Monroe Doctrine, R.I.P.

I wouldn’t be that worried about U.S. military bases in Colombia if I were the Brazilian foreign minister either. (Probably more so if I worked out of Caracas.) What’s interesting, though, is the way a simple basing question in South America now requires regional outreach by the NSA, and the sort of balancing act usually reserved for Asia. To say nothing of the fact that the issue is even a touchy one in Colombia, our best friend in the neighborhood. Curious days for the Monroe Doctrine, to be sure, although I say that without regret.

Update: This more detailed article from the Latin American Herald Tribune quotes the top foreign policy adviser to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Brazil’s opposition to the actual bases because of the tense climate in the region, even if he agrees that they pose no threat to Brazilian sovereignty:

“I called his attention to the fact that it [Brazil’s objection] is notrelated to any ideological position,” Marco Aurelio Garcia toldreporters after meeting in Brasilia with Gen. James Jones. “That itcomes from a government that has good relations with Colombia.”

Apparently Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is making a tour of the continent to try to smooth ruffled feathers over the bases as well. For now, Brazil is taking a decidedly rational, unemotional approach to the issue. But clearly this is a situation where President Barack Obama is going to have to make a decision about whether or not to disappoint some folks he was hoping to work with.