Cover: Rethinking the Monroe Doctrine

Rethinking the Monroe Doctrine

Published 1985

by David Ronfeldt

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback16 pages $20.00

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 paper series. The paper was a product of RAND 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.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.