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Reading: While the United States Slept, South America Walked


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While the United States Slept, South America Walked


Thomas Andrew O'Keefe

Stanford University
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Since the terrorist attacks on the United States mainland in September 2001, the strong political and economic influence that the United States once wielded over South America has steadily eroded as a result of rising new global economic powers and a multiplicity of self-inflicted foreign policy fiascos under the Bush administration that forced officials in Washington, D.C. to turn their attention elsewhere in the world. Despite initial promising rhetoric from the Obama administration of a new relationship with the South American continent premised on a partnership, particularly on the issues of energy security and climate change, the loss of influence continues. The United States remains mired in intractable conflicts in Western Asia, its economic recovery tenuous, and a highly partisan political system at the Federal level makes it impossible to achieve a consensus on addressing major issues of importance to the future of not only the country but the planet.

How to Cite: O'Keefe, T.A., (2010). While the United States Slept, South America Walked. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 24(2), pp.43–55. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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