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The Miami Herald reported on Friday that the United States has re-established the Fourth Fleet, which was formed in 1943 and disbanded after WW2.

Fourth Fleet to sail again in Latin America

It's official: The Pentagon formally announced Thursday that it is reestablishing an administrative entity called the Fourth Fleet -- to oversee Navy vessels that sail the Caribbean, Central and South America...

''Reestablishing the Fourth Fleet recognizes the immense importance of maritime security in the southern part of the Western Hemisphere and signals our support and interest in the civil and military maritime services in Central and South America,'' Adm. Gary Roughead, the Pentagon's most senior naval officer, said in a statement released Thursday.

Personally, I see it as a threatening move against Venezuela, Ecuador, and other left leaning Latin American governments. Ecuador wants the U.S. out of their country, which also happens to be home to the only U.S. base in South America.

by Magnifico on Mon Apr 28th, 2008 at 02:09:39 AM EST
I think a war on Latin America is much more likely than a war on China.

The US can - maybe - win against Latin America. Latin America has oil, it has peasants workers, it has land, it has supportive regimes, and it's near enough to keep supply chains manageable.

China has the Chinese, which is a whole other proposition.

But considering that the US can't even win a war against a non-country like Afghanistan, or a third-rate power like Iraq, taking on Latin America would still be ambitious.

Taking on China would be suicidal.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 28th, 2008 at 08:38:33 AM EST
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I'm not sure.  Our politicians don't seem to take Latin America very seriously.  Chavez serves as a nice bogeyman for Faux News, but, beyond that, and beyond the griping about Mexicans and the border, there's just not much going on.  Latin America seems to serve more as a play thing for them than anything else.


But considering that the US can't even win a war against a non-country like Afghanistan, or a third-rate power like Iraq, taking on Latin America would still be ambitious.

Taking on China would be suicidal.

No, we're great at fighting wars.  We can blow shit up in real style.  It's the aftermath stuff that we're not so much for.

But, yeah, I do agree that war with Latin America would still be more likely than war with China.  That's simply not happening.  Or so I think, but with two of our three presidential candidates -- I assume McCain is for it, even though he's never said one way or the other to my knowledge -- being in favor of nuking Iran, I should probably hold my tongue here.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Apr 28th, 2008 at 10:00:52 AM EST
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On the other hand, Latin American countries are not anarchies like Afghanistan or cobbled-together colonial states like Vietraq. In many (most?) Latin American countries, you can enact a quick little coup without having the country fall apart.

In Afghanistan, you can't coup the government, because the government is a paper tiger and in Vietraq a coup would run the risk of an extremely nasty series of seccession wars.

It may be that I'm simply inadequately informed about the regional tensions in Latin America, but my distinct impression is that such meltdowns would be somewhat less likely than in the Greater Middle East.

And then there is my sneaking suspicion that Vietraq and Afghanistan were less about securing sattelite states than about securing failed states from which to run black ops directed against Iran and Russia. The US would have little interest in creating a genuinely failed state in its own back yard - after all, that might allow someone else to run their black ops against the US from a base of operations in comfortable proximity...

Finally, it is possible that Vietraq and Afghanistan were for purely domestic consumption (we have always been at war with Eurasia!), in which case conducting them at a safe distance on a different continent also makes a lot more sense than conducting them in your own back yard.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 28th, 2008 at 03:42:55 PM EST
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