Asia-Pacific region important to U.S. security goals 

Douglas J. Schaffer

Institute of Land Warfare

AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare recently released a new National Security Watch publication, "Linking Latin America and the Pacific: A Strategy for the Long Term" (National Security Watch 12-3, July 2012), that presents a case for tying Latin America and the Pacific together in a strategic context to address some of the United States’ long-term security goals.

As the United States conducts a rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region and engages its rival, China, it must develop a global strategy to manage global power.

Strategically connecting Latin America with the Pacific will force the United States to dedicate specific attention to its southern partners and generate long-term discussion about what the relationship among China, the United States and the world at large should look like in the future.

By developing a tailored, relevant strategy that addresses individual nations’ needs within Latin America, the United States can advance itself as the responsible partner of choice in terms of both economics and security.

Tying Latin America to the Asia-Pacific region can protect a long-term plan from the shifting political landscape within the United States and cut across organizational boundaries that limit inter-theater strategic vision within the defense apparatus.

The Pacific is more than just a single region or even an ocean; it is a network of interactions and relationships full of potential value and risk. The United States – if it can avoid strategic tunnel vision – has an opportunity to deepen its partnership with Latin America and respond appropriately to China’s global expansion.

These and other ILW publications are available online at and can also be obtained by calling (800) 336-4570, Ext. 4630, or by e-mailing a request to