President Obama has reinforced the United States’ collaborative partnership with the nations of the Western Hemisphere to expand our common security and to create safer, prosperous, and socially inclusive communities for the citizens of the region. This approach is based on a holistic understanding of security that encompasses new and traditional threats to the safety of our citizens. Citizen safety is grounded in a recognition of our shared responsibility for security challenges, the critical importance of the rule of law and legitimate and effective institutions of governance, and common aspirations for stable and secure societies.
Our approach includes and extends well beyond traditional counter-narcotics and counter–terrorism concerns, embracing as well such needs as rising domestic crime rates and preparedness for natural disasters and disease pandemics.
These issues shape our participation in such key security partnerships as Merida Mexico, the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), and our legacy support to Colombia through the Colombia Strategic Development Initiative. They also help to guide other diplomatic, law enforcement, security assistance, judicial reform, counterterrorism, and rule of law programs throughout the hemisphere.