Latin America, for all its third world history, and related discounted importance in the international community hierarchy, is emerging in a big way onto the global scene in terms of strategic importance. Its collective resources, populations, military, and raw economic might and forward looking potential, immense.
China sees it. Russia sees it. And the U.S. "kind of" sees it.
China wants it (strategic positioning). Russia wants it. The U.S. is "thinking" about it.
It's time to step up U.S. recognition and desire, and more importantly – action, to seize it too. The cost for not doing so being a degraded national security situation.
The two dominators in this emergence of Latin America as "strategically significant" are Venezuela and Brazil. Many may think Argentina belongs on this lofty perch, having perennially vied with Brazil for regional power, but it has recently in the last few years acquiesced and conceded that rivalry to Brazil.
Venezuela has already made it quite clear where its alignment is. Brazil is still essentially non-committed, but disturbingly beginning to drift in a Venezuelan direction. It would be wonderful if the offset dominator to Venezuela, Brazil, was a U.S. clone. Unfortunately, it's not. Brazil is not (currently) the perfect solution but it is head and shoulders the better of the two choices. The situation as some may say, is certainly not ideal. Rather, it is what it is. The U.S. must accept the cards it's been dealt and choose one, and then make the best of it, having no choice but to.
This article makes the case that Venezuela is creating an increasing threat to the U.S. both by its own actions but too even more disturbing, acting as the key access point, gatekeeper and/or door opener for China and a resurgent Russia to infiltrate and dominate Latin America. Both countries are aggressively exploiting this open door, and thus increasing the threat to U.S. national security.
Thus the need for the U.S. to wake up and counter that powerful inertia by aligning with a Latin America power player who may not necessarily be totally warm to the U.S., but who, unlike Venezuela, practices some if not a much larger degree of sensibility in terms of "generally" thinking "Country, not President", first. The emerging potential challenge to civilian rule in Brazil vis-à-vis rise of the military, certainly disconcerting and why action to help stem that possibility, being critical now. In effect, a generally rational country "at the moment", one who with prudent and responsible actions, the U.S. can negotiate and partner with towards a goal of win-win results.
The strategic focus then is on Brazil. Again, this will be no easy feat navigating the current ideological and attitude differences between the U.S. and Brazil, particularly Brazil towards the U.S.. But with a newfound approach to all countries in terms of understanding and factoring how they really think and behave, and therefore understanding that Brazil is not the U.S. as the Analyst made the similar case in the previous article on Pakistan, a respectful and results driven dialogue can be established for the common good.
The U.S. is currently strong in Columbia and to a degree militarily in Paraguay, the latter relationship rubbing Brazil the wrong way but still pivotal anchor points from which the U.S. can strengthen strategic Latin American positioning by now wooing the key strategic blocking piece in the triad - Brazil.
Before this article gets into the filing of divorce papers on Venezuela and notarizing the marriage license with Brazil, clearly a marriage of (difficult and challenging) convenience, certainly not love or romance, it seems opportune to preview a technology need to help with just this kind of national security strategic decision making.
A real time, robust video "Display of U.S. National Security". One which obviates and makes obsolete those daily, burdensome, paper laden data dump briefings by the National Security Advisor to the President. Does it exist? Maybe, maybe not.
If it doesn't exist, it should. If it does, this Analyst would suggest it might look something like this. A full wall size video screen showing the entire globe, with each country either lighted green, yellow or red. Call it the National Security (System) Screen (NSS). The presentation themed/displayed in two ways:
1) A Global "Map" by Country - An electoral voting red/blue state map type look, but uniquely possessing comprehensive and robust national security decision making information behind each country and region.