Last week the leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru created the so-called “Forum for the Progress of South America”, or “Prosur”, in what many observers understood to be a replacement for the ailing and internally divided mid-2000s “Pink Tide” bloc of Unasur that formerly united the continent with its leftist and progressive outlook. Those days are long gone, however, after the success of the US’ years-long series of rolling regime changes that could be described in Old Cold War parlance as “Operation Condor 2.0” and which altogether advanced the US’ grand strategy of building “Fortress America”.
It’s fitting, then, for a new pro-American regional integration bloc to replace its geopolitically outdated one and to have as its mission statement the creation of “a regional space of coordination and cooperation, without exclusion of ideologies”, which is a euphemism for its member states never again returning to the old days of socialist-inspired and multipolar-aligned foreign policies. Accepting that this is its intent, then it can be said that Prosur is poised to become the pivotal regional integrational component of “Fortress America” in South America and will serve as a political complement to the US’ expanding military influence there through Brazil’s forthcoming designation as a “Major Non-NATO Ally” and Colombia’s “global partnership” agreement last year with the trans-Atlantic bloc.
Prognosticating ahead, it wouldn’t be surprising if Prosur serves as the future platform for uniting the continent’s Pacific Alliance and Mercosur trade blocs into a pan-continental one that would eventually reach a free trade deal with the reformed NAFTA and its CAFTA-DR counterparts in Central America and the Caribbean to lay the basis for building the long-awaited so-called “Free Trade Area of the Americas” (FTAA). That probably won’t happen anytime soon because of all the finer details involved in crafting an integrated trade and military bloc all across the Western Hemisphere, but all indications suggest that the aforementioned chain of events is the most likely plan that the US is pursuing as it seeks to reestablish its previously unparalleled dominance over Latin America.
The simplified conceptual takeaway is that the US is encouraging the establishment of new international institutions in its progressively reclaimed “sphere of influence” in South America in order to ensure the long-term viability of its hegemonic resurgence there and make it more difficult for any individual nation to break from the bloc because of the recently created interlocking systems of complex economic (and possibly soon, military) interdependency. This speaks to the geopolitical role that notionally apolitical international platforms can play in the New Cold War, where anything and everything can be weaponized through Hybrid Warfare in pursuit of grand strategic ends.
By Andrew Korybko
Source: Oriental Review