SSG Sulivan, Devin
SUBMITTED TO Mr. James
22, April, 2015
Chile is the mirror of most Latin American countries from the time of Spanish colonization through their claiming of independence to the 20th century. However, after the 20th century is where Chile starts to differ from most of the other countries in Latin America. Now, Chile is hailed as one of the most progressive Latin American countries both socially and economically, despite many social issues left over from the times of Spanish control of the country. While Chile has been hailed as the most successful Latin American democracy. However the people and government of Chile have a multitude of problems facing them today ranging from the distribution of illegal drugs and uneven distribution of wealth to environmental problems. While most of these problems do not directly affect the United States, they do, however, present a threat to our national security, because if left unattended these social problems will foster an environment that can possibly lead a recruiting ground for terrorist organizations and transnational criminal organization.
The social and ecological problems in Chile could create a breeding ground for transnational criminal groups and terrorist groups. In the 2015 National Security Strategy President Obama outlines some of his main focuses to eliminate extreme poverty, create social equality and help put into place laws which would protect the environment. Unlike some of the other Latin American countries, Chile has a relatively low poverty rate among its citizens. Those that are under the poverty line in Chile are more often than not from the indigenous ethnic groups. These groups are still struggling to break the mold set in place by the Spanish hundreds of years ago; they are not represented in the government and receive little of the country's wealth. The ecological problems in Chile are a result of deforestation, mining and other industries in the country. It is important to address these issues but, at the same time, the united states must support the government of Chile as it an allied government in the region and a government that is working to change the social situation in the country improve equality regardless of ethnicity or cultural back ground.
Chile's history has had a great effect on the country today. It was originally party of the Inca Empire, then when the Spanish arrived in the Latin America in 1800s. On September 18th 1810 Chile claimed independence from Spain, however it took another 8 years before the country was able to officially declare independence. From President O'Higgins' attempts to the authoritarian rule of Pinochet to the current administration of President Bachelet. The historical conflicts have shaped the countries international relations with its neighbors, for example the relations with Bolivia are still negative due to the outcome of the War of the Pacific. Then in 1973 President Allende was overthrown by a military coup that installed General Augusto Pinochet who was installed as the President of Chile. During Pinochet's Authoritarian rule of Chile the juntas (military courts) were given free rein over the country. Many of Allende's administration were put in prison along with their families and tortured. Under Pinochet the countries inflation dropped to just under 10%, saw a rise in foreign investment and a trade surplus of over $1.5 billion. Pinochet relinquished power in 1990 to his civilian predecessor Aylwin. In the years after Pinochet there were a total of five democratic elections then in 2006 Chileans elect their first female president Michelle Bachelet. Then in 2010 Chile suffered from an earthquake of a magnitude of 8.8 one of the largest recorded at the time. The result of the earthquake was 500 people dead, caused $15 to 30 billion worth of damage to the infrastructure. Also it destroyed an estimate of 400,000 to 500,000 homes leaving roughly 2 million people homeless. Then from 2011 to 2013 Chile saw widespread protests from students over the problems in the education system, such as the cost of the tuition in colleges and universities as well has unfair application processes.1 Chile's history has had a great effect on the countries government, military, and politics of today. To the improving relations with Peru and conclusion of the coastline boundary dispute. Some of Pinochet's amendments to the constitution influenced the bills and changes that President Bachelet is working on to future progress Chiles government and laws.
The Chilean government is set up as a Democratic Presidential Republic like the United States government and is divided into Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches. The capital of the government is in the city of Santiago, however the Legislative Branch is located in the city of Valparaíso. Chile currently has 2 major boundary disputes with two of its three neighboring countries; Peru and Bolivia. These disputes are over the boundaries of the coastal water ways and over land that was annexed during the War of the Pacific, respectively. The dispute with Bolivia is still in the international court and has not been resolved as of yet. As a result of these disputes Chile does not have strong relations with these two countries. However since the ruling in 2014 over the Chile-Peru land disputes the relationship between the two countries has begun to move to a more neutral state. This is not the case with Bolivia, there has not been any trade between the two countries and the relations between these two countries shows no sign of improvement. Despite having poor relations with most of its neighbors, Chile's relations with Argentina are positive; both nations are trading partners, as well as being members of the same trade alliance with Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela. Recently in April 2015 now second term President Bachelet's son, was convicted of a $10 million real estate scandal while serving as director for the presidents social-cultural agenda.
In the 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS) President Obama states that " . . .we are upholding our enduring commitment to the advancement of democracy and human rights and building new coalitions to combat corruption and to support open governments and open societies."2 Chile's government is one of the most socially progressive, stable and genuinely democratic governments in Latin America. While there has recently been some corruption found within the government, as a whole their foundation is still a great model of Latin American democracy. The current administration has been furthering legislation in Chile for increased equality between people of different sexual orientations. On April 16th this year the current Chilean President, President Bachelet, signed a bill into law that allows same sex couples the right to marry and will property to their partners in the case of their death. The government is also attempting to become more transparent by the of amending the Pinochet era constitution. The Chilean government is also reforming the education system. The US government should continue to support the social and governmental changes in Chile and the social changes that are being instituted by the Bachelet administration.
Chile's military is split up into 3 main branches; the Army, Navy and Air Force. The roles of the military is the protection the country's borders illegal drug interdiction. Total the armed forces of Chile combined has 60,560 active duty personnel and 82,000 reserve personnel3. The Chilean navy has the basic mission of participating in the country’s foreign security and military defense on an ongoing basis, safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity."4 All three branches are currently in the process of modernizing their equipment, however the army is slightly more behind in its modernization process.
In the 2015 NSS, President Obama talks about combating drug-smuggling specifically in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. 2 Chiles modernization of their armed forces has been part of a small arms race going on between Chile, Peru and Bolivia. During the Pinochet regime the Chilean police called Carabineros were used for apprehension and torture of political prisoners. Now they act as a reserve for the army and the national police. This paramilitary force has been important on the interdiction of illegal drugs being smuggled into and through Chile. There has been a rise in cocaine consumption in Chile from 2006 to 2008 and cocaine use was beginning to trend upwards again in 2012.5 Chile's ongoing dispute with Bolivia over the land that was annexed in the War of the Pacific has been a constant cause for a strain on the two countries relationships. While this issue is being addressed in the International Court it could possibly become an armed conflict depending on the change in administrations in both countries. The modernization of the Chilean Military allows for the paring of the US military for partnership and assisting in the updating of the military systems.
Chile's economy is one of the strongest in Latin America. The Chilean Economy is described as a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade and a reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. Exports of goods and services account for approximately one-third of GDP, with commodities making up some three-quarters of total exports. Copper alone provides 19% of government revenue. From 2003 through 2013, real growth averaged almost 5% per year, despite the slight contraction in 2009 that resulted from the global financial crisis. 6 Chile deepened its longstanding commitment to trade liberalization with the signing of a free trade agreement with the US, which took effect on 1 January 2004. Chile has 22 trade agreements covering 60 countries including agreements with the European Union, Mercosur, China, India, South Korea, and Mexico. The GDP composition by sector of origin is as follows; industry: 35.5%, agriculture 3.5% and services 61.1%. The main industry products are copper, lithium (mined from the Atacama Desert) and wood. Some of the agricultural products are grapes, apples, pears and onion.6 The percentage of arable land in Chile is 21%, most of that is located in the center of the country.The unemployment rate in Chile is 6.5%, and is the 3rd lowest unemployment rate in Latin America. Of the total population 15.1% is living under the poverty line. Chile has $140 billion of external debt putting them 42nd in the world. They are the 2nd lowest Latin American country with a low external debt. 6 Chile, like most other Latin American countries, has a problem with illegal drugs most notably cocaine.6
The Chilean economy is in good standing in comparison to other economies in Latin America. They are currently looking into research and development of alternative energy, which is in line with the 2015 NSS. 2 Chile's Banks and financial services are some of the top ranking in Latin America. Chile and the United States have strong economic ties through trade. China is Chile’s top trade partner at 24.9% of its exports where as the United States only receives 12.8%.6 There is economic disparity in Chile; currently the rich European families control most of the power and wealth while the indigenous peoples of Chile live in the slums of the cities and receive less than 40% of the national GDP.
Chile has a population of just over 17.3 billion people. The literacy rate in Chile is 98.6% with a total average of 15 years of education for both males and females. The percentage of the population that lives in urban areas of the country compared to rural areas is 89.9% in urban cities such as Santiago, Valparaiso, and Concepcion.6 The major ethnic group in Chile is White at 88.9% of the country's population. The next two largest ethnic groups in the country are Mapuche at 9.1% and Aymara at .7%. The largest religion in the country is Roman Catholic at 66.7%, followed by Protestant and Jehovah's Witness. 6 The Roman Catholic values are found in both the societal beliefs and in some of the laws that govern the country. The official language of Chile is Spanish however 10.2% speak English and 1% speak indigenous languages including. 6 Crime is mostly located around major population centers and tourist areas. There have been some instances of violent protest from the Mapuches over land reform. While there have been some recent social reform in the government, Chile is still suffering from mal distribution of wealth and is in need of education reforms. In the urban areas there is over population and pollution. Chile is also facing the repercussions of deforestation, such as problems with sanitary drinking water.
The Chilean society faces many of the same social issues that it did when it was under Spanish rule, for example the indigenous peoples of Chile still have no voice in the Chilean government. It has a history of leaders attempting to affect change in the society as well as the laws of the country to attempt to bridge the gap between the wealthy and the impoverished. For example as far back as Chile's independence from Spain when President O'Higgins attempted to redistribute the land of the country and change the education system. Now in 2015, President Bachelet has signed the same sex marriage bill into law. These examples follow the 2015 NSS and President Obama's desire to bring human rights to all peoples regardless of their race, creed or religion. Through all of Chile's social progressive reforms there still exists social problems in the country. The indigenous and the poor still have little to no representation in the government, the problem of mal distribution of wealth exists in the country. While there have been improvements in the education system college is still out of reach for many of the countries poorer families.
Freedom House rates Chile as "partly free" when it comes to freedom of the press, the Chilean media is able to report freely on the government without fear of reprisal; however there are still topics that are avoided by some media in the country. Since the time of the Pinochet government the current administration has worked to undo many of the laws that severely restricted the presses ability to report on stories without fear of retribution.7 Of the printed news there are two major private companies that control most of the newspapers and have a very large government subsidies. The government has its own newspaper La Nacion, most of the newspapers are also available online. Internet access is widely available through cell phones, however, much like the US there are computers available through internet cafes. Chile's intelligence agency is called the National Intelligence Agency (ANI) it works together with the intelligence units within the armed forces, unlike the CIA the ANI does not have an operational capacity.
Chile's information systems are still working to recover from the oppression of media during the Pinochet government. There is still, to some extent, censorship of the media in Chile today, but it is still progressively moving to a more free media society.7 The government has released the control of the information sector over to the private businesses, but some of the major companies that produce the media in Chile owe the government large subsidies. 7 Internet use in Chile is becoming more and more prevalent due to the smart phone technology. While Chile is working to increase the amount of wired connections in the urban areas, the government should also look at moving such technology out into the more rural areas to allow for more information sharing across the country. The military has also planned for the modernization of its intelligence capabilities and collection capabilities, which will allow for better decision making on the ground as well for policy makers in the government.
The majority of infrastructure in Chile has been constructed on the western coast of the country like most other countries in Latin America. While in the cities there is the availability of most common utilities, the rural areas have access to only electricity and water, there is not infrastructure for the internet outside of the city save cell phones. The utilities in the country are controlled by 6 major power companies. Of the total 77,764 km of roadways in the country only 24% are paved and these roads are mostly in and around the urban areas and near the coast. The Pan American Highway runs through Chile from the southernmost tip to the border with Peru. Chile has a total of 7,082 km of railways, however according to roughguides.com it is more efficient to use the bus system to get around the country north of Santiago.8 The major sea ports are Coronel, Huasco, Liquen, Puerto Ventanas, San Antinio, San Vicente, and Valparaiso. Chile has 481 airports of which only 90 have paved runways.
Chile has the leading solar marker as of 2014,"Solar developers have flocked to the hot, barren lands of northern Chile to take advantage of some of the best natural conditions for solar in the world. The high horizontal solar radiation in areas in and around the Atacama Desert make solar technologies more productive in these regions, translating into lower costs per unit of electricity generated."9As with information Chile is considered to be more progressive with its infrastructure expansion into the more rural areas of the country with the government looking to more solar energy initiatives for power production as well as the wave energy technology that is slated for Easter Island.10 These project will help bring power and clean water to some of the more rural areas in Chile, also these projects also follow the 2015 NSS that states that "support democratic consolidation and increase public-private partnerships in education, sustainable development, access to electricity, climate resilience, and countering transnational organized crime." 2 Chile's infrastructure in the power sector will no longer be reliant on import there for promoting a stronger economy and help improve living condition in the country especially in the areas of the poor and the more remote areas of the country.
The physical environment of Chile is one of the most diverse ecological system in Latin America due to its shape. With the Andes mountains to the east the Pacific and being located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. To the north is the Atacama Desert, which is the source of the countries copper and lithium exports. In the center of the country is the arable land, which is used for the countries agriculture. The seasons in Chile range from the normal summer to spring, however unlike most countries summer is from December to February autumn is from March to May, winter is from June to August and spring is from September to November. Due to the fact that Chile is only292,258 square miles 80% of that land is covered by the Andes Mountains.11 Due to Chiles location in the Ring of Fire it is at risk of volcano eruption as well as earthquakes. These natural disasters have made it difficult for the country's economy due to the destruction of infrastructure and the loss of life. Due to years of deforestation Chile is also suffering from landslides. These landslides have affected the local population by destroying homes and sometimes entire villages forcing the locals, predominately the indigenous population, to relocate.
The physical environment has had a great effect on Chile’s development as a nation in all parts of PMESII-PT. The Andes mountains provide a natural barrier to the east that has been both positive and negative. This mountain range make it difficult for movement along the eastern border of the country as well as movement within the mountains themselves. This barrier has make moving commodities to countries such as Argentina and Brazil via land. Like the Andes Mountains the Atacama Desert is both positive and negative as its region provides natural resources, on the converse side the barren terrain has stopped major land development and urbanization. The countries center region provides the arable land for Chile as well as most of its agricultural GDP.
In summary, Chile as a nation moving to try to work with the 2015 NSS. From the diversification of energy to include more environmental friendly types of energy, for example wave energy technology as well as solar power. President Bachelet's administration is also working to fix the social inequalities within the education system and the laws that govern the country. Chile still faces many problems in order to continue to follow the NSS, such and the social inequality, poor living conditions and over population in the cities. Poor infrastructure in the more rural areas of the country as well as access to clean drinking water. Deforestation and improper mining and industrial regulation will continue to cause landslides and air pollution in the cities and more urbanized areas. If these problems are left unaddressed they could possibly lead to a breeding ground for terrorism and a safe haven for transnational organized crime, as both of these groups look of areas of unsatisfied citizens. Who's basic rights and needs are not being cared for by the government. From this analysis, the United States should continue its partnership with Chile. In order to assist the government in dealing with these problems that could possibly lead to threats to both countries national security.
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