Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay recently began to share information on national defense spending as part of a Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) initiative aimed at using transparency to maintain peace in the region. In an email interview, W. Alex Sanchez, a research fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, discussed UNASUR defense cooperation.
WPR: What are the current structures in place within UNASUR for defense cooperation?
W. Alex Sanchez: UNASUR’s two main defense bodies are the Defense Council and the Defense Strategic Studies Center. The center, which was created in 2009, is based in Argentina -- not surprising given that it was proposed by Argentina’s then-minister of defense, Nilda Garre -- and will have a rotating leadership.