The Decommissioned USS John F. Kennedy in 2007, leaving its former

home in Mayport, Fl. Mayport now awaits a reborn U.S. Fourth Fleet.



Le Figaro, France

U.S. Navy 'Resurrects' Fourth Fleet to Patrol Latin America


Anxious to cope with the rise of left-wing governments in their own backyard, the United States has resurrected the Fourth Fleet.


By Lamia Oualalou


Translated By Pascaline Jay


April 28, 2008


France - Le Monde - Original Article (France)

Rio de Janeiro: It's now official: the Pentagon will resurrect its Fourth Fleet, with the task of patrolling the waters near the Latin American and Caribbean countries. Created during World War II to protect traffic in the South Atlantic, the structure was dismantled in 1950. "By reestablishing the Fourth Fleet, we acknowledge the immense importance of maritime security in this region," said Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations at the Pentagon .


Based in Mayport, Florida, the fleet will work under the dual supervision of the U.S. Navy and the Army's Southern Command, which oversees South America and the Caribbean. It will be commanded by Vice Admiral Joseph Kernan, and should include a nuclear aircraft carrier.


According to Alejandro Sanchez, an analyst at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a center for the study of Latin America in Washington, "the reestablishment of the Fourth Fleet is more of a political gesture than a military one, aimed at coping with the rise of left wing governments in the region." The Pentagon doesn't even bother hiding its intentions: "The message is clear: whether local governments like it or not, the United States is back after the Iraq War," Sanchez explains.




Indeed, Washington's military influence has declined significantly since September 11, 2001 and the launch of the "War Against terrorism." Focused on the arc of the crisis in the Middle East, the Pentagon hasn't paid attention to the political disruptions in its own backyard. The governments of the left, now widely dominant in Latin America, have criticized the United States for its support to dictatorships that prevailed for several decades and the ultra-liberal [free-market] policies they implemented.


While Washington assures that its sole interest in the region is to combat "new threats" (terrorism, drug trafficking and Central American maras gangs ), the people of Latin America often see the pursuit of "imperialist" interests dictated by energy needs. Tensions between Washington and the radical presidents of the main oil- and gas-producers on the subcontinent (Venezuela, Equator and Bolivia) accentuate this perception.


As a sign of defiance, almost all Latin American countries have refused to sign The American Service-Members' Protection Act , a treaty that prevents the prosecution of American soldiers for crimes committed abroad.


The project to install a military base in Paraguay near the Bolivian gas fields has been denounced by Brazil and Argentina. Ecuador has said the U.S. military base in Manta, which has a lease until 2009, will not have its mandate renewed. Even worse, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva has revived the idea of a South American Defense Council , which would explicitly exclude all American intervention.


This steering-clear of Washington comes at a time when new hotbeds of conflict are emerging in the region, such as between Columbia on the one side, and Ecuador and Venezuela on the other; or between Bolivia and Chile on the matter of sea access. An arms race is also under way in the region, where states are benefiting from an economic recovery to reequip their armies, many of which have been neglected since the 1970's.   



And American arms manufacturers are no longer alone on the market: some European countries - but especially China, Russia and Iran, are seeking to gain a foothold in a region that also attracts them for its potential in natural resources and energy.






O Globo, Brazil
U.S. Navy Shows That
What America Can Do,
Brazil Can Do As Well

































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US May 1, 5:40pm]