US Security Interests in Central America
Escalating US involvement in Central America raises a series of questions about real security interests in the region: whether current policies are, in fact, serving those interests; the costs of continuing to pursue these policies; and whether alternative policies might, in fact better serve legitimate US security interests. First, it is essential to have a precise sense of the importance to the United States of the region, in national terms, because that determines what the United States is prepared to expend in resources to defend those interests. When the Our-national-security- interests-are-at-stake-in-the-regionT argument is invoked, as it regularly is by the Ronald Reagan administration, it is usually justified by arguments about dominoes; sea lanes; foreign military bases; the Panama Canal; refugees; proximity; contingency planning; and/or preemptive action.
KeywordsUnited States Refugee Camp Contingency Planning Panama Canal Security Interest
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