South America in the post-cold war era: war on drugs and the reshaping of the us security agenda

Rafael Duarte Villa, Thiago Rodrigues, Fabrício Chagas Bastos

Abstract


The end of Cold War apparently put the South America region out of the main concerns of the US security agenda. After 9/11, such perception has gained importance in literature, when US global strategy focused on an otherness whose geographic position was nothing but distant from the southern territories of the Americas. Otherwise, this article general aim is to discuss the space occupied by South America in the US current security concerns and goals through the analyses of the US war on drugs. We argue that the US counter-narcotics policy is a local variation of its global security strategy. Through a historical perspective, we present a transition from an approach that associates the war on drugs with a Cold War enemy, particularly the communist guerrillas, toward another one that recognises the fight against illegal drugs as itself a threat to the US national security and a justification for the US intelligence and military presence in South America.


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