NATO to TACO: Saving Latin America
Does President Trumps proposed drawdown of U.S. forces in Syria and Afghanistan suggest a return to our pre-WWII Isolationist past? Actually, Isolationism is not an option. You see, on December 2, 1942, the coded message: "The Italian navigator has landed in the New World," announced that Enrico Fermis nuclear reactor underneath the bleachers in Chicagos Stagg Field became self-sustaining. On that day, the Atomic Age was born. Later, with the advent of intercontinental ballistic missiles, Isolationism became unrealistic.
Today, under the cover of a faux space program, Iran is developing intercontinental ballistic missiles. Unfortunately, in 2015, President Obama and his Iranian-born aide, Valerie Jarrett, put Iran on a glide path to becoming a nuclear power. On taking office, President Trump scrapped the agreement with Iran. Unfortunately, President Obama had already unfrozen $150 billion dollars of impounded Iranian assets and had $1.8 billion dollars delivered to Iran in cash.
The danger posed by Iran alone means it will always be necessary for some American forces to be deployed overseas to deter enemy aggression. On top of Iran, the U.S. faces the threats posed by Russia, Red China, and, of course, Islamic jihad. Ergo: America First! cannot mean a return to Isolationism.
But President Trump says the western democracies must pay their fair share. After being told to put up or shut up, 24 out of 29 NATO members increased their cash contributions to NATO. Western Europe, however, is not our only concern. In our own hemisphere, we face serious threats from Russia and Red China.
Vladimir Putin and Venezuela are building a base for nuclear bombers. Red China, which is already in operational control of the Panama Canal, has port facilities at each end of the Canal, and operates a major port in the Bahamas.
The economically ruined, socialist dictatorships in Latin America are easy prey for the Red Chinese who are roaming Latin America with cash to help pay off the staggering national debts of the socialist governments in exchange for favorable trade agreements, basing rights, and more port facilities.
Who can blame them? Latin America abounds with natural resources, has both Pacific and Atlantic coastlines, and is perfect for maritime trade. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with the people of Latin America, be they tan, black or white. Granted tropical heat and humidity have depressed the energy levels of some, but modern science can overcome problems of heat, humidity, poor hydration, disease, and nutrition.
While the U.S. must always have a stake in NATO, now may be the time to sponsor a Latin America Treaty Against Communist Oppression (TACO). But how do we get the Latin American nations to join TACO?
What little this writer knows about behavior modification comes from the late, great, Sergeant Major Lee F. Cobble who said, "Lieutenant, find out what good soldiers like to do and, whenever possible, let them do them. Find out what sorry soldiers do not like to do and make sure they do those things." In other words, a TACO filled with carrots and sticks.
Meanwhile, we must stem the flow of impoverished migrants fleeing the failed socialist governments. The Walls, plus a TACO, modeled after NATO, might be part of the solution.
©2019. William Hamilton.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Dr. Hamilton is the author of The Wit and Wisdom of William Hamilton: the Sage of Sheepdog Hill, Pegasus Imprimis Press (2017). "Central View," can also be seen at: www.central-view.com.