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In early September 2001, Congress was debating a number of national security issues involving Latin America, including the Bush Administration's new Andean counterdrug initiative and the continued U.S. military presence on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. While still critically important in the region, both dropped to barely perceptible blips on Washington's political ra- dar screen after September 11th. While U.S. military pro- grams will continue in Latin America, they are likely to undergo some changes as the United States responds to the terrorist attacks.

For at least a century, the United States has heavily aided the security forces of Latin America and the Caribbean. U.S. military aid and training programs reached their high-water mark during the cold war, when Washington viewed the region’s often repressive and corrupt armed forces as a bulwark against Soviet communism. When the cold war ended, however, the closeness and significance of the U.S. military relationship with the region did not.

The deadly attack on U.S. soldiers in Niger and their local counterparts in October has highlighted a range of issues for Congress to address. This includes oversight and authorization of U.S. military deployments, evolving U.S. global counterterrorism activities and strategy, interagency security assistance and cooperation efforts, and U.S. engagement with countries historically considered peripheral to core U.S. national security interests. This report provides background information in response to frequently asked questions on the U.S. military’s involvement in Niger and identifies potential issues for Congress to address.

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Recent Reports

Sep 12, 2018
Report: Corruption in U.S. Counterterrorism Aid Programs Risks Undermining U.S. Security Risks...
Jul 9, 2018
  July 9, 2018 Mr. Steven Clagett Office of Nonproliferation Controls and Treaty Compliance...
Mar 6, 2018
    Trump Makes Over $80 Billion in Major Arms Deals in First Year Major Changes in Types...
May 3, 2017
  Press Release Washington, DC – The number of US foreign military trainees increased substantially...