A new book was released this month in a series co-edited by Natalia Mirovitskaya of the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) and DCID founder William Ascher of Claremont McKenna College. The book, Military Missions in Democratic Latin America, examines through case studies how Latin American militaries can contribute productively to non-traditional missions of internal security, disaster relief and social programs.
The book was written by David Pion-Berlin, professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside.
In his book, Pion-Berlin argues that Latin American armed forces are at their best when tasked with missions that draw on pre-existing organizational strengths that can be utilized in appropriate and humane ways.
Ultimately, the book states, governments should choose whether or not to deploy soldiers based on a pragmatic assessment of the severity and urgency of the problem, the capacity of the military to effectively respond, and the availability of alternative solutions.
It is the eighth book in the Politics, Economics and Inclusive Development series, which examines the challenges and progress in simultaneously pursuing economic growth, broad participation and equity, democratic peace and sustainability. The series is co-edited by Mirovitskaya, Ascher and Shane J. Barter of the Pacific Basin Research Center at Soka University of America.