Joint Forces Command’s Latin America forecast

The military problems that arise in South America and Central America will likely arise from within.
Many currently plague the continent, particularly drug cartels and criminal gangs, while terrorist organizations will continue to find a home in some of the continent’s lawless border regions.
Nevertheless, South America’s improving economic situation suggests the region could be in a better position to deal with these problems.
Brazil, in particular, appears set on a course that could make it a major player among the great powers by the 2030s.
Chile, Argentina, Peru and possibly Colombia will also most likely see sustained growth, if they continue prudent economic policies.
The potential major challenges to the status quo at present are Cuba and Venezuela.
The demise of the Castros will create the possibility of major changes in Cuba’s politics.
The future of Venezuela is harder to read. The Chavez regime is diverting substantial amounts of its oil revenues to further its anti-American “Bolivarian Revolution,” while at the same time consolidating his regime’s hold on power by distributing oil wealth to his supporters.
By trying to do both it is shortchanging investments in its oil infrastructure, which has serious implications for the future.
Unless its current regime changes direction, it could use its oil wealth to subvert its neighbors for an extended period while pursuing anti-American activities on a global scale with the likes of Iran, Russia, and China, in effect creating opportunities to form anti-American coalitions in the region.
Brazil will become a superpower in regional terms. No country in South America is likely to approach its economic power, which will rapidly grow stronger due to its resources in biofuels. The oil fields that have been found off in the Brazilian coast represent a resource that will add to Brazil’s economic and political power.
A serious impediment to growth in Latin America remains the power of criminal gangs and drug cartels to corrupt, distort, and damage the region’s potential.
The fact that criminal organizations and cartels are capable of building dozens of disposable submarines in the jungle and then using them to smuggle cocaine, indicates the enormous economic scale of this activity.
This poses a real threat to the national security interests of the Western Hemisphere.
In particular, the growing assault by the drug cartels and their thugs on the Mexican government over the past several years reminds one that an unstable Mexico could represent a homeland security problem of immense proportions to the United States.

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About Caracas Gringo

Representing less than 0.00000000001515152% of the world population as of 31 December 2011.
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