The Essential Gates: Looking Back At His Latin America Policy – Analysis
Submitted by sball on Wed, 2011/08/10 - 11:47.
An article by COHA, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, presents an analysis of former US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates' Latin American Policy. Gates retired last month.
In the intelligence community, there was no doubt that Gates was one of those most staunchly opposed to the left-wing regime in Nicaragua. In a 1984 memorandum written to then-CIA director William J. Casey, Gates exaggerated claims that the Sandinista government had been receiving financial support and weaponry from Moscow and Havana.13 In light of the prevailing “Vietnam Syndrome,” presidents and intelligence officials were reluctant to propose armed intervention to an already skeptical public and Congress. Therefore, Gates recommended various rogue plots to Casey, that fell just short of war to drive the Sandinista regime out of power. His four major suggestions consisted of: withdrawing diplomatic recognition of the Nicaraguan government; providing protection for the exiled government; placing economic sanctions on Nicaragua; and deploying air strikes. This last suggestion would be “accompanied by an announcement that the United States did not intend to invade Nicaragua but that no more arms deliveries of such weapons would be permitted.”14 This defiant stance against communism and the rise of leftist regimes provides a glimpse of Gates’ Latin American policy in the earlier phases of his CIA career.Full Article