Plan Colombia: how U.S. Military assistance affects regional balances of power
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Scholars are usually attracted to South America because of the characterization of this zone of the Western Hemisphere as a zone with a "long peace". However, almost 200 years after achieving independence from Spain and Portugal, some countries are still facing unsolved territorial and boundary disputes. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to assess the importance the balance of power has in the inter-state relationships in the Western Hemisphere. This thesis argues that Plan Colombia is creating an imbalance of military power between Colombia and Venezuela and this balance is important to their relations. Three possible explanations are used to explore the relations between these two countries, which are democratic peace, balance of power, and spiral model. The major conclusion of this thesis is that the implementation of U.S. policy in the region is creating an imbalance of power, and that the situation could lead the unbalanced country to increase military capabilities. The long history of misperceptions of the capabilities and intentions of the adversary could provide the dynamics that might trigger a war. Therefore, this U.S. policy is likely to increase tensions and instability in the dyad.
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