This week we come to the U.S.'s backyard, South and Central America. These two regions are key to our national security, as they are so close to home, and harbor a number of threats for the U.S., both domestically and overseas. These threats range from drugs to Venezuela to Cuba.
Drugs. In the last 40-odd years drugs have become extremely widespread throughout American culture, and because of the demand for drugs the cartels are making an enormous amount of cash. As has been seen, the drug cartels which lie just to the south of the border with Mexico, are becoming increasingly violent, with decapitation, executions, and other crimes becoming almost a daily occurrence. And with Operation Fast and Furious, which gave the cartels more than 2,000 rifles, including AKs, ARs, M4s, the drug cartels are becoming increasingly better armed. In this case there are a number of things which must be done to curtail drug violence in the U.S. and keep it from our shores. 1. Stop looking the other way while assault rifles continue to flow to drug cartels, when our own people have to get background check to buy a rifle. 2. Secure our border (and get out of NAFTA to). 3. Allow the Coast Guard to do it's job, and get the Navy out of drug interdiction.
Venezuela. The Barack "Dear Leader" Obama's best friend Hugo Chavez, has over the last few years, begun making a lot noise, ranging from Russian Tu-160 "Blackjacks" conducting exercises, to the purchase of Su-30MK2s, to an overall modernization of the Venezuelan military. However, while Hugo makes a lot of noise, he recently was diagnosed with cancer, and in is in failing health (this is the only guy you can wish would die of cancer), and will hopefully expire by the end 2012. Once Hugo is dead, either a power struggle ensues, or a somehow Venezuela become a democracy. Either way Venezuela does not pose a major threat at the moment, but it would be prudent to keep an eye on them.
Cuba. Cuba is at the moment falling apart, their military is in a decrepit state, and Fidel Castro is dying. When Communist Cuba finally collapses, the U.S. must be ready to step in and give the Cubans a democracy. Until then, we must maintain the economic sanctions we have on Cuba, as they are strangling the Cuban economy, and weakening Cuba further.
Overall, the strategy in Central and South America is the same as Africa, keep out! Central and South America is a pit full of quicksand, if you step in you are screwed. This said, the U.S. would be wise to maintain friendly relations with countries like Panama and Brazil, as Panama controls the Panama Canal (mainly because of Jimmy Carter), and Brazil because they are an emerging economic powerhouse. And with a strong economy comes the need for a strong military. But, as I said before the overall strategy must be keep out!