Strategic Implications for the United States and Latin America of the 1995 Ecuador-Peru War

Strategic Implications for the United States and Latin America of the 1995 Ecuador-Peru War

Strategic Implications for the United States and Latin America of the 1995 Ecuador-Peru War

Strategic Implications for the United States and Latin America of the 1995 Ecuador-Peru War

Synopsis

One of the more serious dangers to peace and security in Latin America is the territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru, which broke out into warfare in February March 1995. In this monograph, Dr. Gabriel Marcella explores the critical historical and strategic dimensions of the conflict. He argues that unless this age-old dispute is settled amicably and soon, it could very well generate a more disastrous war in the future. Dr. Marcella proposes a basis for settlement and provides specific policy recommendations for the United States and the inter-American community.

The Strategic Studies Institute is pleased to publish this report in the hope that it may help facilitate a resolution of this problem through greater understanding and dialogue.

Excerpt

On January 26, 1995 the tranquility of the Upper Amazon yielded to fighting between Ecuadorean and Peruvian troops in the disputed border region around the Cenepa River Basin. Small units of 40-man patrols engaged in combat. At its height, some 3000 Ecuadorean and 2000 Peruvian troops deployed to the area. The Ecuadoreans exploited their short interior lines of communication and their location on the high ground (6500 feet) of the Cordillera del Condor mountain range to direct fire from mortars and multiple rocket launchers against Peruvian soldiers attempting to reinforce their positions. (See Map 1.) Ecuador's Air Force established air superiority and its artillery and jungle infantry dominated the ground. The most serious fighting centered around Cueva de los Tallos, Base Sur, and Tiwintza outposts occupied by Ecuadorean troops located within the Peruvian side of the undemarcated and disputed border.
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