National Security Doctrine

The National Security Doctrine (DSN) was an idea designed, implemented and developed by the United States, based on national defense through the direct or indirect control of the institutions of Latin American countries.

According to the National Security Doctrine, the United States should combat world communism by controlling any revolutionary focus anywhere in the world, especially in Latin America.

According to political science professor Francisco Leal, the United States ranked the USSR and communism as its enemy. And since this had already been established in Cuba, it was up to the North American country to ensure that it did not spread to the rest of the continent. To do this, the United States dedicated itself to supporting the military, seeing favorably the coups d’état and the military dictatorships that they proposed.

Context

To understand the reason for the development of this doctrine it is necessary to put it in context.

After the Second World War and the distribution of the conquered and reconquered territories by the allies, these became polarized and formed two large blocks. On the one hand, the western one, led by the United States and followed by the United Kingdom and France. And, on the other, the Soviet Union.

These great blocs are deeply antagonistic and represent the two political and economic systems implanted in the developed world: capitalism and communism. They are also called as the first and second world. This is where a race for world control begins, the Cold War. The USSR tries to spread the revolution and communism in all those oppressed or underdeveloped capitalist countries; also promote labor movements in western countries. On the other hand, the United States tried to quell these communist irruptions around the world, giving rise to numerous wars and conflicts. The Korean War, Vietnam, Afghanistan or Cambodia are some examples.

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The great milestone in Latin America was the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959. This led to the emergence of the first communist country near the United States, just 100 miles from the State of Florida. The United States had also discovered Soviet nuclear missiles on the island. This was the fact that prompted the development of the National Security Doctrine. To return to control all of Latin America and that this was not a constant threat.

Objectives of the National Security Doctrine

Given this, we can summarize that the objectives of the National Security Doctrine were the following:

  • The defense of the American territory.
  • Stop the spread of socialism and communism.
  • Promote military control of institutions in Latin America.
  • Defense and imposition of the western and capitalist model in the rest of the territories.

Coups d’etat propitiated

According to Alain Rouquie, these were the coups d’état promoted by the United States in Latin America:

  • Argentina, in 1962.
  • Peru, in 1962.
  • Guatemala, in 1963.
  • Ecuador, in 1963.
  • Dominican Republic, in 1963.
  • Honduras, in 1963.
  • Brazil, in 1964.
  • Bolivia, in 1964.
  • Argentina, in 1966.
  • Chile, in 1973.
  • Panama, in 1989.

These coups d’état gave rise to the formation of right-wing military dictatorships with a strong conservative, traditional and anti-communist ideology. Thus, the United States made sure that communism and socialism would not develop while those governments were there.

Starting in the 1980s, it was no longer desirable for governments to be controlled by the military, they were already deeply unpopular and delegitimized. It was more profitable for governments to become capitalist democracies, which was what gradually happened until the recent rise of Bolivarian socialism.

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