How the U.S. is Engaging a Strategic and Evolving Region
Christopher Sabatini and Ryan Berger’s CNN op-ed (“Why the U.S. Can’t Afford to Ignore Latin America,” June 13, 2012), commenting on the scant attention the Center for a New American Security’s recent “grand strategy” report paid to the Americas, outlined three compelling reasons why Latin America must figure prominently in the United States’ strategic calculations.
Their case boils down to our need for regional allies; Latin America’s increasing global integration; and ongoing security challenges in the hemisphere.
These observations are spot-on; today the hemisphere represents a remarkable series of opportunities. What the authors could have gone on to say is that these understandings are today at the core of U.S. policies in the region, which have never been more grounded in our long-term interests, and the practical and sustained efforts needed to advance them. While headlines have largely focused on crises and threats elsewhere, 21st century U.S. engagement with—and partnership in—the Western Hemisphere have grown steadily. Judged in terms of its scope and effectiveness, that engagement is at an historic high point.
This signals a profound recognition, in political capitals and business centers alike, that the Americas are becoming a critical platform for our shared competitiveness, growth, and security. Our governments and businesses are embracing the huge comparative advantages our geography confers—what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refers to as “the power of proximity.” Today, we recognize too what a strength and advantage our demographic links with the rest of the Americas are— vectors for innovation, shared values and common purpose.
Read full story here.