Argentina, South America’s second largest country, has agreed to host Russian military bases on the South American continent. Long a political ally of militant Islam, Argentina seeks to bring economic relief to the region. Argentina, and its close ally, Venezuela, have long been on friendly terms with Iran and this latest move opens the door to another political foe of the United States.
While the world — and the US — have been fixated on the events happening in Ukraine, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has been inking deals with leaders in Latin America. First discussed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in February, Putin intends to set up arm forces units and increase munitions sales in the Latin American realm.
Moscow’s plan comes on the heels of a recent statement from Iran involving the patrolling of waters off of the American coast. Russia and Iran have sited their reasons as being the increased US military presence near their borders. The US has urged the stretching of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to push up against the Russian perimeter.
The formation of indefinite Russian bases and a strong Russian existence in the Western Hemisphere will be a challenge to US policies and will diminish Washington’s influence. With South America in Russia’s good graces, the country will have a base to coordinate and store offensive weapons, putting another challenge in place for US homeland defenses.
America has never had sufficient missile defenses along its southern borders and cannot adequately defend against any missile strike coming from the south. Additionally, Russia has been sending missile bearing nuclear submarines to the South Hemisphere for 3 years.
Experts, including former Strategic Defense Initiative Director Henry Cooper, have been saying that America needs to utilize the existing Aegis defense framework in the southern parts of the US.
An Electro-Magnetic Pulse, EMP, attack could destroy the fragile US electrical grid along with other infrastructure upon which America has come to rely. An attack could conceivably last months and would have the possibility of killing up to 90 percent of the American population through starvation and lack of medical attention.
Published reports in South America say that Putin is seeking to create military bases in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Argentina. All four countries are close partners of Moscow. Sources say that Putin will focus on Nicaragua because of its relatively stable political and economic environment. The Russian leader is concerned with Venezuela and Argentina’s instability since both countries are experiencing significant economic problems. Demonstrations have recently begun eroding the support of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and unrest is growing over Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s corrupt and inefficient administration.
The increase in Russian military appearance in South America would give Moscow the capability to start combat missions not only in Latin America but also North America as well. Latin American periodicals are reporting that the Obama administration is doing nothing to counter Russian, Iranian or Chinese expansion in the hemisphere.
The current American administration has already announced the end of the Monroe Doctrine, a nineteenth century declaration that says any efforts by European nations to colonize land in North or South America would be considered acts of aggression which would trigger US retaliation.
In a speech before the Organization of American States in November, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced the ending of the Monroe Doctrine. Saying that the relationship which America seeks and have worked to foster is “…not about a United States declaration…” in regard to how it will interfere in the affairs of other countries in the hemisphere.
Kerry’s statement didn’t take into consideration the possibility that US adversaries would set up bases in the Western Hemisphere at the request of Argentina and other regional governments.
By Jerry Nelson