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Superpower Cooperation in the Caribbean and Central America

  • W. Raymond Duncan

Abstract

Central America — the scene of civil war upheavals, Soviet expansionism, Cuban intervention and United States anxiety — merits attention as a unique arena in which to assess superpower cooperation in conflict management. This is so for at least three reasons. First, Central America’s geographic location makes it a high priority in US security policy. Like other great powers, the US has resisted political developments in neighboring states that pose unacceptable threats to its national security.1 US concern about Central America has been exacerbated by the region’s political turbulence since World War II, dramatized by radical leftist movements and the emergence in 1979 of Sandinista Nicaragua as a major US security issue. Until the Sandinista’s stunning election loss in February 1990, the US viewed Nicaragua, like Cuba, as an opportunity for Soviet expansionism.

Keywords

Foreign Policy Unite Nations Political Thinking Direct Confrontation Regional Conflict 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Evan Luard, ‘Superpowers and Regional Conflicts’, Foreign Affairs, vol. 64, no. 5 (Summer 1986), pp. 1013–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Luard, Conflict and Peace in the Modern International System (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988), pp. 121–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 2.
    For background reading on Soviet-United States adversarial relations in the Caribbean Basin and Central America, see Peter Calvert, The Central American Security System: North-South or East-West? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See G. Pope Atkins, Latin American in the International Political System (New York: The Free Press, 1977), pp. 89–90Google Scholar
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    See Ronald M. Schneider, Communism in Guatemala 1944–1954 (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1958)Google Scholar
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    US Department of State and Department of Defense, The Soviet-Cuban Connection in Central America and the Caribbean (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, March 1985), pp. 1–4.Google Scholar
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    See Richard H. Schultz, The Soviet Union and Revolutionary Warfare: Principles, Practices, and Regional Comparisons (Stanford University: The Hoover Institution, 1988)Google Scholar
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    See James C. C. Chace, America Invulnerable: The Quest for Absolute Security From 1812 to Star Wars (New York: Summit, 1988), p. 3.Google Scholar
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    US Department of Defense, Soviet Military Power: An Assessment of the Threat 1988 (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1988), p. 29.Google Scholar
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    Robert S. Leiken, ‘Fantasies and Facts: The Soviet Union and Nicaragua’, Current History, vol. 83 (October 1984), p. 317.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Roger E. Kanet and Edward A. Kolodziej 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Raymond Duncan

There are no affiliations available

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