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Policy Issues Beyond Orthodoxy: Asserting Latin Americas New Strategic Options Toward the United States

Roberto Russell Juan Gabriel Tokatlian


ABSTRACT This essay explores the possibility that Latin America may deploy new strategic options in its relations with Washington at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It starts by evaluating what have been the five major foreign policy models of the region with regard to Washington since the end of the Cold War. It proceeds by evaluating the recent dynamics of Latin American insertion into world affairs. Then it introduces three new alternatives for handling U.S.Latin American relations in the coming years. It concludes by pointing out the importance of understanding the scope of the hemispheric challenges for both the region and Washington.

t the beginning of the second decade of the twenty-first century, it has become apparent that the nineteenth-century Monroe Doctrine is dwindling. A combination of structural factors and recent dynamics at the global, hemispheric, regional, and U.S. levels is generating an unprecedented conjuncture: Latin America in general, and South America in particular, have the opportunity to decrease the scope of their dependency on the United States; to renegotiate, on better grounds, their asymmetry in regard to Washington; and to accelerate their diversified world insertion. A pragmatic China is arriving in the area with resources, trade, and soft power. An unsatisfied Russia is returning to the region with commerce, on the one hand, and a new military muscle, on the other. An assertive Iran is closer to South and Central America, both diplomatically and in terms of energy politics. An emerging India is making incipient and productive contacts with Latin America, on the economic and political sides. An active South Africa is growing involved in South-South cooperation with Southern Cone countries, Argentina and Brazil in particular. Even Japan is showing a renewed interest in the area. Europe is still an important market and a key source of technology for South America and an important aid provider for Central America and the Caribbean.
2011 University of Miami

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Since 2005, two South America-Arab country summits were held, while two South America-Africa summits were carried out since 2006. Simultaneously, several nonstate forcesantiglobalization movements, global NGOs, political groups, transnational criminal organizationshave increased their presence in the hemisphere, while the U.S. government has been deeply concentrating on domestic issues, markedly obsessed for a long time with Iraq, Afghanistan, and Al Qaeda, and recently overwhelmed by the revolts in northern Africa and the Middle East. Even though the current global economic crisis is paramount in its scope and proportion, Latin American countries are better prepared than they were one decade ago for such a major external shock. There is no clear perspective on the evolution of this critical conjuncture, even though the region can probably endure this moment and still begin a new phase of economic growth with a more solid standing than in the 1980s and 1990s. Obviously, there are several major problems that affect Latin America. Several of them need global solutions (for example, drugs and organized crime), others the regtion has dealt with (for example, domestic institutional crisis and bilateral political frictions), and most of them (especially the social agenda) are being tackled by the individual governments, with mixed results. Meanwhile, the U.S.-Latin American agendatrade, illicit drugs, migration, environment, investment, organized crime, corruption, energy, democracy, human rights, rule of lawis directly intertwined with a multiplicity of interests, policies, and actors. On most of these issues, Washington has adopted a defensive or reactive posture. This is quite surprising, because in recent years the United States has suffered some setbacks in the region. For example, the Free Trade Area of the Americas was neither signed nor started in 2005 as it was originally supposed to be. The latest Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago (April 2009) showed that the United States has no new issues to propose and discuss with the area. U.S. immigration initiatives, at both the federal and state levels, have created criticism throughout the hemisphere without solving any of the domestic problems of the United States. President Barack Obamas trip to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador in March 2011 was overshadowed by the Libyan crisis. Keeping all this in mind, this essay attempts to introduce a mediumand long-term perspective to U.S.-Latin American relations. It assumes that what we see as deep structural trends will bring significant shifts to interamerican relations: the redistribution of global power; the growing relevance of Latin America for U.S. domestic politics, as well as the resources located in the region (namely water, energy, and minerals); the loss of U.S. relative importance for some actors in the region, especially in South America; the probability of a genuine rise, for the first time in Latin American history, of an ascendant power (Brazil); the

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increase of extrahemispheric actors interests and influence in the region; and the deepening of the dual impact of the process of globalization: the opening of new and wider opportunities for Latin American international diversification and the persistence of unevenness at the domestic level. It is also necessary to clarify the nature of this essay. First, we identify the five major foreign policy models followed by the region in regard to the United States since the end of the Cold War. Specific examples are given for explaining these models and understanding their main characteristics. Second, we develop the three major strategic options available to the region for the handling of U.S.-Latin American relations in the coming years. This section has a clear normative character. The current challenges and dilemmas faced by interamerican relations demand heterodoxy. We refer to a need to combine ethical commitments, new evidence-based analysis, and long-term strategic thinking. We conclude by assessing the feasibility of the three strategies proposed.

FIVE MODELS OF FOREIGN POLICY TOWARD THE UNITED STATES


Since the end of the Cold War, Latin America has experienced five models of foreign policy toward the United States. They all imply a particular approach to the global system, a specific type of relationship with Washington, and a singular role assigned to the region in each countrys external relations. In some cases, more than one model has been implemented during the last two decades. In general, this reflects the existence of changing government policies, while the few exemptions may show the existence of a grand strategy.1 The five models are coupling, accommodation, limited opposition, challenge, and isolation. They all reveal a set of premises and practices.

Coupling
Coupling is characterized by bandwagoning with U.S. strategic interests, at both a global and a regional level. It strives to participate actively in the creation and maintenance of international regimes that coincide with Washingtons position, especially on sensitive issues linked to global security. It supports regional economic integration as long as this does not disrupt free trade agreements with the United States. In political and cultural terms, relations with other Latin American countries are slightly more relevant, although they are not a matter of a significant diplomatic activity: Washington is the guiding light for the countries that follow this foreign policy.

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The domestic economic model is strongly orthodox and is structured, in general terms, according to the basic guidelines of the neoliberal economic agenda, at one point stimulated by the Washington Consensus. It assumes that market forces, and not the state power, enable a more dynamic and fruitful insertion of the country into the world system. Moreover, it accepts the fundamental rules of the international economic and financial order, and it fully believes in the overall benefits of free trade agreements. In essence, it defends the global status quo, it conceives the United States as an ally, and it is notably indifferent toward the region. The most emblematic cases of coupling are Mexico (during the government of Carlos Salinas), Argentina (during the government of Carlos Menem), and Colombia (during the government of Alvaro Uribe). The cases that are closest to this model are Peru (during the governments of Alberto Fujimori, Alejandro Toledo, and Alan Garca), Bolivia (during Gonzalo Snchez de Losadas first concluded government and his second nonconcluded government), and the countries of Central America (except Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama) and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. The determination by the Salinas government to sign the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the participation of the Menem government in the first Persian Gulf War (1991), and the support of the Uribe administration for U.S. military intervention in Iraq in 2003 are some eloquent examples of bandwagoning with the United States on fundamental issues of its international agenda. In general, following the United States is combined with a strong rhetoric in favor of this course of action. As Washington is usually the focus of these countries attention, they perceive their own neighborhood as relatively uncomfortable and as a low priority in terms of their global insertion. Two corollaries follow from this position: a free-riding spirit and a low tendency toward common regional positions. The cases that are closest to coupling have appealed, under different circumstances, to the fight against terrorism and illicit drugs (Peru under the governments of Fujimori and Toledo, several Central American countries, and the Dominican Republic), economic reforms and the fight against narcotrafficking (Bolivia under Snchez de Losada), and the war in Iraq in 2003 (Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic), in order to demonstrate proximity to Washington and acceptance of its policies with respect to these critical issues.

Accommodation
Accommodation is characterized by selectively accompanying the United States under certain circumstances. It promotes an active role in

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the configuration of international regimes, preferably in harmony with Washington. It conceives regional economic integration according to strict pragmatic motivations, without a firm commitment to collective mechanisms. Economic diplomacy is fundamental, at both global and hemispheric levels. Accommodation assigns to the relation with neighbors a fairly relevant place, partly to negotiate individually with the United States under more favorable conditions. The defense of basic international and interamerican principles leads to dissociation from Washington on numerous issues of the international and regional agenda. The accommodation model seeks to counteract the harmful effects of the so-called neoliberal economic model (in terms of inequality, unemployment, deindustrialization, etc.) by means of compensatory social policies. It promotes a balance between market and state when projecting foreign policy toward Washington, the region, and the world. Moreover, it seeks a moderate revision of international rules and institutions in the commercial and financial fields. Essentially, it tries to introduce a partial fine-tuning to the global order; it defines the United States as a friend; and it keeps a position of relative indifference toward the region. The emblematic cases are Chile and Costa Rica. The cases that are closest to this model are Mexico (during the governments of Zedillo, Fox, and Caldern), Uruguay, Panama, and occasionally Ecuador (up to the inauguration of President Rafael Correa in January 2007). The simultaneity of positions favorable to the promotion of free trade agreements with the United States and the refusal to legitimate Washingtons war against Iraq in 2003 have characterized both Chilean and Costa Rican foreign policies. Costa Rica, within the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) framework, and Chile, bilaterally, have signed trade agreements with the United States. However, Washington did not achieve the support of either of these two countries to invade Iraq: Costa Rica, in appealing to its pacifist tradition, did not actively back the invasion as did some of its neighbors, while Chile, as a nonpermanent member, expressed its opposition at the United Nations Security Council. The diplomatic capacity to maneuver in turbulent waters, internally and externally, during difficult times, together with the invocation of their democratic credentials and their attachment to international law, has enabled Costa Rica and Chile to avoid letting a key security issue contaminate important matters included in the economic agenda of their respective relations with Washington. The cases that are closest to accommodation have also appealed to law so as to take some distance from the United States. Mexico, during Zedillos government, successfully called upon the OAS Inter-American Juridical Committee to provide a legal opinion on the 1996 HelmsBurton Act on Cuba: the committee considered the act a violation of

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international law because it exceeded extraterritorial matters. Moreover, Mexico under Fox did not side with the United States at the U.N. Security Council on the war against Iraq. Mexico under Caldern also resorted to legal arguments to express its criticism of U.S. state laws on migrationmainly in the case of Arizona. With other opportunities, some governments tried to establish a modus vivendi with the United States by balancing political and economic issues. Thus, Panama signed a free trade agreement with the United States while it approved the enlargement of the Panama Canal, favoring the interests of China, through the Hutchinson-Whampoa firm. At one point, Quito advanced free trade negotiations with Washington without abstaining from strongly criticizing the U.S. Plan Colombia, which was having negative spillover effects for Ecuadors security. In 2006, Uruguay backed Venezuela in its unsuccessful search for a nonpermanent seat on the U.N. Security Council while it signed, with the other hand, an investment agreement with the United States.

Limited Opposition
The limited opposition model advocates a mixed policy toward the United States that combines disagreement and collaboration, convergence and obstruction, deference and resistance. Regional integration is considered essential to enhance the negotiating power of the area, both individually and collectively, with respect to the United States. Political relations with the neighbors are important to strengthen the diplomatic dialogue with Washington. Limited opposition promotes a more heterodox internal model of development, neodesarrollismo, and is much more sensitive to domestic social issues. It assigns the state a key role both in economics and politics. Furthermore, it promotes significant changes in the international economic and financial institutions while discouraging or rejecting the establishment of a free trade agreement with the United States. In short, it favors a reform of the global orderwhich it conceives as highly inequitable; it perceives the United States as a dual player (a combination of threat and opportunity); and it gives a crucial importance to regional relations. The emblematic case of this model is Brazil. The cases that are closest to this model are Argentina (the governments of Presidents Nstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner), Venezuela (the first part, 19982002, of Hugo Chvezs administration), Bolivia (the government of Evo Morales), and Ecuador (the Correa government). Brazil, as the exemplary case of this model, presents a unique condition in Latin America: it is an emerging power with aspirations to regional leadership and extrahemispheric projection. This forces Braslia

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to take some distance from Washington in order to be recognized as a major power in the area but also forces it to be close enough to the United States to gain Washingtons support for its international ascendance. In other words, Braslia partly competes with Washington while at the same time it needs U.S. backing to carry out its desire to play a more active and decisive role in the international arena. The cases that are closest to this model tend to oscillate between a relatively pragmatic (Argentina and Ecuador) and a highly ideological position (Venezuela and Bolivia). These countries have suffered strong internal turbulence, which explains, to a great extent, the reorientation of their foreign policies: the collapse of the traditional two-party system in Venezuela, the political-economic collapse of Argentina in 20012, the quasistate collapse in Bolivia before Morales, and the repeated institutional crises in Ecuador since the 1990s. In all these cases, the role of the United Stateseither through manifest underattention or direct interferencewas important, and created the incentives for the incoming governments to distance themselves from Washington. Relative strengths and weaknesses (the possession of some strategic asset or a prolonged decline) are significant in terms of the sustainability of this foreign policy model.

Challenge
The challenge model promotes drastic distancing policies and the open rejection of the United States, at both global and regional levels. It is based on the belief that national security is in danger and therefore that survival is the main interest at stake. It emphasizes a holistic integration at a regional level, implying by this an integration that includes the economic, political, diplomatic, cultural, and military dimensions; this type of integration from below would serve as an antidote to the integration from above promoted by Washington with the approval of the old, traditional elites. In due course, it seeks to create a new, radical domestic socioeconomic model. In the meantime, it adopts decisions to strengthen the regulatory and interventionist role of the state, conceived as crucial for the management of external political and economic relations. In addition, it severely questions the class-based, uneven international economic and financial order while it actively opposes free trade agreements with the United States. In sum, it looks for a complete revision of the global order; it sees the United States as an enemy; and it assigns the region a fundamental role for attaining the models main objectives. The most emblematic cases are Cuba and Venezuela (after the failed coup dtat of 2002). Two further elements characterize this model: the influence exerted by the challengers in the region through the propagation of their revo-

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lutionary project, using important symbolic and material resources, and the configuration of extraregional alliances with actors that rival the United States. The first factor (today expressed through Chvezs political action in the region, as by Cuba in the past) irritates Washington, but it does not directly affect U.S. national security. Contrary to this, the second factor (such as the relations between La Habana and Moscow during the Cold War and between Caracas and Teheran after September 11, 2001) directly affects U.S. vital interests.

Isolation
This model is characterized by a comprehensive support of the United States, but without calling attention to either its own people or outsiders.2 Regional integration is defined in opportunistic terms. The model does not seek to alter the rules of the game of the hemispheric system. It is basically interested in obtaining from Washington as many concessions as possible, with the central purpose of preserving the internal status quo. The isolation model encourages a low-profile foreign policy with very limited goals in the region and worldwide. Fundamentally, it does not pretend any transformation of the global order; it relates to the United States as a client; and it conceives its neighborhood as significant mainly for domestic reasons. The emblematic case is Paraguay under the governments led by the Partido Colorado. In 2008, with the government of President Fernando Lugo, which ended the long hegemony of that political party, which began in 1947, Asuncin has not altered this pattern of relations with the United States.3 Some of the examples that are closest to this model are located in the Caribbean, an area increasingly dependent on the United States on a vast range of political, economic, social, military, and cultural issues. President Barack Obamas launching of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative in 2009 will probably reinforce this type of linkage.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE WORLD: BETWEEN NOVELTY AND DIVERSITY


The diversity of foreign policy models in Latin America is not new; such variety existed before and after the Cold War. In the past as in the present, this plurality reflects the distinctive circumstances of a diverse group of countries, all of which have varied interests. Relative power, geographic location, national or governmental interests, ideological motives, pragmatic considerations, and, on occasion, a certain dogmatism have determined the policies of Latin American countries toward Washington. This is a structural trait that diminishes or flourishes under different conditions.

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In the last 20 years, Latin America has gone through two phases characterized by this dynamic. First, during the 1990s, the region showed a remarkable homogeneity in the way it defined its policies toward the United States. Three factors strongly influenced this extraordinary phenomenon: the end of the Cold War, the democratization of Latin America, and the broad acceptance that the import substitution model had come to an end, as a consequence of the advent of globalization in its neoliberal form. Latin America as a whole adapted to this historic cycle, which concluded with the victory of the West, and to a great extent, supported Washingtons agenda for the enlargement of liberal democracy, market reforms, and free trade agreements. The wind seemed to blow in the same direction and toward a shared future built around similar visions and interests. The strategic options (extrahemispheric protection, collective unity, social revolution, and Third Worldism) available to Latin America during the East-West conflict were perceived as museum pieces, and all of Latin America, with the exception of Cuba, moved closer to the United States.4 Some cases, as we mentioned in our modelslike the Mexico of Salinas and the Argentina of Menemfollowed without hesitation the strategy of joining the North (see Smith 2000).5 Others, like the Brazil of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, tried to preserve spaces of national autonomy while constructing new forms of relationship with the United States. To some authors, this period constituted a novel boom around the old Western Hemisphere idea that called on the Americas to integrate and cooperate (see Corrales and Feinberg 1999).6 At the end of the 1990s, homogeneity among the Latin American countries diminished, giving way to a new phase characterized by a marked difference of policies toward the United States. Profound changes in Venezuelan politics demonstrated the will of its new leader, Chvez, to resuscitate a strategy of opposition to Washington. At the same time, other countries extended, less vocally, their disagreement or opposition to U.S. preferences, combining singular forms of resistance and collaboration. A politically more heterogeneous Latin America showed a significant diversity of development models, as well as foreign policy orientations. Yet despite these differences, the notion of autonomy and its significance as an objective national interest reappeared with renewed vigor in the political and academic debate. The concept of diversification of external relations as an indispensable tool to expand the margins of liberty, prosperity, and national security followed a similar path. For a large part of the region, the world of the 2000s, despite its turbulence and uncertainty, became a source of new opportunities for international insertion. In this context, each Latin American country has shown a noteworthy capacity and a growing interest in diversifying its relations with mul-

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tiple actors or in giving new forms to its existing relations with familiar partners. The Bolivia of Evo Morales, for example, has expanded its ties with countries like Norway and Finland, which supported his proposals on environmental protection. After President Moraless visit to South Korea in August 2010 (the first visit by a Bolivian president since the two countries opened diplomatic relations in 1965), Bolivia signed an accord with the authorities in Seoul for a credit of US$250 for research and development of lithium mines in Salar de Uyni, where, it is believed, exist half the global reserves of this basic metal, critical for the fabrication of electronic batteries. In 2006, Peru promoted the Initiative for the Latin American Pacific Rim, which materialized the following year with the objective of increasing trade relations between countries in the region and articulating common positions toward the nations of Asia and the Pacific. Paraguay, the only South American country that maintains relations with Taiwan, decided in 2009 to open in Shanghai its first commercial office in China. The Dominican Republic in 2006, El Salvador in 2008, and Costa Rica in 2010 opened in New Delhi their respective embassies to seek new markets and investment. The Nicaragua of Daniel Ortega recognized the independence of Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia (something neither Havana nor Caracas has done) and suspended its relations with Israel after the attack in May 2010 on the flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. The Panamanian government has achieved a delicate equilibrium between capitals of diverse origin in the concession of its main ports, the expansion of which will continue until 2014.7 Chile signed a free trade agreement with the United States; but today its principal partners are located in East Asia, and Santiago has been buying a large part of its armaments in Europe (especially in Germany, Spain, France, Holland, and Britain). Argentina and Uruguay have found in the Asian markets an extraordinary opportunity to position their primary products. Moreover, the rise of Brazil has meant an important change in the equation of power in Latin America. This country is an essential counterpart for most nations in the area, while its high international visibility and gradual global recognition offers Latin America a relevant opportunity to elicit greater attention in the world arena. This common thread, marked by diversification, questions certain notions that pertain more to the past than to the present. Relatively recently, an observer of the comparative foreign politics of Latin America, William A. Hazleton, stated, All Latin American and Caribbean nations have foreign relations; most do not, however, have true foreign policies (Hazleton 1984, 152). With this assertion, he wanted to underscore that a good number of the countries in the region barely react to external phenomena or pressures and lack a foreign policy strategy.

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Such a contention, perhaps correct in its moment, today is equivocal. A series of circumstances (e.g., the relative withdrawal of the United States from the region after 9/11), processes (globalization, regionalism, and democratization), opportunities (the economic dynamics around Asia), and domestic conditions (economic growth combined with active leadership and more mobilized civil societies) have enabled Latin American countries to become more assertive and varied in their foreign policies. In spite of this situation, the United States remains the most influential external actor in the foreign policy of all countries in the region. In many cases, this position of relevance could have diminished in relative terms, but so far the United States has not lost its place of privilege. It is clear, as a general tendency, that its political and economic presence and influence today have declined, a phenomenon that is more evident the further one moves from Washington. At the same time, however, the U.S. military presence and influence have grown, also following a pattern strongly conditioned by geography. This process takes place at a conjuncture characterized by a certain apathy in Washington toward the region, something that encourages the phenomenon of subimperialism, as explained by David Fieldhouse: agents of the state, in this case the military, that act in the region with higher margins of autonomy in regard to the central government (Fieldhouse 1961). So, with the exception of military issues, Latin America feels less of the predominance of the United States, while this country experiences a greater presence of the region in its territory. We refer especially to the growing Latino population in the United States, a growing factor in U.S. domestic politics and therefore in interamerican relations. In addition, the U.S. global agenda is strongly influenced by issues that involve Latin America, and economic relations with the area are becoming more significant for the well-being of U.S. citizens.

THREE STRATEGIC OPTIONS


In this context, Latin American countries have a window of opportunity to develop new strategic options that differ to a great extent from the traditional ones. The loss of relative influence on the part of the United States, with the nuances mentioned above, and the horizon of alternatives open to the region by the diffusion of international power make the strategic options of classical balancing, bandwagoning, and confrontation ever more anachronistic and dysfunctional to the interests of a majority of Latin American and Caribbean countries. Nevertheless, all three options are still present in some of the models described here. The option of balancing seems unfeasible, since no country in the region has the conditions to put it into practice individually or to lead a

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solid coalition toward this goal. There is a typical collective action dilemma here: how to establish effective leadership, distribute tasks, and keep commitments. The option of alignment is full of risks and uncertainties. It involves a problem of scope, since the United States can continuously increase its standard of loyalty while, on the other hand, it is highly probable that some states will be more willing than others to pledge fidelity and fulfill their commitment. Moreover, it compels countries to join the U.S. government in the foreign adventures of their choice: lack of compliance, minimal criticism of the policies, or the abandonment of bandwagoning will be perceived as a demonstration of lack of perseverance or, worse, an act of treason. Nevertheless, for the smaller and geographically nearer countries to the United States, the option of closely aligning with Washington may be valid and functional for their interests. The third option, confrontation, seems extremely dangerous for every country in the region. It can generate strong sanctions from the United States and, consequently, the challenge may be extremely costly and even unsustainable. Furthermore, confrontational policies by an individual state or group of states in the region tend to produce fear in the neighboring countries, thereby giving some an additional incentive to adopt a strategy of bandwagoning with Washington, or for the United States to promote counteralliances opposed to the contenders or to mobilize a coalition of the willing to contain them. In fact, Latin Americas margins of international maneuvering are more varied than what the classic strategic options usually establish. Thus, Latin American countries may defend and promote their national interests in cooperation or competition with the United States, incorporating other alternatives. In particular, we propose three strategic options to be deployed: binding multilateralism, restricted containment, and selective collaboration. These three options are based on the existence of common interests, values, and aversions at hemispheric, regional, and subregional levels.

Binding Multilateralism
The strategy of binding multilateralism consists of the diligent use of world institutions in order to restrain the power of the United States and persuade Washington to adhere or comply with international laws and rules. It is employed in multilateral arenas; it covers a wide set of issues; and it requires the formation of flexible and diverse coalitions at a global level. By the way, it is highly improbable that the United States will leave its main security interests to the decisions of international institutions, as is the case with the war against terrorism or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, the field is more

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open and the results are less defined for other political and economic issues, and this allows some room to maneuver so as to hinder or diminish U.S. arbitrary use of its power. Furthermore, the existing world consensus with respect to numerous issues on the international agenda increases the costs to the United States (in terms of both credibility and legitimacy) for not obeying agreed principles and rules, as well as for not joining certain institutions (e.g., the International Criminal Court), assuming certain commitments (e.g., the Kyoto Protocol), or subscribing to certain mechanisms (e.g., the U.N. programs to regulate and reduce light weapons). The condition that makes binding multilateralism possible is the existence of a highly institutionalized international order. Institutions weigh heavily in the prescription of state behavior, in the restriction of the use of power, and in the legitimation of the decisions adopted. The United States cannot ignore them systematically without paying increasing costs in terms of loss of support for its postures and policies. Therefore the best potential way the strategy of binding multilateralism can work demands an active Latin America searching for assertive coalitions with like-minded countries from both the North and the South. Certainly, binding multilateralism implies a test of international credibility for Latin America. It would be incongruentand in the long run, very costlyto try to strengthen international institutions without doing the same at hemispheric, regional, and subregional levels. Peripheral unilateralism, understood as the behavior of a country of the periphery that violates international law or that is based solely on the search of individual benefits and advantages without considering or ignoring the neighbors interests, reduces or eliminates the credibility of binding multilateralism as an alternative. Restricted Containment Restricted containment, by contrast, implies the gradual creation of regional spaces, means, and policies to reduce, exclude, or prevent the influence or interference of the United States in a given geographical area of the region while favoring the regions collective capacity to interact with Washington. As in the case of binding multilateralism, this second strategic option includes a wide range of topics, although the emphasis here is on security issues. As opposed to the classical balance of power, restricted containment enables states to increase their power and decision autonomy without confronting or rivaling Washington. To a certain degree, this strategic alternative can even be functional to U.S. security interests in this area: for example, it might allow for the creation or conservation of a peace zone without interstate conflicts and with collective action capacity to respond to institutional crises or regional tensions.

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The condition that makes restricted containment possible is the existence of common interests among key Latin America states, such as the preservation of peace and democracy and respect for political pluralism. South America may be the most adequate area to put this strategic option into practice. The progress achieved in security matters since the mid-1980sthe end of the Argentine-Brazilian rivalry in South America; the consolidation of transparent, verifiable trust relations between Braslia and Buenos Aires on nuclear matters; the mutual determination in favor of nonproliferation; the joint contribution to the peaceful resolution of armed conflicts (for example, the 1995 war between Ecuador and Peru), of institutional crises in the subregion (for example, in Paraguay during the 1990s and in Bolivia lately), and of strong bilateral tensions (for example, between Colombia and Ecuador and Colombia and Venezuela)provides important antecedents that pave the way for further development of this strategic option. However, the prolonged armed confrontation in Colombia without a visible peaceful outcome, the failure to resolve Bolivias landlocked status and its access to the Pacific Ocean, the growing arms purchases by some countries (Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, and Brazil), and the ongoing frictions on energy questions among several countries show both the paralysis and the difficulties the region has in solving critical problems on its own. Nevertheless, Latin America has given a new dynamic to restricted containment since 2008. While the U.S. Southern Command was becoming increasingly influential in U.S. Latin American policy and the Pentagon was reactivating the Fourth Fleet (which had been disbanded in 1950), the South American countries decided to create the South American Defense Council, an unprecedented initiative in the subregion that shows, without rhetoric of confrontation, the feasibility of reconciling regional interests in security matters. Furthermore, as a result of a deepening political crisis in Bolivia, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), meeting in Santiago de Chile in September 2008, managed to defuse the situation, find a diplomatic exit, and open a path for eventual compromise between the opposition and the government. By 2010, UNASUR was crucial in two additional circumstances: first, by generating the conditions for a Colombian-Venezuelan dtente after the serious deterioration of diplomatic relations between Bogot and Caracas; and second, when it quickly supported President Correa in the midst of an attempted, and finally failed, coup dtat.

Selective Collaboration
The selective collaboration strategy involves the construction of cooperative ties with the United States in order to cope jointly with common

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problems, reduce uncertainties, and avoid mutual errors of perception. It is carried out at the bilateral, regional, and hemispheric levels, and it basically focuses on highly sensitive issues of mutual interest, such as migration, state weakness, organized crime, illicit drugs, light weapons trafficking, or environmental protection. The feasibility of carrying out this strategic alternative depends on two essential factors: Washingtons willingness to face these issues together with Latin American states, and the latters decision and capability of interacting cooperatively, both among themselves and with the United States. In this nonzero-sum game, in which everyone may win, the states must be committed to adjusting their own policies, considering the others preferences and interests. Let us consider, for example, the case of Colombia, in which three intertwined issuesillicit drugs and organized crime, the potential deployment of international terrorism, and the weakness or absence of the stateare especially worrisome for the hemisphere. In this case, Washington is eager to preserve its individual capacity to maneuver. It tries to encapsulate the hypothetical challenge arising from an uncontrolled situation; it privileges a mode of massive, indirect intervention; and it searches for the tacit acceptance, among Colombias neighbors, of Washingtons role in this Andean country. Clearly, these key objectives will be difficult to modify. However, to ignore the role of regional powers, such as Brazil; to alienate the potential contribution by the Southern Cone countries to resolving some of Colombias problems; and to misinterpret the legitimate security concerns of neighboring countries, such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru, may have unfortunate consequences for U.S. strategic interests in the Andean ridge. By contrast, the tripartite cooperation between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay in the Triple Frontera (triborder) zone, as well as the collaboration between these countries and the United States, has made it possible partly to overcome Washingtons uneasiness over this territory as a vulnerable point that may affect U.S. security interests regarding the potential development of international terrorism in Latin America. Today there is no evidence to suggest the presence of active, organized Muslim fundamentalist cells, ready to carry out terrorist actions against U.S. objectives. Of course, this type of collaboration is also essential for the security of the countries of the Southern Cone. Thus, discrete and effective collaborative work on this issue has reduced insecurity, both in the area and for Washington. At the same time, Buenos Aires, Braslia, and Asuncin have improved their collaboration in the triborder area: they have gained in terms of confidence, transparency, security, and effectiveness. This, in turn, was quite significant to Argentina, which suffered two major terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s that were linked to actors and activities in the Triple Frontera.

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The drug issue is a matter of concern throughout the hemisphere. The so-called war on drugs, carried out since its proclamation on May 1971 by President Richard Nixon, has been a dramatic failure. Today, from Alaska to Patagonia, every nation is affected and linked by a lucrative and illicit transnational enterprise that has created a real industrial chain in all territories (production, processing, trafficking, distribution, consumption, fabrication of chemical precursors, money laundering), generating a devastating erosion of justice, a remarkable rise in crime levels, and an extended civilian, political, police, and military corruption. In addition, there is an ongoing democratization of this phenomenon through the expansion and articulation of small groups of organized crime, operating as a network, less visible and more lethal. A few examples are enough to synthesize the magnitude of the failure. In 1990, 23,080 hectares of coca, poppy, and marijuana were eradicated in Latin America; in 2001 the total of these illicit crops eradicated was 148,401 hectares; and in 2009 this total reached 209,460.8 hectares. It should be noted that, whether by hand or by spraying, the use of defoliants has been the dominant characteristic of the destruction of the illicit crops. The area of crops destroyed (some 28,811 square kilometers) in 20 years of forced eradications is equivalent to approximately 5 1/2 times the size of the state of Delaware or 11 times the territory of Luxembourg. It is also noteworthy that in terms of production of cocaine, while Colombia shows a decline in the last biennium, both Bolivia and Peru show an increase during that period (see U.S. Department of State 2010). Meanwhile, Mexico increased its production from 8 metric tons of heroin in 2005 to 38 metric tons in 2008 (see U.S. Department of Justice 2010). The United States became the major producer of marijuana in 2006 (see Gettman 2006). In brief, the logic of the war on drugsstrongly influenced by the prohibitionist moodis wrong, deficient, burdensome, and counterproductive. Thus, the dilemma is not to do the same, do less of the same, or make more of the same: it is basically to do something different. The failure of more than four decades perhaps may offer a window of opportunity for a change of paradigm. Certain recent events show significant progress in this direction: the current U.S. drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, determined that the expression war on drugs should no longer be invoked, showing a U.S. disposition to re-evaluate certain aspects of its antinarcotics strategy (Fields 2009). Even though it failed, Proposition 19 in California, which would have legalized various activities related to marijuana, is clear evidence that a more sophisticated debate is under way and the possibility of adopting an alternative focus to address the drug issue has arisen. In Latin America, various countries have decriminalized the possession of the personal dose of psychoactive substances.

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In turn, the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, led by former presidents Zedillo, Cardoso, and Csar Gaviria, has declared the current war on drugs strategy a fiasco and has suggested more creative ideas to address the phenomenon of illicit narcotics (Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy n.d.).8 This issue, despite the enormous complexity that characterizes it, probably demands more than any other the implementation of a strategy of selective collaboration between Washington and Latin America.

CONCLUSIONS
This essay has asserted that the traditional strategic options of classical balancing, bandwagoning, and confrontation are less attractive and practical today for Latin American countries. It also has asserted that the three strategic options proposed here are available for the large majority of these countries. Our argument is neither ideological nor idealistic; we firmly consider binding multilateralism, limited containment, and selective collaboration to be reasonable and realistic. Together, they offer a firm basis for guiding Latin Americas foreign policies vis--vis Washington, while bringing back the best and finest regional diplomatic traditions (for example, limiting power through the use of law), as well as the brightest side of Latin Americas recent democratic experience (for example, the importance given to human rights and peacekeeping operations). In addition, the three strategies are consistent with the permanent national and regional objectives: the search for autonomy and diversification. Binding multilateralism implies the active use of international institutions to oppose initiatives or actions developed by the United States that violate international law. Under either a Democratic or Republican administration, it is crucial that Washington rejoin the multilateral forums and the international regime system in order to make them more binding, credible, and effective. At the same time, Latin America should increase its capacity for collective action, and not only with respect to Washington. Multilateralism is fundamental for the whole region to have a voice in the international system, to amplify its bargaining power, to earn world prestige, and to demonstrate responsibility on key global, hemispheric, and regional issues. Since the United States has focused its vital security interests in other regions of the world with greater levels of unrest than Latin America, since the region does not constitute a major source of threat to Washington, and since democracy has contributed to generating a basic level of mutual trust between the nations of the area, these developments have opened interestingand even unknownmargins for implementing the limited containment strategy. Indeed, and especially

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in the Southern Cone, there is a unique opportunity to contribute to South American stability, and thus to constrain and prevent U.S. interference. This strategy is not only convenient for Latin America, but also serves the interests of the United States in the region. It requires a Latin America more committed to facing its own dilemmas and a United States more willing to recognize that this strategy is the best means to avoid instability in the area. Selective collaboration entails attracting the United States into joint and peaceful means to cope with and solve shared problems. Unilateral and military responses to the Western Hemispheres difficulties and dilemmas are destined to fail, and will generate growing material and symbolic costs for the United States. The lack of cooperative undertakings will be for Latin America a permanent source of conflict and crisis. It is also clear that the absence of a collective response will only worsen everyones security. Latin American countries, through formal and informal institutions, should look for a new deal with the United States. Somehow, both Latin America and the United States must agree to surrender certain areas of sovereignty in order to find common solutions to mutual problems. Is there a chance to move beyond orthodoxy in U.S.-Latin American relations? We are convinced that this is possible. After all, President Obamas latest trip to the region shows the predisposition on the part of Washington to reach out to Latin America and to broaden the level of dialogue within the Western Hemisphere. In turn, the region has been more attentive to its own problems and challenges. Both parties, in this intersection, have a unique opportunity to deal with interamerican relations by putting aside prevailing dogmas and rituals.

NOTES
1. For a comparative analysis of the regions foreign policies from a U.S. perspective, see Mora and Hey 2003; and for a Latin American viewpoint, see Lagos 2008. 2. This is essentially a low-risk and low-visibility strategy. Fernando Masi calls this option for the case of Paraguay benevolent isolationism (Masi 1991). 3. The U.S. government has increased its assistance to Paraguay over the years, from US$29,633,263 in 20078 to US$61,822,082 in 200910. By 2009, the Department of Defense had given Paraguay a one-time security and stabilization aid package totaling US$6.69 million. That same year, two bills in the House and the Senate were introduced with the purpose of allowing the U.S. president to designate Paraguay a beneficiary of trade preferences, amending the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act of 2002. Somehow, these resources and initiatives were a reward for Asuncins antinarcotics and antiterrorist cooperation with Washington. 4. To simplify, we use the same denominations defined by Smith (2000). 5. We appeal again to a category developed by Peter Smith.

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6. According to these authors, the other two moments were between 1889 and 1906 and between 1933 and 1954. Conceived in the second half of the eighteenth century, this thesis relies on two assumptions: the existence of values, interests, and common goals between the two Americas; and a special relationship that would differentiate the nations of the American continent from the rest of the world. 7. Hutchison Whampoa (from Hong Kong) is a Chinese company with close ties to the government of Beijing and the countrys armed forces. It manages the ports of Balboa and Cristbal. One of the terminals of the port of Coln is controlled by a U.S. company, Stevedoring Services of America, while the other is operated by a Taiwanese company, Evergreen Marine Corp. For the expansion of the Panama Canalvalidated by a referendum in 2006the United Group for the Canal was constituted. It is composed of the Spanish company Sacyr; the Italian, Impregilo; the Belgian, Jan de Nul; and the Panamanian, Constructora Urbana, which will undertake this project of approximately US$3.2 billion. 8. Among others: emphasize drugs as a public health issue; concentrate the efforts against organized crime; search for regulatory mechanisms to deal with different drugs; improve the quality of the public debate.

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