A dubious strategy in pursuit of a dubious enemy : a critique of U.S. post-Cold War security policy in the Third World

by Benjamin Schwarz

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In the aftermath of the Cold War, proponents of the concepts of "peacetime engagement" and "nation assistance" stress instability in the Third World as the main threat to U.S. security. This article maintains that the programs advanced by peacetime engagement and nation assistance proponents would not solve the root issues that cause instability in the Third World. At best, they would solve surface issues. The article also maintains that U.S. security is not dependent upon stability in the Third World. The value of peacetime engagement and nation assistance programs is called into question, as are the role of the U.S. military in peacetime and the appropriateness of the amount of money spent in carrying out these programs.

Originally published in: Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, v. 16, 1993, pp. 263-301.

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