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Religion and Political Theory: Secularism, Accommodation and The New Challenges of Religious Diversity, Edited by Jonathan Seglow and Andrew Shorten

The Comparative Foreign Policies of Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and El Salvador and US Military Bases

Comparative Politics
Foreign Policy
International Relations
Latin America
Sebastian Bitar
Universidad de los Andes
Sebastian Bitar
Universidad de los Andes

In the past decade the Unites States actively pursued formal military bases in Latin America, but failed to materialize them. In 1999 El Salvador and Ecuador agreed to host U.S. Forward Operating Locations (FOL), but during the 2000s Ecuador expelled the U.S. military, Peru failed to conclude negotiations to open new bases, and Colombia concluded an agreement but failed to implement it. This paper proposes a model of “Base Politics” to explain why even when Latin American governments are willing to host U.S. bases, as in the case of Colombia and Peru, domestic political dynamics have made it impossible for governments to materialize them. The paper concludes with a discussion about the policy implications for US-Latin American relations and the importance of domestic dynamics for the study of comparative foreign policy.
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