The U.S. and Mexico : trading partners, reluctant military allies
Garza, Rafael H.
Velazques, Arturo C. Sotomayor
Trinkunas, Harold A.
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The United States (U.S.) and Mexico are more than neighbors sharing a common border. Since 1994, their economies have become more interdependent than ever by the entry into force of the North Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which made Mexico the United States' third-largest trading partner. In spite of growing economic and social interdependence, the reality is that bilateral military cooperation remains limited, with the armed forces of both countries rarely interacting with each other. Why are the U.S. and Mexican militaries so distant? Why is Mexico a U.S. economic partner, but not a military ally? This study analyzes U.S.-Mexico relations from an historical perspective and assesses how bilateral military cooperation has evolved since World War II. It finds that common threats and growing economic interdependence cannot account for the absence of military-to-military cooperation. Instead, different military mission sets, divergent orientations and the absence of civilian control in Mexico imposes significant obstacles to improving military relations with the United States.
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