Regional Security Policy

...holding the military accountable to democracy

Latin America’s transition to democracy began thirty years ago, but overwhelming military influence continues to undermine progress. Too often, U.S. aid and engagement make matters worse, encouraging the region’s armed forces to take on domestic missions – from the drug war to development programs – that threaten democracy and human rights.

WOLA challenges the expanding role of the military in foreign and domestic policy making. We support accountable civilian control of defense forces, a clear separation between police and military functions, and peaceful collaboration to reduce threats and resolve conflicts.

Regional Security Policy News & Analysis

WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Video
WOLA is a leading research and advocacy organizations working to advance human rights in the Americas. To learn more about WOLA's work, please watch this short video.

This Report on Colombia's Lessons Has a Lot of Problems

A U.S. military school's report draws dangerous conclusions from inaccurate facts
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA finds numerous inaccuracies in a report from the Joint Special Operations University about the U.S. experience in Colombia. An attached PDF highlights problems with the report, which attacks human rights defenders and issues dangerous recommendations for U.S. military engagement worldwide.

WOLA's Adam Isacson Discusses National Guard Deployment on WSJ Live

Video
Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to deploy the National Guard to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border as the federal government struggles to handle an influx of Central American immigrants. In a video interview with WSJ Live, WOLA's Adam Isacson weighs in on why this is a bad idea.

Will More Funds for Border Security Address the Crisis of Central American Children at the Border?

Spending even more on border security, or sending the National Guard, will not resolve the unaccompanied minors crisis
Analysis & Commentary
There are already enough Border Patrol resources at the U.S.-Mexico border. Congress does not need to add more: Customs and Border Protection needs to distribute them to respond to the current situation. We *absolutely* do not need to take the drastic step of a new National Guard deployment.