The Americas have contributed toward global and regional stability. The concept of international security, like the mission statements of the institutions entrusted with its promotion, has undergone structural changes during the last decade.
Many Latin American countries have contributed to the UN Peacekeeping Operations in other areas and regions in conflict. The countries of the region have supported the creation of international regimes for arms control. Similarly, the countries of Latin America have increased transparency in their defense policies, particularly in matters of defense expenditure. Despite this, a global negotiation, capable of defining new threats and risks within the Americas and for the Americas and with the goal of establishing international rules of the game in this field, has not yet been developed.
Perspectives of “democratic peace” have increased since the creation of specific agreements such as the Declaration of Santiago by the OAS in 1991, the democratic clause of the countries comprising the Mercosur, or the hemispheric impact caused by the presidential declarations at the Summit of the Americas in Miami and in Santiago. In both hemispheric summits the heads of government have centered their action around “the strengthening of democracy, political dialogue, economic stability and social progress”; these occurrences, along with economic opening and integration processes, “have allowed our relations to achieve greater maturity”.
Latin America is envisioned as an area of stability and low interstate conflict. To establish a global analysis, we redefine that Latin America is a region in which the principal tendencies of the post-Cold War point towards cooperation, complementation, and economic integration. Latin America is one of the regions with the least military expenditure. The countries of the region have increased specific measures to improve their political-strategic links. Of particular importance is the development of mutual respect measures and agreements achieved in this realm within the hemisphere. However, it is necessary to secure and re-strengthen these tendencies and perspectives in the long run.
The Latin American contribution to international security consists of diverse expressions, the principal of which lies with the de-nuclearization of the region. It is also worthwhile to emphasize the role, which the armed forces from various countries have played in recent years in United Nations peacekeeping operations or in the Military Observation Mission during the Ecuador-Peru conflict within the hemisphere.
International change: their impact on hemispheric security
Five are the main factors that significantly influence the perception of hemispheric and regional security: a) the end of the cold war; b) globalization and democracy; c) changes in sovereignty; d) the traditions behind regional disarmament; and e) institutional weaknesses on security matters.
The end of the cold war in no way changed the level of value or strategic priority which Latin America has in relation to the global overriding power and other central actors within the international system. The new order to be put in place during the post-cold war stage within the region should continue to consider such strategic marginality regarding global affairs, especially as a source of threat vis-à-vis the hegemonic power and for other principal actors. However, such position should also be considered from a positive standpoint regarding the important contribution toward stability that the countries of this hemisphere have made. The contribution that Latin America and Canada have made toward international stability is of utmost importance. The region contributes toward transferring stability through its self-determination, its support to international treaties, and the sending of diplomatic and military envoys to conflicting areas.
Characteristically, the Americas are being reigned by a hegemonic, unipolar de-institutionalized system. Throughout the cold war period, and prior to that, the Latin American countries and Canada were immersed in a unipolar frame ruled by the United States. The core of the difference lies in the fact that prior to that, an institutionalized hegemony prevailed which was expressed through principles and standards that tended to «legitimize» unilateral decisions. Within the context of the post-cold war, things have changed in that respect. The possibilities and opportunities to become partners have increased, and policies are being defined for that purpose.
Globalization and democracy
The globalization process has changed the overall context of the political, social and strategic relationships in which Latin American countries are immersed. It is fragmented process. This dynamic affects mainly all international financial transactions whose effects are felt on the global commercial expansion. Something similar is true about communications; the latter are, in effect, planetary. Part of the globalization process brings forth, with remarkable clarity, the fact that in the entire world - and particularly the Western hemisphere - certain values and principles have become universal. Fundamentally, human rights, the market and democracy.
A strategic change that has taken place in the countries of the region corresponds to the weigh that democracy carries as the ruling principle. The political democracy factor has become, for the western world, in the articulating component that serves as the core for each and every dimension of human relations. On the topic of international security matters, democratic peace is the linking concept. This points toward the low levels of forcible resolution of conflicts that takes place in politically democratic systems. This perspective, in the case of the western world, is virtually in effect. Based on the above, a substantive linkage is established between values related to human rights and democracy. This connection promotes and defends the intrinsic legitimacy of the entire system and its international manifestations. The geographic basis from which this option is launched happens to be the western world, including all Latin American countries.
Commercial integration as part of the globalization effect has significantly changed the ways of production and the levels of inter-dependence. New areas of vulnerability are associated to this process. The de-stabilization of a national system has immediate repercussions on isolated regions due to the financial ties that have evolved around the planet. This was evident during the Asian and Russian crises of 1998 and the Turkish crises of 2000. A sudden drop in the income levels of a country and have catastrophic effects on other subregions.
The globalizing process tends to unify behaviors, consumption patterns and values, thus affecting strongly rooted cultural guidelines. The fast acceleration of these process generate perceptions of instability and distrust. This has an impact of its own on the perception the community and the elite groups have on the levels of vulnerability, the level of exposure vis-à-vis the international system, the impacts it has on national identity and other elements conforming the basis for the perception of a threat. The globalization phenomenon is a process not a stage to be reached per se. It generates opportunities that may be used profitably, but also more vulnerabilities become apparent, particularly regarding state sovereignty issues.
The concept of sovereignty must be re-edited in view of the new framework of globalization. Recognizing the “porous” quality or permeability of today's boundaries and hence of sovereignty does not suffice; it is fundamental to reflect on the building of a new sense of sovereignty that can be applied to this globalized context.
This process which is turning the world into a single unity shed light on the difficulties which States currently face for controlling processes that are crucial to the development of an international system. The state actors have diminished capabilities for controlling the flow of information, environmental issues, economic processes, criminal networks and other aspects. Each one of the above-mentioned spheres brings forth specific vulnerabilities. These range from the risk of economic margination to the difficulties of tuning on to value topics that are being ratified in the globalized world.
Each of these situations evidences the need to re-express the concept of sovereignty and how to strengthen it on the basis of increased international cooperation, instead of looking for autarchic solutions. The paradox behind sovereignty is that the greater the integration becomes accompanied by supra-national coordination development, the greater will the global influence and opportunity will become to make sovereign decisions for non-regulated areas.
The former statement has, of course, general and particular consequences on international security issues. On this basis, it is feasible to think that more opportunities exist to develop international regimes for preventing the use of force within this region. Especially due to the growing consensus on the basic principles that could be adopted by such a system. “The use or threat to use force in inter-state relationships has virtually disappeared from certain areas of the world - notably among the more advanced democracies in the era of information and that border the Atlantic and the Pacific - as well as among a number of their less advantaged neighbors of Latin American and a growing Central and Eastern Europe”.
Consolidation of disarmamentation policies
Latin America has a substantive advantage; it properly resolved the topics dealing with nuclear proliferation and the development of massive destructive weapons. These advancements make it possible for us to focus more accurately on the use of forcible means within a new framework in which non-military dimensions for the use of force are prevailing.
The region has systematized and formalized its position by means of international treaties linked to a disarmament policy when dealing with strategic issues (Tlatelolco, TNP, Chemical Weapons and Clearing of Mines). This measure is essential for reducing the perils of confrontation. In the event confrontation becomes apparent, the effects are mitigated. Moreover, after the cold war, the region has looked for ways of establishing more ample room for solutions to controversies. For example, during the last five years, all mechanisms conceived to consolidate mutual trust and security and to increase transparency have met great success.
Institutionalizing security matters
Within the hemispheric context, one of the main vacuums found from an institutional standpoint is related to the issue of security. No adequate and modern instruments to prevent conflict are in place. Progress achieved in this field is limited to subregional efforts through policy coordination or entering into agreements to pursue a greater degree of coherence; such is the case of the Central American Treaty for Democratic Security or the MERCOSUR coordination.
However, the absence of institutionalization is evident when conflicts, such as the one between Nicaragua and Honduras arise (2000/2001), and for which there is no constituted body to turn to in order to gain immediate intervention. This is a role that the Permanent Council of the OAS meets within the political context; this one needs to be donned with the appropriate instruments and resources that will enable it to mobilize immediate action and it should be capable of monitoring such situations in order to prevent this sort of options.
The Americas are currently in a moment of transition with regards to their conceptions of security. With the end of the Cold War, definitions based on ideology lost their power and priorities were reorganized from new perspectives and interests. The economic dimensions (processes of integration) and political-societal (political-democratic system) have begun to acquire new relevance. The influence of the actors involved in security issues is changing. The power of the state is being reduced, other actors are emerging, and post-statist visions are emphasizing new content. In the same way, changes have occurred in the gravitation of forums that analyze and resolve issues of collective security and peace in the hemisphere. We have gone from diplomatic forums with a strong parliamentary emphasis, to a “Summit diplomacy”. The business scenarios and the financial-commercial forums occupy an increasingly growing space.
Security is a debated concept. Its conceptual definition and its delimitation are the result of the political processes. What security entails for some may create insecurity in others. The same reality is perceived and communicated from different “positions." Security is a an elusive concept. It is imbedded in a broad category that transcends military issues, and involves non-military aspects. Security must be understood in its social-historic-cultural-geographic context. Albert Einstein affirms that “Theory is what determines that which we can observe”. New theories are therefore needed at this stage, in order to analyze the behaviors of the new actors, the new structures they agree on, and the processes in which they interact in this new era for the international system. The “given order” brought forth by bipolarity has ceased to exist. The actual “order” continues to be monopolized at certain levels, becomes multipolar at some other and universal in a few. We must advance from uncertainty into an orchestrated order with the restructuring, reformulation and construction of international regimes. We understand international regimes as they have been defined by Robert O. Keohane and Joseph Nye. Governments either create or accept procedures, norms, and principles in certain types of activities and in decision-making. Without the structuring of regimes, the immediate interests of the actors or coalitions with greater powers will prevail; with it, uncertainty and tension will be a constant. The superpowers need general rules because, more than any other actor, they seek to influence world events. This means that even when great asymmetries exist, it is not possible to impose solutions nor when they are costly. Thus, even for the powers, international regimes are necessary.
The central factor, both within the political and economic context, as well as in the security issues arising along this post-cold war decade, lies with the weight that sub-regions have. Subregional areas determine the dynamics of effective policies and the actual progress attained for each matter. The end of bipolarity opened another sort of spaces and allows for greater diversity thus enabling greater diversification. While it is true that a certain inertia still prevails as a by-product of the cold war, it is within the subregional approach where such factors must be easily overcome and from where new interpretative paradigms and new actions must stem.
The emphasis of focus varies when considering the trilogy comprising human safety, state security and international security, depending on the scenarios. In the immense majority of cases, the weight of such articulation will fall upon state security because the State continues to be the main international actor and the actor that has the greatest resources available in terms of force. Also, because the demands generated by civil society, expressed as mandatory requirements for human security, are voiced and implemented by the State. It is the latter the one that needs to meet the demand. In turn, international instability is fought by generating alternatives provided by multilateral frameworks in which the State is the actor issuing recommendations and solutions. For several geographic regions, mainly Africa, a main gravitational center may be located around international security - and their main actors, i.e., the reaction of the international system in the face of a governance crisis in fragile or nearly extinct nations.
Rethinking of new contents for security matters demands placing the topic of the use of forcible means as the dimension that sets order, selects and organizes contexts. It is therefore a key issue referred to as war and peace. Other dimensions and spheres that affect life can and should be approached from cooperation, training, transference of resources and other institutional arrangements. Beginning with this approach it shall be possible to design early alert mechanism, preventative mechanisms and follow-up activities.
Toward a multilateral security scheme
Proving the need for institutionalization does not suffice. Similarly, the design or visualization of goals to be achieved is not enough. Political will and grouping capacity is mandatory in order for the institutionalization proposal to reach the necessary consensus and hence become a reality. This process is still more complex given the presence of new international actors who exert their influence on definitions and policies.
At the onset of the XXI century, in Latin America, there is evidence that warfare and the use of forcible mechanism is more closely linked to intra-statal problems rather than inter-state conflict. Within the global context, the main conflicts appear connected to national fragmentation, to ethnic issues, to religious differences, more so than to the ideological conflicts that characterized the previous period. The fundamental manifestation of such intra-state conflicts, i.e., domestic conflicts that generate instability in the subregional context and even in the international context, are conflicts that carry a high cost in terms of human conditions, unfurling an unexpected degree of violence the consequences of which have an aftermath of emergency situations requiring humanitarian aid and which will take a long time to mend the damage caused to physical infrastructure and even more time to bring consolation to the impaired emotional status of the people.
The above means that an adequate balance must be reached between the use of preventative systems that provide early alert and coercive diplomatic mechanisms in order to limit the effects that the conflict has impounded both at the internal and international levels. This evolves as an essential topic to be debated regarding the multilateralism of the early XXI Century. Coercive diplomacy and the assessment of penalties constitute crucial topics in the design of post-cold war policies. For the hemisphere, the crisis in Haiti was an example of the difficulties posed by the penalties system, in spite of the consensus that had been reached by immensely powerful countries regarding those penalties. Rethinking of this theme is essential for the new hemispheric and subregional approach to security.
Overcoming the dilemma implied in security for the Americas continues to be the core issue in matters having to do with hemispheric, regional and bilateral security. The solution of important considerations related to the sovereign pillar of territorial affairs have enabled a reduced perception of an inter-state military threat. In order to further reduce the security dilemma, we must achieve progress in transparency issues and build our trust. This will in turn set the bases for developing converging and complementary policies within a framework of understanding and of growing inter-dependence. In those cases in which differences are still apparent, the trust and transparency will create spaces from which to resolve such differences and generate alternate options and mechanisms that will avoid an escalation of the military force and will foster a mutually beneficial solution. A joint vision of the future will be capable of merging localized, subregional and hemispheric interests; will articulate broader options than those determined by a focalized dilemma that only perceives the realm of security on military grounds.
The Confidence Building Measures (CBMs)
The measures of mutual confidence are bilateral and multilateral actions destined to prevent situations of crisis and of conflict. They seek to strengthen peace and international security. They contribute to the communication between and among the actors. They create a favorable atmosphere for establishing a framework of understanding that mitigates the perceptions of immediate threat and prevents possible elements of surprise. The CBM presupposes the existence of differences of interests and of low confidence in the relations. Its application is fundamental when the differences can be expressed by its acquisition or defense, in terms of its use of instruments of force. In that situation an error of interpretation could result in an undesirable conflict.
What we should emphasize first is that the Confidence Building Measures “acts” that usually will be preceded or accompanied by favorable declarations of peace, understanding and harmony between people. Another aspect that should be pointed out is that the Confidence Building Measures are reciprocal, hence they are “mutual." This distinguishes them from the signs of good intention that a State emits for the benefit of another and by nature they are unilateral and therefore not linked. The obligation of the CBM does not only refer to the idea that both States are developing the same action - an issue that can occur in some cases - but it also signifies that they are equivalent and contemporaneous.
The confidence building measures are actions with a link to necessary reciprocity, not necessarily equivalent, but at least parallel in time. With rapid sequence, gradually progress will be reached, provided that the counterpart complies with the reciprocal compromise. The Confidence Building Measures are an instrument, a technique, in the maintenance of peace; they don’t resolve the conflict nor the difference of interests; they make communication possible and they make the courses of action of the various involved actors more transparent and predictable.
Reducing the uncertainty and increasing the predictability are two central objectives of the CBM. Upon establishing a communications network and promoting the generation of actions that demonstrate a tendency towards passive resolution of the discrepancies of interests, a window of opportunity is opened to the development of actions in other areas principally the area of politics and diplomacy. Furthermore, if there are solid diplomatic compromises and a system of verifiable CBM will be constructed, spaces for establishing measures of control and limitation of armaments will be generated, in an orderly manner of defined areas.
The CBM have as an objective, to act above risks and above threats. They possess a preventive value. They make communication possible and mechanisms of information effective. The CBM are not measures of the control of armaments. Neither are they measures of the limitation of armaments, nor do they constitute measures of disarmament. Even though the development of the CBM can form part of a process that includes measures of those characteristics. It is difficult to think that measures of control, limitation of armaments, and even disarmament can be developed in the absence of a context of confidence, where the CBM are focused.
The CBM seek to establish a patron of relation that grants credit to the declarations of intention. They are designed to prove the acts that seek to affect the security, the integrity or any other vital interest, and to differentiate them from other actions. From there we find the essential bond between CBM and the verification processes.
There has existed a strong debate over the amplitude or the degree of restriction of the CBM. Some interpretations place them in a wide context of the development of security. Other visions emphasize its focus on defense. That is to say, those having to do with the development of measures of an essentially military character. Among these, one can count the following: exchange of military information, development of mechanisms of consultation, facing unusual military activities, cooperation in matters of military incidents and accidents, observation of determined military activities, training and education, etc.
The Confidence Building Measures have 10 characteristics:
1. Transparent and Open.
3. Reciprocity and Equivalence.
4. Adequate communication.
5. Establish a relationship.
9. Social Support.
10. Variables according to the number of actors.
The process of construction of confidence can clearly advance by distinct levels:
a. Eradicating distrust. The measures seek to establish a framework that would allow the elimination of suspicions and fear, by means of the generation of transparency. The verification is determined by giving complete satisfaction to this point.
b. Constructing an area of confidence. Establishing a relationship of predictability, should be maintained throughout the course of time and should put forth the construction of a new type of relationship that allows certainty and confidence in the completion of compromises.
c. Deepening trust. It is a new step in the solidifying of relations. A patron of relation has been created that points towards the association. The outline of joined actions and practice together characterize the ties.
d. Recognizing interdependence. When the projects of association acquire a greater density, the interdependencies are recognized and institutional perimeters for coordinating policies are established, at the same time making progress towards the creation of supranational institutions.
The Confidence Building Measures permit: (1) the construction of a history of satisfactory promises and of fulfilled compromises. (2) the establishment of a practice of distention. (3) the shaping of a patron of relationship that grants certainty and predictability to the ties. A time of strengthening those processes that will enable them to define the specific measures in the area of the limitation and control of armaments, including the area of disarmament. That is to say, that only when one has proven certainties is one able to search for concerted measures destined to change the strategic balance. Seeking to reduce in a parallel, simultaneous, and balanced way, the potentialities surrounding that which establishes the strategic balance will be possible only in an atmosphere of trust and stability. This ought to include the bilateral ties, but should consider the area where the balance is expressed.
The actual democratic context and the growing integration allow for a favorable opportunity to construct a political space that permits the movement from distrust to cooperation, in the region and in the hemisphere. In this way, we will construct a foundation essential to developing a strategic balance of the region that allows us to influence the design of tomorrow’s world that was initially opened with the end of the cold war.
The end of the cold war had a very positive effect on the Southern Cone of Latin America, specially regarding the relations between Argentina, Brazil and Chile. It made it possible to develop, ratify and recapture the cooperation trends. A greater space for interaction and bilateral cooperation emerged from the disappearance of the conflicts between blocs.
1990 and 1991 were as crucial years from the perspective of international security, they also were important in the construction and development of initiatives to reach the dividends of the peace process. The nuclear rivalry between Argentina and Brazil ended during the 1990-1991 period, thus making Latin America a fully nuclear-free zone. Argentina and Chile reached important agreements to overcome their territorial differences during this same two-year period. It’s important to point out that the self-referring geopolitical rivalry that used to take place during the 70s and 80s with no link to the international system disappeared as a result of these two events.
New spaces for political dialogue, and a new kind of civil leadership in defense and international security matters emerged during the mid 80s, as a result of the democratization processes in Argentina and Brazil. That was how on February 1985, president Alfonsín, and president elect Tancredo Neves worked their way towards an agreement that allowed a mutual verification on nuclear issues. The Permanent Committee on Nuclear Policy was established during November 1985. In 1989, the new presidents, Carlos Menem and José Sarney, agreed on a series of additional nuclear cooperation measures.
This manifestation of political willingness within civil democratic leadership reached its peak point when both countries announced a joint nuclear policy; which, amongst other things considered nuclear material controls, and the creation of a verification agency from both countries, joint system for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Weapons; and the Brazilian-Argentina for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC). As of 1991 this policy was linked to the International Atomic Energy Organization, according to an agreement subscribed on December 13 in Vienna by the presidents Collor de Mello y Carlos Menem.
The end of the political rivalry was transformed into a strategic decision that enabled expanding the cooperation between Argentina and Brazil in all the areas; Uruguay and Paraguay later became a part of this process. On March 26, 1991, the presidents of these countries submitted the MERCOSUR treaty. A cooperation agreement that establishes a customs merger, as a previous step to a broadened integration that would involve the most diverse expressions of both cultures. During 1996, Chile joined the organization as an associate, as did later on Bolivia.
Chile’s return to democracy produced significant changes on the Atlantic-Pacific axis, as it took upon a new administration after 17 years of military government. Already in 1990, the presidents, Patricio Alwyn and Carlos Menem agreed to define the pending territorial controversies and establish a mechanism to solve them. That was how, in 1991, both presidents signed a bilateral border’s agreement. Through this agreement the disputes and differences along the second longest interstate border in the world were solved. This process culminated in 1999.
During the 90s, Chile and Argentina became an example on institutionalized cooperation, and on the resolution of substantial problems in areas that could involve army entities. It was during this decade that the relationship between Chile and Argentina became known for its cooperation, growing interdependence and the fulfillment of needs.
It was in this context that, in Santiago, in 1991, the General Assembly of the American States Organization established the Democratic Commitment of the Americas. This was a decision and mechanism to promote and protect this hemisphere’s democracies. During that same year, Argentina, Brazil and Chile signed the Mendoza Declaration, which referred to massive destruction of chemical, biological and bacteriological weapons. The political will to outlaw this type of weapons facilitated the worldwide agreement on this matter. Towards the end of that decade these countries submitted and approved the Ottawa Declaration, which dealt with the prohibition of landmines.
During all theses years, and specially during the second half of the 90s, the development of the military confidence building measures has facilitated a connection amongst the armed forces that has expressed itself through the development of military exercises between Argentina and Brazil, Chile and Argentina, and the launching of multinational military exercises in the Southern Cone. The recent cooperation programs between Argentina, Chile and Brazil’s and armed forces, especially with the navy, are worth mentioning.
On the strategic-political plain, the similarities between these Southern Cone nations has manifested itself at different international forums: United Nations, The American States Organization, the meetings of the Defense Ministers of the Americas and at this hemisphere’s Presidential Summits.
To summarize, we can point out that: having solved the territorial sovereignty issues and with the disappearance of the geopolitical rivalry, it was possible, within the context of development and democracy growth, to move forward towards commercial cooperation and interdependence on strategic issues (oil, energy, electricity, transcontinental corridors). These changes have also allowed the incremental utilization of confidence building measures and security; this has not only helped to eliminate distrust, but also open a cooperation processes between armed institutions based on shared valued and points of view on international security.
The joint action, taken by the Southern Cone’s countries, generated throughout the 90s a consolidation of the peace and stability; this happened not only in this area, but it also projected itself to Latin America as a whole. Also, under the flag of the United Nations, Southern Cone’s countries have contributed in a special manner with operations to the uphold peace.
Nevertheless, it’s necessary to point out the serious crisis that involved the use of force between Ecuador and Peru, in 1995, which prevented the progress and in depth study of regional and hemispheric agreements on international security matters. Reducing a military conflict challenged the sub regional preventive action capability. The Ecuadorian-Peruvian crisis demonstrated the absence of an effective prevention institution in the region. This demanded collaborative action to avoid the escalation of the conflict, which was based on territorial differences.
The rapid action on Brazil, Argentina, Chile and The United States’ part made it possible to bring to a halt the use of force. A multinational military instrument was created: the Ecuador-Peru Military Observers Mission (MOMEP). This contingent enabled the separation of the troops in the wild Alto Cénepa. The most significant aspect was the cohesive way in which these four countries worked. This allowed building a diplomatic negotiation space, at the same time that they were demilitarizing the relationship. The crucial personal work of the Ambassador Luigi Einaudi enabled the development of good grounds for a direct dialog between the parts. This allowed assisting and helping them reach an agreement. An important aspect of this process was the coherence with which the four countries worked, as well as the support they gave their forces so that they would act in a unified manner.
The Ecuadorian-Peruvian crisis was solved successfully in October of 1998. It was a major success for the common peace process in the region. It was a great success for the preventive Latin American diplomacy.
Having reached an agreement between Ecuador and Peru, and having solved the differences between Brazil and Argentina, and Argentina and Chile, it was possible to take a significant step forward: declaring MERCOSUR as a peace zone, and projecting this peace zone to all of South America in relation to interstate affairs.
It is possible to say that the main characteristics that enable progress in the Latin American Southern Cone are related to four trends, that are links to the global changes produced by the end of the cold war. The trends that become basic tools on cooperation maters relating to defense and security are:
Ø Democracy, and its manifestation through political will to solve differences.
Ø Commercial and economic integration, as well as, an increase in interdependence.
Ø Multilateral agreements in the strategic diplomatic environment.
Ø Promotion of controls and limitations of armament, as well as distension willingness in defense and security matters.
The systematization of the lessons can be summarized in these six points:
1. Political rationality in the decisions taken during crisis situations. A historic study of the Chilean-Argentine affairs shows that there’s never been a war or suspension of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Brazil, the biggest country in South America, defined its seven borders without a war or any major conflict or tension. Brazil and Argentina have used force against each other only once, and that was more that 172 years ago, in the dawn of their independence.
In all the crisis situations, be it north south (Brazil-Argentina), or east west (Argentina-Chile), they were all solved through diplomatic means. War became a possibility on more than one occasion, but political rationality prospered even in the moments of maximum tension.
All this establishes a heritage of peace and cooperation as a founding element in the relations between these countries. And it’s expressed much more vigorously in the XXI Century.
2. Shared Values. Argentina and Chile shared a common project throughout their independence process. Through the ABC treaty, Argentina, Brazil and Chile developed a common line of though in the early part of the XX century. In 1914, this treaty created the possibility to contribute to the dialogue and resolution of the conflict between the United States and Mexico. Shared valued on democracy have been expressed in the promotion and support of the Democratic Commitment of the Americas, submitted by OEA in 1991. On this subject, MERCOSUR also has a clause that stipulates that only democratic countries can participate in this association.
Argentina, Brazil and Chile contributed to the creation of a global democratic alliance, or to the development of a worldwide democratic projection. This gives indication of the growing importance that the western world gives to this subject.
3. Overcoming territorial differences. The border between Chile and Argentina was defined due to political governmental will, and a steady effort from different governmental entities, as well as solid support from the civil society, thus solving their “colonial heritage." This contributes in a decisive manner to the demilitarization of the interstate ties. The end of the nuclear rivalry eliminates the threat of using force in other discrepancies between Argentina and Brazil, particularly in those related to water resources. Even though there were no discrepancies as far as the definition of borders, there were a few, related to the resources found on these borders.
In both cases overcoming theses territorial differences enabled increasing the cooperation on these borders and at a global level.
4. Growing Interdependence. Argentina, Chile and Brazil have built a thick economic interrelation network. They are commercial partners and at the same time there are reciprocal investments between these countries. Commercial corridors allow freights that come from Brazilian ports to pass through Paraguay and Bolivia to Chilean ports where they head to the Asian-pacific. Commercial corridors join in the same manner different parts of Argentina, with Chilean ports. Political coordination and agreement create a good environment for international action
5. In the Southern Cone there is shared view of potential risks. The main challenges as they are perceived by Argentina, Brazil and Chile are related to international stability. They contribute to this by sending troops to uphold the peace. Stability in the region is key. That is why creating MOMEP was a decisive move. The demilitarization of the interstate relations is expressed through the will to build a peace zone and a demilitarized zone. At the same time, cooperation in defense matters has increased, for example, the bi-national control points to avoid the passing of nuclear waste through the Magellan Straits. These countries possess similar viewpoints on the new international security order.
6. The confidence building measures have had a fundamental role in the process. The confidence building measures have generated a growing transparency in their process. Argentina and Chile have published their defense books. Brazil’s presidential defense orientation was made known to the public. The three countries consider preventive diplomacy to have an increasingly important role. This greater trust has allowed the realization of military exercises on a bi-national and a multinational level. There’s a program that enables the development of diverse military confidence building measures. Confidence building measures have allowed the change from distrust to cooperation. This is shown in agreements such as the Chilean-Argentine to jointly build navy ships. Or it can also be seen in the training that argentine pilots are receiving on Brazilian aircraft carriers.
We can outline the most outstanding points of the confidence building measures like this:
Ø The CBM prevent risks in highly conflictive situations.
Ø The CBM are effective and they generate confidence if they are viewed in a generalized cooperation environment. Substantial political willingness to promote them.
Ø The CBM are specific to each geographic, political and military situation.
Ø The CBM have a high bilateral and sub regional effectiveness.
Ø The CBM are key in the process and enable an increment in goals.
These six lessons have been consolidated due to the application of a series of basic concepts that facilitate the relationship. The following are these basic concepts:
1. Gradual Process. There are no final goals. On the contrary, the process has been developed through consecutive steps. This allows for more pragmatism. It is the process that enables the qualitative jumps, more so than ambitious short-term goals.
2. Flexibility. Political will has enabled harmony in the reach, depth and rhythm of the satisfaction of the parties involved. Flexibility makes it possible to use steadiness as a benefit in the substantial goals, more so than, in certain circumstances, the maintenance of specific formal stands.
3. Balance. The process looks for participation and the development of reciprocal actions. These possess balance and equilibrium that manifest themselves through qualitative and quantitative aspects.
4. Symmetry. The process shows the equivalence in the responsibilities. The symmetry is the fulfillment of the crucial commitments during the consolidation of the process. Creating harmony in the policies that belong to different fields, but particularly in defense matters, is possible if this concept is applied in an affective manner.
5. Preferential treatment. Creating more economic proximity and the reduction of distrust make it possible to direct the interdependence process. This means getting closer due to cultural affinities, and geographical proximity, and applying the open regionalism concept. This means, increasing regional cooperation as a mechanism of global opening. In this environment creating harmony in the policy is essential.
6. Involvement of new participants. The incorporation in the strategic relationships of new non-traditional participants has been fundamental. In this sense it’s important to point out the parliamentary participation, a historically absent participant in international security matters in this region. The incorporation of businessmen to the dialogue has been fundamental, given their role in the promotion of interdependence and in the management of strategic enterprises. The academic has also proven to be fundamental. The II Track Diplomacy has increased proximity and better knowledge of high sensibility matters. It has enabled new points of view and suggested courses of action that increase cooperation.
For a cooperation process to be successful in any area it needs institutionalization, more so, in defense and security matters. In these areas, formal aspects possess a highly significant importance. Even in the initial stage formal aspects contribute to unlock the process so it is possible to approach significant issues. From this point of view we can point out four levels and institutional dimensions where the basic concepts have been applied, as well as what has enabled the resolution of conflicts and tensions, and what has improved the relationship between Southern Cone countries.
The following are four basic tools:
1. Formal institutional structures. The political will to enable dialogue, cooperation and a shared projection of the future is manifested in the design and development of pyramid-shaped formal structures. The Presidential summits are on the peak. That is, the regular meetings between presidents. Amongst these we can point out the bilateral summits, (Argentina-Chile and Brazil-Argentina), the sub regional summits (MERCOSUR summits), and the informal dialogue between presidents, through telephone conversation, as well as at other summits (Summit of the Americas, United Nations Special Meetings, Ibero-American Summits, Group of Rio summits and others).
Formal dialogue instances between Foreign Affairs Ministries, Ministries of Defense and armed forces have also been established. Argentina and Chile submitted a memorandum of understanding in defense and security matters in 1995. Brazil and Argentina signed an agreement of cooperation on defense matter in 1997.
All this means that there is an institutional framework for the political dialogue, for the diplomatic coordination and for the military relations. Mechanisms have also been developed on parliamentary relations level, as well as on a union, business and an academic level, along with other parts of the society.
2. Institutionalization of confidence building measures. The agreements submitted on defense matters have enabled the establishment of institutional frameworks where confidence building and security measures are planned and coordinated. It is on this level that the development of transparency is planned. This is how the agreement to publish the defense books, or the progress in the transparency of military spending or the planning of the military exercises has come from military spending.
3. Organized action. The described institutional framework enables organized action between the Southern Cone countries. This is shown as cooperation in defense measures against shared risks, (passing of nuclear waste waters that are under the jurisdiction of these countries). Agreements to disarm, control and limit the armaments (creating nuclear and mine free zones, among others). Preventive joint action in international, regional, and global security matters. Such as being part of peace operations in: East Timor, Cambodia, Iraq-Kuwait, and Kosovo.
4. Design of binding international regimes. Establishment makes it possible to create a particular architectures specifically prone to the prevention of conflicts and the promotion of cooperation. These designs have materialized in formal institutional structures, which work on a bilateral and a sub regional level. There’s a deficit in the regional and hemispheric establishment. The creation of the MERCOSUR Peace Zone is a significant example of the design and implantation of an international security regime for this part of the world.
 The Treaty of Tlatelolco of 1967; The Mendoza Declaration(chemical and biological weapons) 1991. Treaty of Ottawa (anti-personal mines, 1997).
 Declaration of Santiago. II Summit of the Americas. Santiago, Chile, April 1998.
 Joseph S. Tulchin and Francisco Rojas Aravena, with Ralph H. Espach (Editors), Strategic Balance and Confidence Building Measures in the Americas. Stanford University Press, California, 1998.
 National Defense University. Institute for National Strategic Studies. 1998: Strategic Assessment. Engaging Power for Peace. Washington, D.C., 1998.
 Harold Klepak, “Doctrinas Canadienses acerca de la seguridad internacional”. (Canadian doctrines on international security) as part of: Fuerzas Armadas y Sociedad (The Armed Forces and the Community), Year 11, No. 3, July-September. FLACSO-Chile. Santiago, 1996. pp. 3-7.
 Lars Schoultz, Beneath the United States. A History of U.S. Policy Toward Latin America. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, 1998.
Peter H. Smith, Talon of the Eagle. Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relation. Oxford University Press, 1996.
Jorge I. Domínguez, “U.S.-Latin America Relations During the Cold War and Its Aftermath” 1998-1999. Working Paper Series. Center for International Affairs. Harvard University.
 Robert O. Keohane y Joseph S. Nye Jr., “Globalization: What’s Now? What’s Not? (And So What?). Foreign Policy. Spring 2000.
 Democratic peace cannot be achieved between democratic and non-democratic regimes. Please refer to Stephen M. Walt, “International Relations: One World Many Theories”. Foreign Policy, No. 110. Washington, D.C., Spring 1998.
 In the case of Europe, this has been formalized under the codes of conduct. Gert de Nooy, Cooperative Security, the OSCE and its Code of Conduct. Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Cligendael’. Kluwer Law International Ed. La Haya, 1996.
 Paul B. Stares, The New Security Agenda: A Global Survey. The Japan Center for International Exchange. Tokyo, Japan, 1998.
 Roberto Bergalli & Eligio Resta (comp.), Soberanía: un principio que se derrumba. (Sovereignty: a collapsing principle) Ed. Paidos, Buenos Aires, 1996.
 UNDP. Report on Human Development 1999. (A globalized world with a human face). Mundi Prensa Libros. Madrid, 1999.
 Paul Kennedy Toward the XXI Century . Plaza & Janes. Spain, 1998 (4th. Edition). Specifically Chapter VII on, “The future of the State-Nation."
 Keohane & Nye. ob.cit, page 116.
 Francisco Rojas Aravena, Bernardo Arévalo de León, Carlos Sojo (eds.), Sociedad, Estado y Fuerzas Armadas: la nueva agenda de seguridad en Centroamérica (Society, State and the Armed Forces: the new Central American agenda on security issues). FLACSO-Guatemala and Chile/P&SA/Wilson Center. Guatemala, 1998.
 OAS News. “OAS sends mission to mitigate tensions”. January-February, 2000. Also stressed should be the role of the OAS as a moderator in the dialogue between Costa Rica and Nicaragua on the conflict that has arisen over navigation rights on the San Juan River. El Mercurio, Santiago, 4th April, 2000, page 4.
 Francisco Rojas Aravena (Ed.) Globalizacion, America Latina y Diplomacia de Cumbres (Globalization, Latin America and Summit Diplomacy). FLACSO-Chile/LACC, Santiago, 1998.
 Sergio Aguayo, Bruce Bagley, Jeffrey Strak, En busca de la seguridad perdida. Aproximaciones a la seguridad nacional mexicana. (Looking for a lost security. Approaches to Mexican security issues) Ed. Siglo XXI. Mexico, 1990.
 Cited by Paul Wazlawick, ¿Es real la realidad? (Is reality real?)Ed. Herder, Barcelona, 198, p.59.
 Robert O. Keohane, Despues de la hegemonia. Cooperacion y discordia en la politica economia mundial. (After hegemony. Cooperation and controversy on world economic policies) Ed. GEL, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1988.
 Robert O. Keohane, The International Institutions: Can Interdependence Work? In: Foreign Policy, No.110. Washington, D.C., Spring 1998, pp-83-96. The complexity of the new reality and of the new agenda cannot be comprehended by the traditional concepts of international security. The response that some actors have tried to deliver is an elaboration of the concept of international security. With this, they situate the context of security issues at various levels (military, economic, social), hindering the practical operability and the development of specific actions.
 Friedman Lawrence, “International Security: Changing Targets”. En: Foreign Policy, No. 110. Washington, D.C., Spring 1998.
 Kofi A. Annan, Partnerships for Global Community. ONU Annual Report. New York, 1998.
 Alexander L. George and William E. Simons (edited by), The Limits of Coercive Diplomacy. Westview Press, Colorado, 1994.
 Margaret Daly Hayes and Gary F. Wheatley, Interagency and Political-Military Dimension of Peace Operations: Haiti. A Case Study. NDU/INSS. Washington, D.C., 1996.