Sub-Regional Cooperation, Hemispheric Threat: Security in the Southern Cone

  • David Pion-Berlin


Three decades ago, realists would have felt thoroughly vindicated by the security environment in the Southern Cone and Brazil. “Beware of thy neighbor” was the motto for defense and security preparations. States assumed the worst about each other’s hidden intentions. They presumed that the military expenditures of their neighbors were offensive in purpose and sought to offset these with purchases of their own, thus giving rise to the classic security dilemma: the drive to make oneself more secure makes a rival less secure. If peace were to be preserved it would only be so through a strategic balance between competitors. Military-to-military cooperation was not sought because, in an atmosphere of mistrust, the costs of betrayal were high. Uruguay worried about encroachment from Argentina and Brazil, its giant neighbors. Argentina and Brazil had been perennial rivals for domination in the neighborhood and clashed over water rights. Argentina and Chile held on to long-standing disputes over borders and the Beagle Channels to the South.


Security Threat Military Force Military Expenditure Southern Cone Security Relation 
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© David Pion-Berlin 2005

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  • David Pion-Berlin

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