Latin American Military and Political Process
The South American Defense Council, UNASUR, the Latin American Military and the Region’s Political Process
The most ambitious and significant recent project undertaken by South America’s armed forces has been the creation of Conselho Sul-Americano de Defesa (South American Defense Council – CSD), an agency of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
The success of this agency, part of the larger organization which is also in its infancy, is yet to be measured. To gauge the feasibility of such an ambitious project, it must be viewed in an appropriate context, perhaps as South America’s version of a NATO-style organism (even if somewhat different and adapted to accept regional realities). UNASUR and CSD’s future will be determined by whether they can become effective catalysts for regional security integration, and if member states can find a relevant role for them – perhaps in the area of peacekeeping. For the CSD to be a success, it first will have to deal with the region’s troubling, if not mediocre, historical record regarding security and peacekeeping issues.