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This paper argues that the strategic principles behind the Monroe Doctrine are as valid and relevant as ever, and outlines four key principles derived from the Doctrine that are at the basis of U.S. strategy in the Caribbean: (1) the Caribbean Basin should be secure and friendly for U.S. presence, power, and passage; (2) potentially hostile powers should be prevented from acquiring military facilities in the area; (3) foreign balance-of-power struggles should be prevented from destabilizing the area; and (4) few U.S. military resources should be dedicated to protecting U.S. interests there. Based on these principles, and trends that suggest the Caribbean will continue to be important to U.S. security, the author suggests that U.S. strategy in the Caribbean Basin should emphasize reducing the revolutionary conflicts and restoring stability; arresting Soviet and Cuban military expansion; diminishing the intrusion of all external rivalries; and accomplishing the above without major reliance on military instruments.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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