin American governments, and in return the U.S. will ignore everything Russia does "deep into Eastern Europe."

Washington’s failure to enforce the Monroe Doctrine during the Cold War when the Soviet Union made Cuba into a client state and military outpost has not encouraged respect for that doctrine in the post-Cold War era. The Trump administration needs to adopt a firmer policy toward Moscow’s intrusions into Latin America. At the same time, U.S. leaders must recognize that U.S. policy has been clumsy and provocative toward Russia’s interests in Eastern Europe, especially regarding Ukraine. Washington needs to adopt a new approach that respects Moscow’s implicit version of a Monroe Doctrine.

There are a few problems with this argument.

First, like all such arguments--and there have been plenty--he never defines "enforce" or "stress." I take it this means threatening Russia somehow. That alone could easily precipitate an unnecessary and unwanted crisis. What does the U.S. do if Russia refuses? Back during the Cold War, do you mean nuclear war? It was close for a while.

Second, do we really want a foreign policy that simply says Russian expansion, even invasion of other countries, is perfectly fine? I am no fan of U.S. intervention, but at the same time publicly handing Eastern Europe to Vladimir Putin does not appeal to me.

Third, this is a stretch even for the ever flexible Monroe Doctrine. I can't recall any version of it that forbade selling things to Latin American countries. Remember too that Latin American governments regardless of ideology dislike the Monroe Doctrine. Formally reviving it would be detrimental to U.S. interests.


Alfredo 7:06 PM  

What nonsense that guy wrote.....and in return the U.S. will ignore everything Russia does "deep into Eastern Europe."....many of those Eastern Europe countries like Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic etc etc are NATO members you idiot (Galen)...how does Cuba stack up against that....lol I could cry.....

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