“In the geopolitical sphere today, … , it is not unreasonable to say that, while the great continental powers in Eurasia, Russia, China and India, are in an excellent state of economic growth, technological development and growing political influence, the great maritime powers, like the United States, the European Union and Japan, are going through a crisis of identity and doctrine, and lack internal efficiency both politically and strategically”  . General Jesús Rafael Argumosa Pila 
Global Systemic Crisis and U.S. Military Strategy
There is a crisis in U.S. domination. Whether the American decline is a limited or enduring process is yet to be defined. For the time being, the world’s first power preserves its military leadership. Primarily based on a leadership that nobody disputes, the US is strategically positioned to face any major conflict.
U.S. militarism is as strong as ever, the Bush-Obama transition has not diminished its intensity and it is clear that this is considered the only solution to their crisis  .
The wide coverage of the failed attempt of last December 25th, when a simple passenger prevented a Nigerian « terrorist » from blowing up a bomb on an airplane heading to Detroit, resulted in the immediate identification by the media of Yemen as the country of origin of the attempt and therefore a regional base of Al Qaeda’s operations, from where more attacks could be planned and adepts trained. Inevitably, this reminds us of similar stories in which the United States justified, in the eyes of the domestic and international public opinion, their own attacks.
In the current context, Yemen has a strategic geographical location, gateway to the Red Sea, exit from the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Peninsula, in front of the Horn of Africa. In addition to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Philippines, Sudan, Eastern Congo, etc., Yemen is the last U.S. war front against « terrorism ».
South American Context
South America is subject to two integration tendencies. One led by the United States, responding to their need to secure their geopolitical grasp on the continent  . The other, contrary to US interests, aims at turning South America into a geopolitical space of its own. The current global systemic crisis is opening a window of opportunity for South American integration which has, until today, lacked the consistent and sustainable political leadership.
In the region, a number of countries coexist, including major U.S. allies : Colombia, Mexico, Central American and some Caribbean countries. Meanwhile, a number of bilateral treaties, between some South-American countries and the US, are challenging MERCOSUR  .
MERCOSUR is the pionneer core-group (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia) of a future South American integration called UNASUR. The strategy of Mercosur is based on the idea that South American countries taking on nationally-oriented governments will gradually understand that regional integration is the way to strengthen their economic independence and political sovereignty.
The U.S. strategy
In his book The Grand Chessboard , Brzezinski sketches the U.S. strategy in today’s world (1997) : For America, the main geopolitical goal is Eurasia… it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of challenging the US… Two basic steps are thus required : first, to identify the Eurasian states that have the power to cause a potentially important shift in the international distribution of power and to decipher the main external goals of their respective political elites and the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them ; and to pinpoint the geopolitically critical Eurasian states whose location and/or existence have catalytic effects either on the more active geostrategic players or on regional conditions ; [ and ] second, to formulate specific U.S. policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above, so as to preserve and promote vital U.S. interests, and to conceptualize a more comprehensive strategy that establishes on a global scale the interconnection between the more specific U.S. policies.
Today’s world, plunged into the global systemic crisis, is in transition towards a new order. The U.S. power is weakening, new powers are emerging and world geopolitical order is reconfiguring. Countries’ major challenge consists of entering the new era in the best possible political and economic position. In this sense, the United States is trying to maintain the domination on its natural region, the Americas.
The facts prove that the strategy is the same as the one applied to the Middle East. If we replace the word “Eurasia” by “America” in the above mentioned excerpt, the parallel is clear, the purpose being (using the same words as the author) to reach the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategics : prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals ; keep tributaries flexible and protected ; and keep the barbarians from joining forces.
Putting it into the present language, the U.S. is seeking to subordinate to its own interests its backyard in the global economy. It is trying to secure its domination over the new world order, looking for raw materials and energy sources, as well as spaces for its production and investments, at a moment when the global systemic crisis and the resulting economic contraction prove that infinite economic expansion and the related model of raw materials production prescribed to countries in the region by multilateral banks has become untenable. In doing so, they are trying to export their systemic problems to the periphery while importing economic resources from this periphery, by means of loans perpetuating dependence.
In the light of this strategy, it is of vital importance for them, first, to identify which countries are pivotal in any shift of the region’s power balance out of its sphere of influence and, then, to offset, co-opt, and/or control those states.
The new warfare
Over the last two decades, the U.S has become used to hiring private firms providing security and military services  for tasks previously executed by their regular military or security systems : logistical support in military deployments and operations, maintenance of weapons systems, protection of places and facilities, escort services, military and police forces training, both at home and abroad, collection and analysis of information data, custody and interrogation of detainees and participation in combat.
As its position weakens in the world, the United States has reinforced its military presence in the region as never before, as well as it developed intelligence operations. However, these actions are carried out primarily by private war and intelligence companies. This offers the institutional and political advantage of immunity and impunity. Indeed, with private forces, the political power is politically safe from the consequences of its actions … and combat casualties. It allows them to wage war without Congress authorization and without the supervision which conventional deployments are subject to .
For the US, this new warfare suggests, on the one hand, distrust in the efficiency of its armed forces  (George W. Bush with Donald Rumsfeld tried to impose a criterion of business efficiency on armed action, which seems to have aggravated inefficiency  ) and, on the other hand, that they no longer trust the efficiency of their former strategy which consisted in “ideologically denationalizing” Latin American militaries and train them to Washington’s doctrines, and which resulted in pushing South American armies to act as occupation forces in their own countries.
For the companies involved, it is a highly profitable business. But we must not forget the law of the market : for the companies involved, is a highly profitable business. But we must not forget the law of the market : if there is no demand, let’s create it.
Latin America has been transformed into a virtual U.S. operation theater, with different plans at stake – Puebla-Panama and Merida (for Mexico and Central America), Patriot (formerly called Colombia, the main reference point in the subcontinent), Dignity (to meet throughout the Amazon Basin), revival of the U.S. 4th Fleet  guarding the ocean waters as well as the numerous fixed military facilities deployed in the region, give as many evidences that Washington is taking seriously its backyard.
The « new » diplomatic strategy
Hillary Clinton is proposing a « new concept » of U.S. foreign policy aimed at recovering the moral credibility lost in Bush’s two terms. She calls it « smart power »  which consists in influencing the behavior of others in order to get the desired response, complemented by the art of combining the hard power of coercion with the soft power of successful strategy attraction. The case of Honduras is exemplary. On the one hand, President Obama condemned the coup against President Zelaya and, on the other hand, his ambassador in Tegucigalpa constantly met with the coup plotters. Honduras was getting out of their area of influence, rebelling against the U.S. military presence and heading to join the ALBA. Military trained at the School of the Americas and directed by U.S. advisers overthrew the constitutional president Manuel Zelaya and put in power Roberto Micheletti, who had always been his rival within the Liberal Party. This first application of Hillary Clinton’s « smart power » worked perfectly  .
« Smart power » is neither hard nor soft. It is the clever combination of both context and use of real or created opportunities. At this moment, the earthquake in Haiti has provided a perfect pretext to justify a new military occupation (Hillary Clinton said : As President Obama said, we’ll be here today, tomorrow and in time ahead  ). This is creating friction  with the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSTAH), and in particular with Brazil  , which has military command. Time will unveil whether this « humanitarian aid » is not a new move of chess pieces.
Furthermore, Colombia with its unconditional dependence on the U.S. could play in South America the same role as Israel in the Middle East, i.e. a Western enclave whose political interests converge with those of the United States.
Militarization of South America
With Brazil’s economic and political leadership already established in the area and with Argentina’s structural weakness (administrative, economic and political) since the last military government and Menem’s presidency  , what are the real possibilities of regional internal conflicts which cannot be solved by the region itself ? It might be said that, despite all, today the Latin-American political sector is more united than ever before. Apart from Colombia (which lives a permanent internal conflict since Gaitán’s murder in 1948  ), today, South American political life is no longer characterized by a military climate.
Now the militarization imposed by the U.S.  presents a number of outstanding features for the region  , namely cutting-edge technologies for the control and intelligence and, if necessary, for the deployment of direct interventions. In the new geostrategic design of the hemisphere, it is conceivable that US strategists have in mind to repeat the Middle East model, i.e. a heavily armed regional power serving their interests in order to avoid the massive use of their own troops but, at the same time, facilitating their usual actions of intelligence and intervention. As we can see, Colombia plays a key role in this strategy : thanks to the war on drugs, the US can maintain a force serving their strategy of regional domination.
Elements for understanding the South American integration process
Latin-American integration idea was born at the same time as the continent gained its independence from Spain. As soon as the process of independence was completed, projects of confederations between the new republics were attempted, such as the Great Colombia, the United Provinces of Central America and the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation.
In 1907, the Baron of Rio Branco  , Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, argued that the strategic partnership with Argentina was the priority for Brazilian foreign policy which, despite the rivalry, has always been punctuated by periods of collaboration and rapprochement .
On November 21th, 1941, during Getulio Vargas’ government  , chancellors Oswaldo Aranha (Brazil) and Enrique Ruiz-Guiñazu (Argentina) signed a treaty, stating the purpose of progressively achieving – establishing a system of free trade designed to result in a customs union / … / open to the accession of neighboring countries, which would not be an obstacle to a comprehensive program of economic reconstruction, based on reducing or eliminating duties and other trade preferences, aimed at developing international trade based on the multilateral and unconditional principle of the most favored nation. This treaty was never implemented because the U.S., right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, got directly involved in the war against the Axis which resulted in alienating Brazil and Argentina.
At the end of World War II, the United States under the Presidency of Henry Truman decided to get rid of Vargas in order to prevent, among other reasons, Brazil from forming a nationalist axis with Argentina. He was thus deposed by a military coup, supported by the U.S embassy, on October 29th, 1945.
Simultaneously, the Embassy of the United States in Buenos Aires, allied to the most conservative segments of Argentine society, as well as with some left-wing forces in this country, initiated an intense campaign aimed at avoiding the election of the presidential candidate of the then-called Labor Party, Colonel Juan Domingo Peron  .
The enormous popularity previously acquired by Peron (as Minister of Labor and then as Vice-President of the so-called « Peron-Farrell government ») made it easier for him to overcome the maneuver. On February 24th, the Peron-Quijano alliance got a clear victory over the Democratic Union, the opposite coalition sponsored by the U.S. ambassador, Spruille Braden .
Peron always had a clear conception in favour of integration. Between 1946 and 1955, he defended the ABC Pact (Argentina, Brazil and Chile).
In a memorandum dated May 20th, 1947, the Director of the Office of American Republics Affairs of the State Department, Ellis Briggs, observed : There is danger that Argentina wishes to organize a bloc of the Southern Cone under Argentine political and economic domination, and also, the U.S. should oppose any development that would enable the formation of that bloc  .
In 1953, at a conference in the National School of War School of War  , Perón expressed that the Republic of Argentina alone does not have economic unity ; Brazil alone does not have economic unity either ; Chile alone does not have economic unity either ; but together these three countries form the most extraordinary economic unity of the entire world, especially for the future, because all of the own immense available reserves. These are the world’s reserve countries (…). This is what makes inevitable the union of Chile, Brazil and Argentina.
In his book La Hora de los Pueblos (Madrid, August 1968), Juan Perón states : Latin American integration is essential : the year 2000 will find us united or dominated ; however, such integration must be the work of our countries, without foreign intervention whatsoever, in order to create, thanks to a comprehensive market without frontiers, better conditions for the use of technical progress and economic expansion ; avoid divisions that can be exploited ; improve the living standards of our 200 million inhabitants ; give to Latin America, relatively to the dynamism of « big » countries and the awakening of continents, the place it deserves in world affairs ; and create the bases of the future The United States of Latin America.
Vargas returned to power, through the ballot box, in 1951. He refused to send troops to Korea and performed internally a nationalist economic policy, affecting the monopoly interests of powerful international corporations. The United States, allied to the commercial sector, the beneficiary of import and export business, promoted the campaign to overthrow the government. The Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, in Memorandum to President Truman, observed that Vargas would adopt a « socialist » and definitely « nationalistic » orientation, which would lead him to oppose the liberal policies that the United States was trying to propagate in the field of international trade. Similarly, the British ambassador, Neville Butler, felt that Brazil, with Vargas in the government, would not be a « docile follower » of U.S. economic and military for Latin America.
In the midst of a political and military crisis on 24 August 1954, Getulio Vargas committed suicide with a shot to the heart.
Meanwhile, Perón assumed his second term in 1952, creating a conflictive context with the U.S. The Argentine President’s ideas (nationalism, statism, defense of natural resources, economic self-sufficiency, preference to bilateralism, balance between the various global power poles, and regional leadership) were irreconcilable with the conception of the international system organized by Washington. However, since 1953, there was a rapprochement between the U.S. and Argentina due to the incorporation into the national economy of foreign capital.
During his presidency, Perón achieved a series of important economic agreements with Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua and finally with Brazil : the Economic Union. These agreements stipulated the reduction of customs barriers, liberation of taxes for certain products and opening of a credit line among the signatory countries.
A Foreign Investment law was enacted which aimed at encouraging private capital participation in key economic areas, such as energy.
With Peron, it was the only time Argentina’s external debt reached zero, when he cancelled the last $ 264 million that were owed.
He was overthrown by a military coup on 16 September 1955, the starting point of an exponential growth of Argentina’s external debt  which became the instrument of the country’s political and economic dependence.
On that occasion Winston Churchill said before the House of Commons of England : the fall of the tyrant Perón in Argentina is the greatest reparation of the pride of the Empire, as important for me as the victory in the Second World War, and the forces of the British Empire will not give him any truce, nor will they rest in the fight against him, be he alive or dead.
In 1956, Argentina joined the IMF  , the World Bank and the Paris Club. The IMF began to condition the economic policy ; while the United States replaced England as Argentina’s principal lender.
A new attempt was made by Arturo Frondizi and Janio Quadros, presidents of Argentina and Brazil, who, in the Declaration of Uruguayan on April 22th, 1961, agreed on directing their international policies according to the status of South America.
Janio Quadro, who had taken up office on January 31th, 1961, resigned on August 25, 1961. Frondizi was overthrown by a military coup before the end of the fourth of his-six year term, on March 29th, 1962.
Finally the Declaration of Foz do Iguaçu signed by the Argentine president Raúl Alfonsín and his Brazilian counterpart Jose Sarney, laid the foundations of what would become six years later the MERCOSUR, which has kept developing ever since .
Alfonsin did not finish his term, handing over to the presidency Carlos Menem on July 9th, 1989.
Washington finally had an Argentine government faithful to its policies. Menem applied a shock policy « without anesthesia » of high dose of « Washington Consensus » that destroyed Argentine institutional structure.
Today, Argentina faces the necessity of a re-foundation.
This short history  of the two most important countries at that time, shows the repeated and extensive interventions of external interests in the region  . These recurring interferences are the kind of difficulties countries must learn to solve in order to achieve their economic independence and political sovereignty.
Argentina, now the weakest link in the heart of South American integration
Today, the main pivotal countries in the ongoing integration process of South America are : Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela.
Brazil, in a process of consolidation so far successful, has been catapulted to become one of the key-countries in the new order.
Venezuela is in a revolutionary process  , in which the interests and ways running political affairs are changing. The construction of a leading class capable of planning successful actions and learning from their failures, combined to the time factor, is playing a key role. When building a new order, it is in the attempts and mistakes that the future must be sought. A revolution is done as you can, if you can. Theories are built later, when the revolution has succeeded or failed.
The success of any process of political transformation depends on being able to consolidate interests consistent with the change, and at same time to integrate the majority of the population to the new opportunities. This last aspect is what gives internal strength to resist to the problems that inevitably go along any change.
However, the strength of the revolutionary process depends both on domestic and external policies. In this regard, regional integration, which requires the combined efforts of all regional players, is the best way to consolidate changes.
Argentina, after more than half a century resisting to destabilizing external processes, fails to overcome its state of permanent crisis. It took persistent interference in internal affairs (for more than half century), military occupation and an external war (Malvinas-Falklands war  ) to dismantle the national interest and dislocate the country.
Now, Argentine politicians consider natural the external interference in government affairs (economy, intelligence, ONG…). Mauricio Macri, who is the most important figure of the Argentine right and today the head of Buenos Aires City government, explicitly admitted it. Facing a wiretapping scandal originated from their offices, he confessed that he had been to the U.S. and Israel embassies to seek the « advice »  of DEA, CIA and Mossad for the appointment of a civil servant with ministerial rank who was involved in the operation. Although Macri naively accepted as natural, this kind of external interference in governmental affairs of government has become a widespread attitude among Argentine politicians since Menem.
CARI  , Argentine Council for International Relations, is one particularly important and influential. Behind a facade of pluralistic and private academic institution, established to promote the analysis of international issues from a national perspective….. with the ultimate objective of peace consolidation and development of the people …, is hiding a powerful global network that promotes policies coming from the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London and the Trilateral Commission of New York-Paris-Tokyo, among others.
A new player has recently emerged, the RAP  Foundation, Political Action Network, which presents itself as an ideologically-pluralistic non-partisan foundation that promotes the training and development of better political governance based on a national vision and a set of values, shared principles and behaviors, and seeks to provide support to politicians committed and accountable to public affairs, so as to support their political action and public management.
Argentina now is subject to « smart power ». In this regard, it is interesting to note the recent meeting between CGT, General Confederation of Workers, and the U.S. ambassador and a group of American congressmen  .
The next presidential elections should take place on October 23th, 2011. External forces are already working full steam.
Argentina is vulnerable to external actions striving to separate it from the core supporting South American integration efforts. It urgently needs a ruling class dedicated to national interests, an administrative structure to rebuild its institutions, organize its defense system ,… 
For this purpose, it is essential that the political class begins to grasp the gravity of the global crisis and its consequences, transcends procedural discussions, understands the interests at stake, envisions the big changes the world is about to experience, defines the country’s possible role in the next 50 years, and proposes a strategy to achieve its integration to the region.
Without cleverness and strength on the part of the main leaders in the region, South America runs the risk that the United States easily breaks up all projects for the creation of a common block. Then, a balkanized South America could create the conditions for its transformation into the next « Middle East ».
 Repercusión en el escenario Regional y en el entorno mundial, General Jesús Rafael Argumosa Pila, Monografías del CESEDEN 93, February 2007
 Head of the School of Higher Defence Studies (EALEDE)
 Source : Yahoo/AP, 02/01/2010
 Mercosur : Finally Brazil’s Senate approved Venezuela incorporation, 11/01/2010, Mercopress
 Some companies dedicated to the privatization of war : Vinnell Corp, Custer Battle, Armor Group, Kroll Security International, Global Risk Strategies, Meteoric Tactical Solutions, Trig Guard Force or Blackwater Security Consulting Company … Another interesting company is Business International Corporation, known to be used as a CIA front company… where Barack Obama first worked upon graduating from Columbia University (see Obama’s book Dreams from My Father : A Story of Race and Inheritance). From the 1950s on, the CIA repeatedly interfered in the education of the talented young by recruiting or co-opting them for its own purposes – for future intelligence types. The purpose – for the short run – is more information, and – for the long run – a supply of US future government officials whom the agency trusts and can use.
 On Sept. 10, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war. Not on foreign terrorists, « the adversary’s closer to home. It’s the Pentagon bureaucracy », he said, US Department of Defence, 09/10/2001 ; Offense and Defense, The battle between Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon, 04/07/2003, The NewYorker
 Clinton : Use “Smart Power” In Diplomacy, 01/13/2010, CBSNews ; Smart Power Initiative, CSIS ; Dealing With Today’s Asymmetric Threat to U.S. and Global Security, Employing Smart Power, 03/24/2009, CACI/USNI
 US criticized over Haiti aid as reconstruction talks begin, 01/25/2010, Times
 EUA enviarão 10 mil soldados para Haiti ; Brasil critica controle americano do aeroporto, 01/16/2010, Folha de S. Paulo
 During Carlos Menem’s presidency, Argentina had become Washington’s staunchest Latin American ally. In a sentence, Mr. Menem’s foreign minister, Guido di Tella, initially described those ties as ’’carnal relations’’ — though the term ’’automatic alignment’’ later came to be preferred. At that time, trade union leader Luis Barrionuevo said : “In this country nobody makes money by working… and… if we stop stealing for two years, we solve every problem ». But Argentina was the great favorite of « emerging market » investors and blessed by the International Monetary Fund.
 The first loan to Argentina was in 1825, through the Baring Brothers Bank. Of the original million pounds the Buenos Aires government received only £552,700 ; its final repayment being made in 1904, it was 14 times the debt.
 South America – United States : Towards a new regional order, Héctor R. Sánchez, 06/06/2009, Laboratoire Européen d’Anticipation Politique
 Perhaps this will be a line of academic research about why Argentina is a country that has everything and doesn’t achieve anything, clarifying the famous affirmation of Paul Samuelson, Prize Nobel of Economy in 1970, that worldwide there are 4 types of countries : developed, undeveloped, Japan and Argentina. Probably their economic models did not include external disturbances in the development of countries.
 Bolivarian Revolution, wikipedia.org ; The deepening of Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution : why most people don’t get it, Julia Buxton, May 3th,2007, opendemocracy.net
 ¿Macri muestra una vez mas la hilacha ?, ar.answers.yahoo.com ; Macri admite que a Palacios se lo recomendó la DEA, CIA y el Mossad, youtube.com
 The Gatekeepers : Foundations Fund Phony « Left » Media, questionsquestions.net
 US Delegates in « Historic » Meet with Argentinian Union Leaders, 10/01/2010, editorsguild.com