Panetta cautions Latin America against using military as police force
During a meeting of Western Hemisphere defense ministers, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Latin American countries to look for solutions other than using military as law enforcement.
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The strategy, which was approved earlier this year, calls for greater U.S. focus on the Asia-Pacific region.Skip to next paragraph
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The Pentagon's Western Hemisphere Defense Policy Statement released last week emphasized threats like terrorism and drug trafficking, and called for the Pentagon to help partner countries - those with whom the United States does not have a formal treaty of alliance - develop and professionalize their military forces.
But with a long, complicated history of interventions and meddling in Latin America, the United States will have to overcome deep suspicions as it works to build broader military ties in a region where stable democracies have taken root in recent decades