Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 January 2018
The US military presence in Latin America has declined significantly over the last two decades, particularly in the major countries of the region. Despite the determined efforts of the Reagan administration to reverse that trend, with few exceptions the present ability of the United States to influence the Latin American militaries is far removed from the dominant role it played in the 1950s and 1960s. Given the pressures in Washington for further cuts in military aid programs, the trend toward declining US influence and increasingly divergent US-Latin American military interests is likely to continue in the 1990s. Although the United States will continue to be a major force in the region, the primary instruments of US influence are likely to be economic, rather than military-to-military relations.