Rethinking the Monroe Doctrine

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Rand Corporation, 1985 - Monroe doctrine - 16 pages
Is the Monroe Doctrine worth reviving in today's world? This paper argues that the strategic principles behind the Doctrine, including its various transformations, are as valid and relevant as ever. Compared to just listing specific U.S. interests, the principles provide a clearer picture of why the Caribbean Basin is important to U.S. security, and what U.S. policy and strategy should emphasize. Properly done at the right time, the elaboration of a doctrine may help an administration galvanize public support and direct policy behavior. However, since mere mention of the Monroe Doctrine may provoke automatic public criticism at home and throughout Latin America, this paper does not recommend renovating it by name. People mainly remember its negative repercussions, not its positive elements. Other, prudent language and symbols should be developed if the Reagan Administration moves from listing interests to defining a doctrine that is supposed to benefit our neighbors' interests as well as our own.

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