Volume 43, No.3
L volcano peril
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VOLUME 43, No. 3.
(Copyright reserved and reproduction without permission strictly forbidden.)
SECURITY IN THE CARIBBEAN
Jessica Byron iV
Reforming The Jamaica Constabulary Force: From Political to
The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force: Origin, Structure, Training,
Security and Other Roles 13
Political and Policy Aspects of the Jamaica/ United States Shiprider
The Eastern Caribbean in the 1990s: New Security Challenges 54
Engendering Caribbean Security: National Security Reconsidered from
a Feminist Perspective 74
Books Received 90
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS 93
INFORMATION FOR CONTRIBUTORS 94
UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
The Hon. RM. Nettleford, O.M. Deputy Vice Chancellor, Editor
Compton Boume, Principal, St. Augustine Campus, UWI
Sir Keith Hunte, Principal, Cave Hill Campus, UWI
Sir Roy Augier, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of History, Mona
Neville McMorris, Dept. of Physics, Mona
Veronica Salter, Office of Deputy Vice Chancellor, Mona (Managing Editor)
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University of the West Indies
PO Box 42, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
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University Centre in any West Indian Territory served by UWI.
Freedom from fear remains one of the most treasured freedoms of third world
countries in the heat of social transformation and the quest for democratic governance. The
issue of security, individual and collective, is central to the realisation of this freedom.
The contributions to this volume by persons all of whom are associated with the
University of the West Indies reflects the University's commitment and mission to develop
within the region, through research and analysis, the expertise that can be utilized to solve
the region's problems and inform public policy in the field of security.
The region is threatened from within by both natural and socio-economic forces
and from outside by geopolitical hegemony or by abuse of its geographical location which
invites the transhipment of dangerous drugs, nuclear waste and other contraband goods.
Here, security must mean, inter alia the ability of the region to maintain functional
integrity against the forces of dysfunctional change.
The six timely essays address a wide range of concerns, from the training of the
police (Jamaica) and the Defence Forces (Trinidad and Tobago) to National Security as
viewed from a feminist perspective. This last approach may indeed be of interest to those
who are of the view that most of the organizations dealing with security are primarily
"masculine" in composition and orientation.
Intra- and extra-regional security relationships are also addressed; and particular
attention is drawn by the Guest Editor to the new security challenges facing the Eastern
Caribbean states as well as to the newly concluded "Shiprider" agreement with particular
reference to the controversial negotiations between the United States and the Government
of Jamaica, including the vexed question of sovereignty.
Historically the Caribbean Basin was termed a "cockpit of international rivalry",
because of the struggles for dominance witnessed there among Europe's imperial powers.
In the 20th century, it gradually became a zone of increasing American influence, and after
the second World War, was heavily marked by the Cold War tensions of Soviet-United
States competition. Despite, or perhaps partly because of the externally oriented, super-
power dominated characteristics of the security environment, security issues in the Com-
monwealth Caribbean in the early days of independence did not receive the degree of
priority that they got in many other parts of the developing world. Military budgets
remained small and the external threat perceptions of the political elites were relatively
relaxed, with the exceptions ofGuyana and then Belize. In contrast to other Commonwealth
Caribbean states, these were mainland territories whose borders were contested by neigh-
The specific nature of the vulnerabilities of very small states became clearer in the
ensuing decades. Many threats had domestic socio-economic roots and almost all were
grounded in the precarious political economy of the region. In most cases, there were strong
links between the international and the internal dimensions of insecurity. Finally, there was
the ever-present challenge of managing complex relationships with the United States and
with Latin American neighbours in the geopolitical context of the Caribbean Basin.
Cold War tensions came to a head in both the Eastern and Western zones of the
Caribbean in the early 1980's. Since then, the region has had to focus increasingly on a
range of non-traditional security issues which include drug trafficking and environmental
disasters. Likewise domestic sources of instability have required ever increasing amounts of
political attention, human and material resources.
This issue of Caribbean Quarterly takes a broad look at a range of security issues
facing the Commonwealth Caribbean in the 1990's...dare we add the cliche, "after the Cold
War"? The articles demonstrate the complexity as well as the diversity of issues facing the
region. They seek to highlight some of the recent areas of concern in the field of security, to
pose new questions and, in some cases, to suggest new areas for research.
Two of the contributors focus on the changing roles of the security forces.
Anthony Harriott presents an extremely interesting study of the 1990's reform programme
of the Jamaica Constabulary 'Force. In addition to analyzing and evaluating the reform
programme, he discusses different models of policing and their applicability to the social
and economic conditions of Jamaica. He also addresses the larger philosophical questions
of the relationship between the political directorate and the police forces, and between civil
society and the police.
Dion Phillips undertakes a somewhat more conventional study of a hitherto little
researched institution, the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF). He points out
initially that the work is primarily a descriptive compilation of data on the armed forces. It
records the origins and development of the TTDF, its training policies and its recruitment
of women. This article traces the evolution of the TTDF, its changirfg responses and
adjustments over time to a range of external and domestic security situations, which
included an armed forces mutiny in the 1970's, the Jamaat al Muslimeen attempted coup in
1991, incidents of terrorism and hijacking, narcotics interdiction and disaster operations.
Phillips also documents the growing cooperation between the TTDF and other security
forces in the region.
Stephen Vasciannie's article is a timely attempt to revisit the question of sover-
eignty for the regional states in the changing political and strategic circumstances of the
present decade. It discusses the issues of sovereignty and security interdependence which
have been raised by the United States' moves to conclude Shiprider agreements on the
policing of territorial waters with most of the Caricom states between 1995 and 1997.
Vasciannie observes that in practical terms and in the contemporary Caribbean context, the
concept of national sovereignty has quite a different and much more limited significance
than it had traditionally. A few of the recent national debates over the Shiprider treaties
have, however, assumed the language, the symbols and the psychological connotations of
an old-fashioned sovereignty issue. The writer notes the differing capabilities and security
situations among the Caricom countries that may have led to their mainly pragmatic
responses to the Shiprider issue. However, he looks specifically at the tougher negotiating
approaches that were taken by the Jamaican and Barbadian governments and concludes
that, notwithstanding the domestic pressures and difficulties experienced in their relations
with the United States during the period of negotiations, they emerged with Shiprider
agreements that reflected their national concerns to a greater extent than in the case of other
Caricom states. This study suggests that new options and bargaining opportunities can be
identified for small states within the current conditions of interdependence in many spheres
of international and regional politics.
The issue of small, indeed micro-states is looked at in greater detail in Jessica
Byron's survey of the security outlook for the OECS territories in the 1990's. She notes the
cyclical shifts that have occurred in the threat perceptions of the OECS leadership from
mercenary attacks and domestic instability in the early 1980's, to a focus in the late 1980's
with disaster preparedness, maritime policing and drugs interdiction, to the major current
concerns of environmental catastrophes, drug trafficking, adverse economic trends and
their destabilizing impact on political institutions and societies. She concludes that the
OECS are facing an era of serious, non-traditional security challenges with a greatly
reduced range of external support mechanisms on which to draw.
Long term security, in their context, will require to an even greater extent than
before, the skillful management of relations with external actors, primarily the United
States but also European and Latin American countries, the strengthening of regional
cooperation .systems, and the successful development and application of a concept of
sustainable development that fits the conditions and needs of Caribbean micro-states.
Diana Thorburn's article looks at Caribbean security issues from a previously
unexplored angle -that of gender. She outlines the general thrust of feminist perspectives
on international security and then examines some contemporary Caribbean security issues
from a feminist viewpoint. She demonstrates how the lens of gender throw a different light
on the costs and the victims of insecurity in the Caribbean. This approach changes the
priority ranking from external military security and domestic order to a focus on human
welfare. It presents different policy analyses and proposes alternative remedies. Thorburn
stresses the internal ana economic roots of most Caribbean security threats, linking them to
international processes over which small states have minimal control. She feels that a
feminist approach to Caribbean international relations and security issues is worthwhile if
it serves to reveal further the gendered nature of global and regional inequalities, the
consequences for entire societies that flow from such inequities, and to offer alternative
policy approaches that may improve the material conditions of life for both women and men
in Caribbean societies.
Common themes keep recurring throughout these articles. They include long-
standing questions about the meaning of sovereignty for small vulnerable societies, and the
varying ways in which they have to adjust to new manifestations of U.S. hegemony.
Likewise, they dwell on the issue of the relationship between the armed forces of the region
and their own societies. Increasingly, as state security concerns shift inwards, the question
arises as to who defines the interests of the society, and whether the region's soldiers and
police are deployed primarily to protect the society or to wage war against large sections of
that same society. It is an issue linked to underlying themes of human rights and democratic
governance in the Caribbean that need to be addressed by political directorates, by the
security forces themselves and by the society as a whole. The spotlight was turned on to
such issues of human rights and the state machinery in at least one Caribbean country in
October (1997) of this year, as the Jamaican government took the unprecedented step of
withdrawing from the Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention on Civil and
Political Rights in its quest to apply capital punishment to staunch the levels of violent
criminality. The articles also emphasize the intensifying dimensions of the insecurity that is
generated by drug trafficking and by environmental catastrophes -no longer random, but
now regular features of Caribbean life. Finally, they underline the fact that the growing
insecurity of Caribbean societies is the domestic, micro dimension of major shifts in the
global political economy, against which these small societies will have to devise new
strategies of resilience and adaptation.
The articles in this issue of Caribbean Quarterly merely claim to launch an initial foray into
some of these issues. However, they also highlight the dynamic facets of Caribbean
security questions and suggest considerable scope for continuing empirical and policy-ori-
ented as well as theoretical research in this field.
Reforming The Jamaica Constabulary Force: From Political To
In September 1993, the government of Jamaica took the unusual step of appoint-
ing Col. Trevor MacMillan an ex-Army officer and Head of the Revenue Protection
Division (RPD), a person with a reputation for incorruptibility and political impartiality, as
Commissioner of Police (CP). He was the first outsider since Independence to head this
closed institution. His appointment immediately triggered a programme of reform of the
Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). Three years later, and after failed negotiations on
matters central to the reform process the degree of managerial autonomy from the
political directorate, his contract was terminated. This has been followed by a reversal of
some of the reforms and a general uncertainty regarding the prospects of the reform process.
The primary objective of this paper is to critically examine the aims and strategy
of these reforms. It seeks to map the attempt at reconfiguring the JCF from a political-secu-
rity police to a "professional" Force, and to identify the nature and sources of the difficulties
associated with this process. This assessment is restricted to the period 1993-1996 -
which appears to have been the first phase of an increasingly complicated but perhaps
Various factors account for the present turn of events. In a profoundly political and
highly politicized institution such as the JCF, the balance of power between the advocacy
coalitions is crucial to any significant outcome. This is analyzed elsewhere [Harriott 1996].
Here, the discussion is restricted to a conceptual analysis of the difficulties that inhere in
this reform model and how these limit the process and account for the present outcome. It
seeks to uncover the germ of failure contained in the logic of the process itself.
The JCF has operated on the excolonial political model of security policing
which is state protective rather than citizen protective and more concerned with public order
than crime control. I argue that a concatenation of processes external as well as internal to
the Force viz the explosion in the crime rate, the challenges to the old value system on
which the authority structures are erected, the party politicization of the Force, corruption
and abuse of its powers, are the prime sources of both the profound legitimacy crisis with
which it is currently confronted and its ineffectiveness as an agency of crime control.
In attempting to extricate itself from the crisis, neither the professional reform
model, nor a refurbishing of the political-paramilitary model is likely to succeed. The first
is caught in tensions between central control and popular accountability and professional
exclusivity and more inclusive citizen-responsible approaches ( which harness, on the
basis of community consensus, the power of the people to control crime within the
framework of the law and respect for individual rights) These tensions cannot be properly
resolved within the framework of the professional model. The second, even if its moral
unattractiveness and undemocratic impulses are disregarded, is likely to continue to gener-
ate further violence and lawlessness and a deepening of the legitimacy crisis, as the coercive
capacity of the state to impose an authoritarian solution is quite dubious.
The existing work on the Jamaican police reveals two parallel institutionally
directed discourses. The first is the discourse of human rights which focuses on police
repression and abuse of their powers. This may be found in the few academic works on the
police (which are products of commissioned reports by Americas Watch)[cf. Chevagny
1991; 1995]. The second, is the discourse of Managerialism which is motivated by
concerns with police efficiency and effectiveness [cf Wolfe 1993; Hirst 1991]. Both are
valid concerns. But while the official reports have largely ignored or treated as peripheral
the theme of police rectitude, the academic literature has completely ignored the issue of
police effectiveness. Here an attempt is made to integrate these two discourses. The debate
on reform is unfortunately restricted to the officially commissioned reports which offer
little critical conceptual scrutiny of the programmes proffered.
The primary data source for the paper is derived from in-depth interviews with a
small (8) purposive sample of members of the JCF. The respondents were senior officers
who were among the most informed and important players in the process (including three
interviews with former Commissioner MacMillan) and operatives engaged in the imple-
mentation of some of the reforms.
I also draw on my direct knowledge of the process as an engaged outsider via
participation in policy discussions among senior officers of the Force over the three-year
THE CRISIS OF THE POLITICAL MODEL OF POLICING
Police forces are agencies of social control engaged in the reproduction of an
officially defined order. They are all therefore profoundly political institutions. But they
do not all operate on the political model being overtly involved in competitive party
politics, regime maintenance security policing and the reproduction of a highly conflictual
social order, and thus are engaged not just in the control of deviants but of whole popula-
tions or sections of those populations. The JCF has historically operated on the Political
Model of policing.
In the political model, control of the Police Force is achieved via subjective
modes. This involves the permeation of the Force by networks of party-affiliated activists
and the determination of appointments (particularly to sensitive posts such as the leadership
of the Intelligence and Special Operations Units) on the basis of political affiliation and
This mode of control allows the political directorate to determine detailed opera-
tional matters. This includes personnel selection and deployment, the type of operations
appropriate in different situations and their timing and targets, intervention in particular
investigations, the power to have charges proffered and\or dropped, and to determine which
police officers should be rewarded in what ways and similarly who should be punished. In
the Jamaican expression of the model, no sphere of police activity is beyond the reach of the
Minister in charge.
A survey of the opinions of the managerial (officer) ranks of the Force conducted
by the author in 1991, indicated a pattern of broad and systematic interventions into the
operational domain by the political elite aimed at manipulating the Force for party political
advantage. Some 67% of the officers felt that the Minister routinely interfered with
promotions, 73% with transfers, and 36% with police operations. A significant minority
(20%)reported having direct experience of successful efforts to have charges brought
against suspects dropped [Harriott 1994:462].
Consistent with the primary mission of maintaining public order, the structures
are based on paramilitarism. As a form of organization it best ensures reliable control of
the Force and the population via a highly centralized command structure, a rigid superior-
subordinate relationship, upward accountability and emphasis on maintenance of the status
quo [Auten 1976:123-124]. Paramilitarism fosters a culture that celebrates and accords high
status to those most adept at manipulating violence in police work (often without regard for
the law) over less glory-seeking but socially valued services.
Resource allocations and training are consistent with the model. For example,
video recorders are routinely used to film demonstrations on the various issues central to the
political life of the country. Yet frequently cameras are either not available or not used for
photographing crime scenes in order to better present evidence in the courts [Personal
Correspondence Supt. CIB].
The programme of reform initiated in 1993 was a response to the deep legitimacy
crisis of the JCF. By crisis is not meant an imminent collapse of the Force, but rather an
inability to maintain the present mode of political-paramilitary policing without continued
ineffectiveness in the treatment of crime, further decline of public confidence in the Force,
greater resort to coercion, and police behaviour contributing to a growth rather than a
reduction in social tensions.
This crisis is manifested in the following developments.
* Increasing police ineffectiveness in dealing with crime. An explosion in the rate of
violent crime since the late 1970s and dramatic changes in.the social organization of
criminals (their level of organization, the resources at their command and their social
and political influence) has overwhelmed the criminal justice system [see Harriott
1996]. In 1996, Jamaica recorded the highest rate of reported violent crime in the
Commonwealth Caribbean (924.4\100,000)[Statistics Unit JCF]. In the early 1980s,
the cleared up rates for crimes against person and property were 70% and 50%
respectively. In the 1990s, this has declined to 60% and 30% respectively.
But even these figures are sus piciously high and are inflated by the arrest practices
of the police. This over-estimation is revealed in the low conviction rates which also
tend to vary in inverse proportion to the seriousness of the offence. There has been a
progressive waiving of (legal) sanctions and, for example, the conviction rate for
murder is estimated by the author at 18% for 1993 [Harriott 1995].
* The crisis is manifested in routinized flouting of the law and resistance to police-
authority. From the traffic laws to the banking regulations, laws are openly and
remorselessly violated. In some parts of Kingston, guns are fired by criminals in full
view of some police stations, and at times are even fired at these stations [see Daily
Gleaner 8\5\97]. The legal and moral authority of the police is routinely challenged in
less dramatic ways by all social classes. "Connected" individuals from all social groups
-albeit to varying degrees are able to exploit the real circuits of social and political
power to place themselves above the law.
* Growing resort to police vigilantism as a response to this incapacity. Police ineffec-
tiveness in managing crime has fostered a more general indifference to means and
disrespect for the rule of law within the Force. For the period 1983 to 1993, the
number of homicides committed by the police ranged from 358 to 135 per annum or
between 30% and 17% of all homicides each year. Clearly some of these werejustified.
But this high rate of police killings is nurtured by strong and widespread pro-vigilante
attitudes and an accompanying justificatory ideology that pervades the Force. In 1991,
some 56% of the officer corps were supportive of the practice of extra-judicial execu-
tions [Harriott 1993]. And in 1994, 78% of the Force held the view that the level of
police violence was either appropriate to the situation or inadequate [Harriott 1995].
Vigilantism has become progressively institutionalized in the form of special squads.
Police vigilantism is a political or security type response of a security-oriented police
force to what is a profoundly social problem. It tends to treat violent criminality as
being in the first instance a political threat posed by terrorists or political opponents
who manipulate violent crime as a strategy for attaining political power. If they are
ordinary criminals they are dehumanized as "animals" and non-persons who are
consequently not entitled to the rights of ordinary citizens. In the present context of a
politically demobilized Jamaica, these strategies for morally legitimating the illegal use
of deadly force by the police (with the exception of the last) have lost their force. Police
indifference to means (unless directed at an "enemy" against which the people are
successfully mobilized) thus tends to strain police-citizen relations in the long run.
Loss ofpublic confidence in the Force. Since the early 1990s, there has been a sharp
decline of public confidence in the police and indeed the entire criminal justice system.
A Stone survey done in 1991, "revealed major shifts in the landscape of public
opinion on both the police and courts" [Stone 1991:4]. In 1991, 60% of the population
rated the overall performance of the police as poor. Some 48% regarded the police as
disrespectful of citizens' rights, approximately 70% as too violent and 67% as dishon-
est and corrupt. Negative opinions of the police are expected and indeed have tended to
be more prevalent among low status and high contact groups. Yet by 1991, these very
negative evaluations had become uniformly prevalent among all social classes in the
country [Stone 199'l:19-28 ].
Undergirding this legitimacy crisis of the JCF and the political model is the
incapacity of the society to reproduce consensus in a stable way (and thus to police by
consensus). This is a product of the unjust opportunity structures and consequent gross
inequalities in the society which are seen as the outcome of a zero-sum game in which the
rules are stacked against the poor and the majority [see Anderson and Witter 1994].
The decline of state-police authority is associated with this dyscensus. Authority,
according to Lukes, involves the compliance of B because he recognizes that A's command
is reasonable in terms of his own values [Lukes 1974:18]. But there has been a challenge
to the core values on which the authority structures are based. Recognizing this, various
researchers have characterized the present moment in Jamaica as "a power disequilibrium"
[Stone 1992:6], hegemonicc dissolution" [Meeks 1995], or one of "dual social power"
[Grey 1995]. Stone for example defined the moment as one in which "old and new
ideologies, core values and norms compete for ascendancy in most domains of social space"
[Stone 1992:..]. According to him, deference to superiors, acceptance of inegalitarian
values derived from a strong master-servant social ideology, are being replaced by aggres-
sion, assertiveness and competitiveness and new notions of egalitarianism, thereby weaken-
ing authority in all domains of social space [Stone 1992].
As is common with the reproduction of official authority, the modes of acquiring
police legitimacy include: a) symbolic manipulation b) definition of its role c) the masking
of service to peculiaristic interests and d) the treatment of real social problems thereby
justifying its social utility. For example, the symbolism of appointing persons of darker
skin tone into the managerial ranks of the Forces in the 1960s and 1970s improved the
legitimacy account of the Force. More importantly, the construction of crime as a political
problem specifically served to legitimate the particular mode of security policing adopted
by the JCF. This was done with great facility between the period of increasing political
mobilization of the 1960s to the 1980s when, as noted earlier, violent criminality was often
cast as a political strategy aimed at undermining the government of the day. And the label
of "dangerousness" was attached to the large section of urban poor that existed outside the
production process, and to minority political movements of Black Power and communism.
These modes of acquiring legitimacy became problematic in the changed environment of
It is now difficult to renew the old definition of the political mission of the Force
and the growth of a normless individualism and endemic corruption have made it more
difficult to mask self-serving behaviour and its institutionalized character. Its service
delivery and contribution to improving the quality of life of the majority is seen as quite
dubious and the treatment of people on the basis of status congruence (which is a general
feature of British excolonial Forces) becomes less tolerable in the context of growing
egalitarianism and increasing inequality.
This crisis triggered the Herst  and Wolfe inquiries into the JCF and
the wider justice system respectively. The agenda for police reform as set out in these
reports involved reducing the abuse of power and levels of corruption, depoliticizing the
Force and improving the relations between the police and the public [Wolfe 1993]. These
correctives seemed to attend to the main dimensions of the legitimacy problem:
a. The credibility and accountability deficit;
b. Political and class partiality;
c. Abuse of power;
d. Ineffectiveness in crime control.
The strategies adopted for realizing the aims stated above were improving
discipline, ensuring greater openness and accountability within the force, organizing re-
wards on the principles of performance and ability rather than party affiliation, ensuring
greater respect for the law, and improving the quality of the managerial personnel and the
resources available to the Force. This, it was hoped, would pay dividends of higher morale,
improved criminal intelligence, and more effective crime fighting. Against this back-
ground, we may now review the actual outcomes of the process.
Restoring Discipline and Reducing Corruption
A major achievement of the period was the dramatic improvement in discipline
within the Force. On a superficial level this was reflected in more consistent enforcement of
the dress code of the Force, a more orderly arrangement of office furniture and so forth.
More substantially, it involved greater internal accountability at all levels of command.
There was reduced tolerance and more effective sanctioning of corrupt and incom-
petent behaviour. During 1994 and 1995 some 572 allegations of misconduct and crimi-
nality among members of the Force were investigated [The Jamaica Constabulary Force
Annual Report 1995:11]. If we assume one allegation per person, then it was found
necessary to investigate (often in response to complaints by citizens)some 10% of the
During the period under review, there was a meaningful renewal of the officer
corps with approximately 15% of it being replaced. Some 25% of the officers either retired,
were sent on secondment or transferred from sensitive, high opportunity and high contact
line positions to the Inspections Unit (which was then viewed as a sort of pre-retirement
home for corrupt and incompetent officers). These were replaced by some (35) younger,
better educated and better trained officers via an accelerated promotions programme, by the
use of university programmes and\or performance criteria.
The treatment of corruption departed from the traditional symbolic approach by
introducing three new elements (a) officers were no longer effectively exempt from surveil-
lance and sanctions (b) depending on the severity of the infractions, rather than the
traditional transfer, the career of the offender was either terminated or positioned to
encourage its termination (c) the creation of new institutions (such as the Internal Affairs
Division in 1994) which allowed the JCF to more consistently treat the problem.
The treatment of corruption, while resulting in more responsible behaviour at the
managerial and senior supervisory levels, however remained a very problematic issue
because of the institutionalized nature of this corruption and the deep involvement in these
practices by many of the "frontline crime fighters" and politically connected personnel.
Myth-making was employed as a protective device by exaggerating the effectiveness of the
"crime-fighters", and political networking used to provide immunity from sanctions. Any
thorough anti-corruption campaign therefore necessarily involved depoliticization.
The depoliticization of the Force was a central issue of the reform programme as
autonomy is cardinal to the project ofprofessionalization. It was however not treated as part
of a broader goal of transforming the governance of the Force, and was thus narrowly cast
as a struggle for empowering the Commissioner of Police (CP) and disempowering the
Minister of National Security.
The legal framework was altered to more clearly define and limit the role of the
Minister and to exclude his involvement in operational matters and safeguard this as the
sole province of the Commissioner. Practically this meant amplifying and extending the
power of the Commissioner to apply sanctions. Promotions and assignments became less
determined by political considerations, and more by performance. For many party activists
within the Force, their careers seemed to have been effectively ruined or truncated
having been passed over for promotions or removed from strategic posts thus having to
endure the associated loss of status.
A peculiar difficulty for the reforms then, was that a process initiated by the
government has resulted in some of its strongest supporters being the greatest losers in that
process. This resulted in systematic lobbying of the political directorate to veer from the
A secondary element in this aspect of the process was the launch of Citizen
Consultative Committees. This idea (which was imported from England via the British
advisors) has considerable potential for adding a new dimension to the governance of the
Force, but instead has been merely symbolic. Stripped of any substance, it is thus unable to
aid problem-solving, protect the rights of the citizenry and help to break with the class
ridden system of "justice" associated with the Criminal Justice System.
Respect for the Law and Civil Liberties
Professionalism entails concern not just with outcomes but also with means with
issues of rectitude. For the first time there was official discouragement of police vigilan-
tism with the accompanying tendency to resort to the excessive use of force. A new
internal code on the use of force based on UN guidelines was adopted [Force Orders 2518.
7/9/1995]. Access to automatic weapons was restricted and police personnel were no
longer permitted to carry them unless in uniform or visibly identified as police personnel.
Since 1993, both the number of police killings and police killed has been
declining as seen in Table 1.
Table 1. Police Kill Ratios 1990-1996
Year Killings killed ratio
1995 132 4 1:33
1994 100 6 1
1993 123 10 1.12
1992 145 9 1:16
1991 156 13 1:12
1990 135 11 1:12
Source: Jamaica Constabulary Force/CIB
Vigilantism is possibly the worst expression of a more generalized denial of the
rights of citizenship. Impressionistic evidence suggests that during the period under review,
the police became more civil and there was a general improvement in the treatment of the
public and of suspects.
This more rights-regarding and legalistic mode placed new demands on police
personnel necessitating an improvement in the capabilities of the Force.
The drive to improve the capability of the JCF was deeply influenced by the
association of professionalism with the mastery of technology. On the Professional Model,
however, the use of this technology is usually designed to more efficiently manipulate the
existing core strategies of the police (patrol, investigation etc. ) rather than to aid new
innovations. Efforts to improve the capability of the JCF have involved three elements:
First, the use ofcomputer applications to improve the information systems. This is
however limited by the quality of the personnel, the advanced age and low level of
education of the senior supervisory personnel and their consequent reluctance to learn.
Second, organizational rationalization. Excessive centralization retards initiative
and contributes to a reluctance to assume responsibility and ineffectiveness. Divisional
commanders were allowed greater autonomy in decision-making. However, allowing in-
competent and corrupt divisional officers greater autonomy, resulted in some negative
effects -such as the issuing of firearm licenses to drug dealers [Personal interview with Col.
MacMillan 1995]. This presents a dilemma. Decentralization is necessary for improved
effectiveness (and is an imperative of professionalization), but as the reform process
derives its energy from the top, centralization is required to push through the process,
given the level of corruption and resistance.
Third, the resource base of the Force was significantly improved with the acquisi-
tion of some 800 vehicles. This served to increase police visibility and to generally improve
their capacity for more effective service delivery. This improved capability however has
had no noticeable impact on the crime rate. As noted earlier the rate of violent crimes has
continued to rise. For 1994, the rate of violent crimes increased by 3.5%. The number of
murders increased 6% (690), shootings 11% (1251), rape 8% (1070) and robbery 1%
(5461) when compared with 1993. Neither has there been any positive change in the
cleared-up rates from violent crimes (murder 43%, down from 44%).
The enduring nature of the trends in violent crime should alert us to the difficulties
associated with the professional model itself.
A general feature of the reforms is their limited scope and perspective greater
rectitude, but limited change to the system of accountability; depoliticization, but within the
existing mode of governance; organizational change but within the existing organizational
principles of paramilitarism; improved police-community relations but no change in the
style of policing that generates the conflicts with the community. These limitations inhere
in the professional reform model itself.
CRITIQUE OF PROFESSIONAL REFORM MODEL
The content of the reforms described above is little different from those applied in
the USA in the 1920s [see Johnson 1976; Walker 1992]. However, after a fifty year period
of reforms (1930-80) on the basis of the reform model, the police forces in the advanced
countries including the US and the UK remain plagued by problems similar to those of the
The limitations of this model became apparent (in the developed countries) as
early as the 1970s. It has been criticized for:
a) Its failure to effectively control crime.
b) Its goals and methods being too narrow to help win back the social and physical spaces
lost to criminals and thus to help in improving the quality of life of inner city residents
c) The reduction of the ties between citizen and police.
d) A certain structural woodenness and poor adaptability. This is particularly disadvanta-
geous in a dynamic environment [see Sparrow and Moore 1990:44-50].
From the standpoint of the developing countries, the resource demands of the
model are unsustainable. I estimate that it now costs approximately US$90,000 to keep a
two person patrol car on the road for one year. Yet at the same time the strength of the JCF
is to be increased to 7,000. Even the developed countries such as the USA are finding the
calculus of police resource demands of the traditional professional model beyond them [see
Moreover, it represents an attempt to ground the legitimacy of the JCF in techno-
cratic expertise. While this is seen as entailing a redefinition of its relationship with
government, it avoids reshaping citizen-police relations on which its effectiveness ulti-
Perhaps the most serious critique of it is the failure to control crime. The ideology
of professionalism limits citizen participation in crime control to being relatively passive
observers or extensions of the "eyes and ears" of the police. By excluding rather than
harnessing the social power of the people, it tends to weakens crime control. In the
Jamaican context, given the negative images of the Home Guard experiment that are etched
in our collective memories particularly within the Force, much of this negative attitude to
popular participation in crime control is anchored in justifiable fears of populist policing.
Despite its apparent positive contribution to the crime control efforts in the 1970s [see
Harriott 1994], it tends to invoke intense emotions because of the party political abuses
associated with it.
In the field of policing there are no successful models which can simply be
replicated. The developments in the advanced countries must be subjected to critical
conceptual examination and innovative adaptations in the light of our own experiences.
The reforms of 1993-96 suggest that such a model must involve redefining the
functions of the police in Jamaican society, creating a more service-oriented style of
policing based on reshaping the fundamental power relationships which structure police
work viz police-citizen, police-government relations, and internally, the relationships
between police manager and operatives, the High Command and the divisions and so forth,
and developing appropriate institutions. These must be anchored in the democratic princi-
ples of respect for law, popular accountability, and inclusion through mechanisms which
harness the power of the communities in socially constructive ways in order to control
I have argued that the JCF is enveloped in a deep legitimacy crisis, associated with
the traditional security policing practiced by it in which crime is treated as a political
rather than a social problem. The upshot of this is an incongruence between the formality of
democratic government and a profoundly undemocratic mode of governance and policing
The reforms of 1993 to 1996 were a case of "successful failure" These reforms
were successful in restoring a measure of confidence in the JCF and in professionalizing
aspects of police work. They however failed in that they were not consolidated, and thus
remain fragile and reversible, too limited to decisively extricate the Force from the crisis
and to leave a positive legacy of crime control. Any programme of reform succession must
be better focused on improving service delivery and crime control and must be treated as
part of a broader reform of criminal justice system.
Such a project requires not just a new model of policing but a new attitude to crime
and policy-making. Reforms cannot be imposed by command and control which itself
ought to be a target of change. Broad debate on the aims and principles of policing in the
Jamaican context, an open consensus-building process allowing critical scrutiny and greater
scope for the participation of the members of the Force and other stake holders in shaping a
programme, and generally ensuring a project informed by experience and research, includ-
ing action research, are preconditions for success.
In developing such a research agenda, particular attention might be paid to
comparative analyses of reforms projects in the wider Caribbean, police resistance to them
and its impact on the outcomes across the Caribbean; assessing the impact of the various
"experiments" in policing; community policing across the Caribbean and the efficacy of the
crime control policies adopted by the various governments in the region.
Anderson, P and Witter, M. 1994. Crisis, Adjustment and Social Change A Case Study of Jamaica. In LeFranc
E. (Ed.) Consequences ofStructural Adjustment A Review ofthe Jamaican Experience. Kingston: Canoe
Auten, J. 1976. The Paramilitary model of Police and Police Professionalism. In Blumberg, A. and Niederhof-
fer, E. 1976. The Ambivalent Force Perspectives on the Police. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Watson.
Bayley, D. 1994. Police For the Future. New York Oxford University Press.
Cain, M. 1996. Policing There and Here: Reflections on an International Comparison. Forthcoming in Interna-
tional Journal of the Sociology of Law. Vol 24.
- 1994. Crime and the Police in Trinidad and Tobago: the colonial legacy In Deosaran, Reddock and
Mustapha. (Eds.) Contemporary Issues in Social Science. Trinidad and Tobago. UWI.
Chevigny, P 1995. Law and Order? Policing in Mexico City and Kingston, Jamaica. NACLA Report on the
Americas. Vol.30 # 2
1990. Police Deadly Force as Social Control: Jamaica, Argentina and Brazil. Criminal Law Fo-
rum Vol. I #3.
Grey, 0. 1994. Discovering the Social Power of the Poor. Social and Economic Studies. Vol 43 #3.
Harriott, A. 1996. The Social Organization of Crime. Caribbean Quarterly Vol 42 #2-3.
1994. The Political Behaviour of the Jamaican Security Forces. Mimeo
Hirst, M. 1992. Review of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
Johnson, D. 1976. The Triumph of Reform: Police Professionalism 1920-1965. In Blumberg, A. and Niederhof-
fer, E. 1976. The Ambivalent Force. Perspectives on the Police. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Lukes, S. 1974. A Radical View of Power. London: MacMillan.
Meeks, B. 1996 Radical Caribbean: From Black Power to Abu Bakr, Kingston The Press University of the
Skolnick, J. and Bayley, D. 1988. The New Blue Line. Police Innovation in Six American Cities. New York:
The Free Press.
Sparrow,M., Moore,M. And Kennedy,D. 1990. Beyond 911 A New Era for Policing. Basic Books.
Stone, C. 1992. Values Norms and Personality Development in Jamaica. Unpublished paper.
-- 1991. Survey ofPublic Opinion on the Jamaican Justice System. Unpublished Report.
Thomas, H. 1927. The Story ofa West Indian Policeman or Forty Seven years in the JCF Kingston: Daily
Gleaner Co. Ltd.
Walker, S. 1992. The Police in America. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Wolfe,. et. al. 1993 Report of the National Task Force on Crime.
The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force: Origin, Structure,
Training, Security and Other Roles
The discourse on the military forces of the Commonwealth Caribbean has
produced many general and country-specific studies. In this array, Griffith, Harriott and
McFarlane are the only ones who have looked in some detail at the Trinidad and Tobago
Defence Force (TTDF). However, neither of these two contributions has sufficiently
focused on the origin, structure, training and role of this military organization and none of
the above have ever mentioned the involvement of women in Caribbean armed forces. In
an attempt to fill this lacuna, this article is a descriptive and not an analytic study intending
to provide information for the record. It will show that the TTDF is not merely concerned
with domestic instability but with several other roles, including narcotic interdiction, search
and rescue and disaster preparedness.
Shortly after the Jamaica referendum which resulted in the demise of the West
Indies Federation of which Trinidad and Tobago was a member, the Government of
Trinidad and Tobago announced that it was going to press for independence at the very
earliest opportunity. In the Speech from the Throne in November 1961, preliminary
defence action was foreshadowed by the announcement that the government was proposing
to form a Trinidad National Guard.2
In March 1962, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Chief of the U.K. military
personnel, paid a visit to discuss defence matters with Premier Eric Williams. Resulting
from these discussions, Premier Williams agreed to use the services of U.K. military
personnel both to plan the defence force and also to provide some of its leadership.
In this vein, Eric Willliams (1964), the then Prime Minister of Trinidad and
The fact of the matter is that a new independent
country is expected, even required by the ex-colonial
power, to have some sort of defence force. The Brit-
ish Government made this quite clear when it set out
eight criteria of independence at Jamaica's request at
the time of the break-up of the Federation. The former
British Minister, Sir Alexander Douglas-Home, reit-
erated this fairly recently when in replying to a
question on the prime considerations for the grant of
independence, he stated: it is essential that a country
concerned has an efficient army- no matter how
small-loyal to the legally elected government and an
efficient police force (p I 1)
In support of this position, S. Hylton Edwards (1982) indicates that
[plans] for a regiment began to take shape af-
ter a visit from Admiral Lord Mountbatten, who as
[Britain's] Chief of Staff, had made it clear that un-
less a nation had an adequate defence force, it would
not qualify for Commonwealth defence aid in the
event of an attack. It was also necessary to obtain the
benefits of the United Nations (p. 27)
On 21 March 1962, Patrick Solomon, the Minister for Home Affairs, the
minister then responsible for Defence, called a meeting to discuss defence matters. As a
result, a small military planning committee consisting of military and Government officials
was formed to carry out an appreciation of the defence requirements and make recommen-
dations to the Government as to the best way in which these could be met.
As a result of the committee's work, a report was produced and accepted by the
Government. In essence, it recommended the formation of a British-type infantry battalion
and a small seagoing force. Both were to be military units and although the committee
recommended that these together should form one single maritime service, this was not
accepted by the Government. However, the Government did agree that as far as possible
there should be common logistic and administrative services for both units.
The TTDF was formed as a pre-requisite to independence and in accordance
with section 5 of the Defence Act 1962. The legal birth of the TTDF is June 1, 1962, when
the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Act took effect. This legislation, Act No. 7 of 1962, was
passed in the House of Assembly on July 27, 1962, and in the Senate on August 7.3 The
Trinidad Volunteers, formed on 3 June 1879, later called "the Trinidad Regiment", was
disbanded in 1948. Hence, Trinidad and Tobago unlike Barbados and Jamaica, did not have
an existing regiment when it became independent in 1962.
The Regiment was actually started out of the St. James Barracks with effect
from 23 July 1962 and moved to Teteron Bay on 6 September of that year where the U.S.
Government had vacated their facilities. It was created primarily from the 2nd Battalion of
the West India Regiment (WIR) in Jamaica. Lt. Col. Pearce Gould served as overall
commander of the TTDF for two years until 1964.
In the case of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG), it was actually
started at Staubles Bay on 1 June 1962 with 6 officers, including its commander, and 42
marine police who were given the option to transfer with no loss of benefits.4 Its first
commander was Loftus E. Peyton-Jones. The vessels used were four small inshore patrol
The TTDF is subdivided into three major units, namely, the Headquarters Unit,
the ground unit or army (better known as the Regiment) and the Coast Guard. The heads of
all of these sub-units report to the Chief of Defence Staff.
The Headquarters Unit, located at Airways Road, Chaguaramas, carries out
general administrative responsibilities for the defence force. It serves as a central coordinat-
ing body for the various sub-units of the force and regulates the relationship between these
units and external agencies.5 These responsibities are further subdivided into Administra-
tion and Operations. Administration, headed by a Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, covers,
among other things, finance, orderly room, detachment and public relations. Operations,
headed by the other Vice Chief of Defence Staff entail operations, communications and
training. Both of these Vice Chiefs of Defence Staff report to the Chief of Defence Staff.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has military attache positions in the United States
of America, the United Kingdom, Canada and Venezuela, each of which reports to the
Chief of Defence Staff. However, the positions in Ottawa, Canada and Caracas, Venezuela,
have never been filled.
The Regiment, which once had its own Commanding Officer, is made up of
two light infantry battalions, and a Service and Support Battalion. The 1st Battalion,
headed by a Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.), has three rifle companies (A,B and C).6 The 2nd
Battalion is also headed by a Lt. Col. and is also made up of three rifle companies (D,E and
F). The Service and Support Battalion, headed by a Lt. Col., is located at Teteron Bay and
is involved in such projects as the building of bridges and the construction of retaining
walls, particularly through the instrument of the Utility and Engineer Corps.
In 1997, the following units of the Regiment were deployed in the following
areas in Trinidad and Tobago:
Regiment Unit Location
1. Headquarters (General) Airways Road
2. Headquarters and 2 companies Camp Ogden
of ITTR (North West)
3. 1 company of ITTR Patienceville,
4. 2 companies of 2TTR Camp Cumuto,
5. Service and Support Battalion Teteron Barracks
In addition to the above, units of the Regiment are located at the Tucker Valley
Range and the Camp Omega Training Area, both in the North Western Peninsula.
The Volunteer Force, which is headed by a Lt. Col., is headquartered at
Chaguaramas. Up until 1970, it served as a purely volunteer force. However, in the
aftermath of the crisis in 1970 (discussed later), a portion of its strength was embodied with
the regulars. Some of these opted to remain and continue to this day to function as full-time
In 1977, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, under the purview of the
Ministry of National Security, formed an Air Division. It was headed by a manager and
headquartered at the Chaguaramas Helicopter Port. This unit included four helicopters.
However, it was dissolved on 1 February 1990. At such time, the helicopters, four in
number, became part of a quasi-private company called National Helicopter Services
Limited. These aircraft continue to provide aerial search and rescue and other services to
the Regiment, Coast Guard and police alike as the need arises.
The TTCG, the maritime arm of the TTDF, has its own commander and
comprises a regular unit. A Volunteer or Auxiliary unit existed during the years 1965-
1971. The headquarters of the TTCG is located at Staubles' Bay in the Northwestern
Peninsula. In addition, the coast guard unit occupies the Point Gourde Communications
Centre and the Hart's Cut Station (2 miles from Staubles) both in Chaguaramas. The TTCG
also maintains units at Cedros (Southwest), Point Fortin ( mid-South west), Point Galeota
(South East Coast) and at Scarborough on the sister island of Tobago.
The TTCG commanding officer, who is responsible for its efficient admini-
stration, is supported by an Executive Officer who assists the former. Structurally, the
TTCG is divided into five major sub-units; an engineering department; a supply depart-
ment; an air wing, a squadron and a Special Naval Unit, all of which, with the exception of
the latter, report to the Executive officer who in turn reports to the commanding officer of
the TTCG. The engineer or technical department provides a maintenance program for the
flotilla, the latter being the operational element of the coast guard itself. This department is
headed by a Lt. Commander and includes mechanics, electricians, radio technicians, ship-
wrights, drivers, painters and electronic personnel. 7
The Supply Department, headed by a Lt. Commander is responsible for the
operational readiness of the coast guard generally and the vessels in particular by ensuring
that materials (equipment, food, clothing and spares) are held in the correct quantity,
condition, place and time.
The Air Wing of the TTCG is headquartered at the Piarco International
Airport. Apart from Piarco in Trinidad, the other landing strip on the twin island country
of Trinidad and Tobago that is regularly used by the TTCG is Crown Point in Tobago.
The Air Wing of the TTCG, inaugurated on February 15, 1966, is headed by a Lt.
Commander. 9 In 1997, the TTCG operated two fixed wing aircraft (Both over 20 years
old).'1 The fleet was augmented that very year when the U.S. handed over a C-26 aircraft.
In early 1997, the TTCG Squadron, which is headed by a Lt. Commander, had
two past patrol boats that were in operating condition, namely, the TTS Barracuda (CG5) -
the flag ship of the TTCG and the TTS Cascadura (CG6).' Close to 23 boats, almost its
entire fleet, were inoperative. However, in 1997, the workable fleet was increased to three
when the U.S delivered a Point Class vessel. Within the TTDF, there is a Special Naval
Unit of about 30 persons which has received special training. It is headed by a Lt.
Commander and is accountable to the Commander of the TTCG. Called, up until 1983, the
Internal Security Platoon, it is used to carry out special operations including drug interdic-
There are plans to restructure and relocate many of the units of the TTDF
According to the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Strategic Plan: Towards the Year
2000, it is being recommended, among other things, that the Defence Forc.e Headquarters
be resisted, that the defence force give up many of the facilities at Chaguaramas, and that
Teteron Bay be the new site of the Headquarters of the Coast Guard. Also, included in the
plan is the development of a new army camp in the south of Trinidad.
Command Structure and Leadership
According to the Defence Act chap 14:01 Part II, no. 8 (2), the Chief of
Defence Staff is responsible for the operational use of the TTDF, but the Minister of
National Security ( where no directions have been given by the President) may give the
Chief of Defence Staff directions with respect to the operational use of the force. The
minister is able to discharge this responsibility through the five-member Defence Council.
The Defence Council is composed of the Minister of National Security (Chairman), the
Chief of Defence Staff, the Attorney General, a Cabinent member appointed by the Prime
Minister and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for National Security
Prior to the 1970 disturbances, public order and national security were the
responsibility of the Minister of Home Affairs. However, after the 1970 State of Emer-
gency, the Ministry of Home Affairs was abolished and reorganized as the Ministry of
National Security with jurisdiction over the army and the police as well as immigration
services, the fire service, the prison service and the National Emergency Relief Organiza-
tion. Though Prime Minister Eric Williams served as Trinidad and Tobago's first Minister
of National Security (1970-1971), succeeding Prime Ministers did not serve in this capacity
until 1994 when Patrick Manning held this position for a period of four months.
The TTDF has so far had eight heads. Lt. Col. Pearce Gould, the first
commander of the TTDF, was a citizen of the United Kingdom. After two years, he was
succeeded by the first locally born commander, Col. Joffre Serrette. Only one of the
commanding officers has come from the ranks of the Coast Guard. This may well point to
the preeminence of the army over the coast guard in the security policy of Trinidad and
Tobago during the period 1990 to the present.
Females in the TTDF
The Women's Detachment, initially part of the Service and Support Battalion,
was started in 1980 when a batch of 34 females arrived at the TTDF Headquarters. Of these
34, twenty-seven were recruited. In 1997, seventeen years later, women served in all
battalions, though none were members of the army's Special Forces. They have operated
wire communications and acted as bodyguards to government ministers and their families
as well as to the Chief of Defence Staff. In 1997, of the original 27 recruits, nineteen were
still members. Also, there were only 45 women in a total force of 2,064.
There have been five female commissioned officers,one of whom is currently
the TTDF's legal officer. Sargeant Patricia Seepaul, a member of the first batch of female
recruits, is a senior non-commissioned officer who supervises 18 subordinates, both male
and female. As of July 1997, there are no women in the TTCG, though there are plans to
Training in the TTDF can be divided into five broad categories: initial training,
field training, local training (both TTDF and civil), exercises and exchanges and overseas
The recruits of the TTDF undergo initial training along British Army lines for
16 weeks. This introduces them to the basic skills necessary to effect the transformation
from civilian to military life. This training, which takes place at Teteron, entails drills,
weapons training, range practices, live firing, first aid, field craft and tactics and battle
physical training.12 Relative to the coast guardsmen, they train with army recruits for the
first six of the 16 weeks, after which training is carried out by the TTCG both ashore and
Locally-run courses also assist in broadening the knowledge gained by the
TTDF These include TTDF-run courses focusing on military subjects, post-military reset-
tlement training as well as management and technical courses done at civilian educational
establishments in Trinidad and Tobago. These include the St. Augustine campus of the
University of the West Indies, where officers have read for degrees in economics, manage-
ment and the arts as well as the Ogle's Business Institute.
Field training, both for the regular and reserve, is carried out annually. This
includes basic skills, fieldcraft, tactics, weapons training, physical fitness, first aid, map
reading, communications skills and so forth.
There are exercises and exchanges with armed forces in the United Kingdom
(U.K.), the United States of America (U.S.) and France. In regard to the U.K., Trinidad
received approval in 1968 for training there. However, "Exercise Tonic", for which
preparation had been made, was postponed due to growing unrest in Trindad and the
emergence of a student black power movement. Such an exercise has since never been
Trinidad and Tobago kept away from the U.S. during the rule of Eric Williams
which ended with his death on 29 March 1981. However, nine years later, in 1990, the
TTDF participated in Trade Winds IV an annual military maneuver with forces from the
Regional Security System and the United Kingdom which began in 1987 Its involvement
in these maneuvers was repeated in 1991-1997 An exchange program with France, in
particular the Martinique Defence Force, was started in 1994.
Training is also offered to individuals, depending upon aptitude and educa-
tional qualifications, at overseas military institutions. TTDF personnel have attended
establishments in both the UK and Canada.
Apart from the Trinidadians and other Caribbean nationals who returned from
serving in the defunct West India Regiment in Jamaica, a total of 31 officer cadets from
Trinidad have attended Sandhurst in the UK between 1962-1994.13 In a similar time
frame, six officer cadets have attended the Staff College at Camberley in the UK. As of
1997, 12 persons have received technical training at the Royal Military College of Science,
Canada provides junior staff training for junior officers at the Canadian Forces
Command and Staff College in Kingston, Ontario. TTDF officers have benefited from this
training since the 1960s.
Training at foreign naval and coast guard establishments was started seven
months after independence, when three officers were sent to Royal Naval establishments
for training in the U.K. for periods of eight months.
The first recruitment of two mid-chipmen to attend the Royal Naval College,
Dartmouth took place in September, 1963. They were the first in a long line of Trinidadian
graduates from the institution with thirty-nine completing the mid-shipman course
between 1963 and 1994. 15
TTCG officers have obtained various other types of training in the UK, including
in Communications and Navigation, Hydrography, Nuclear Biological Chemical Defence
and Fire Fighting, Leadership Training. As for Canada, between 1983 and 1991, forty
Trinidadians have attended the Coast Guard College in Nova Scotia, Canada.16 Brazil,
Venezuela and the United States have also trained personnel.
Intra-Caribbean Security Assistance
The first overseas training assignment was undertaken in January 1968, when
initial training was provided to the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard for a period of six
weeks. The TTDF Coast Guard has also provided training to the Grenada Coast Guard, the
Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force and the Barbados Defence Force (BDF). In the case
of the BDF, a TTDF training team assisted during its formative years and again, in 1980 and
1981. The Regiment has also provided assistance to the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force
- both its regular unit during the Bradshaw years (1967-1980) and in 1997 as that country
contemplated reinstituting the regular force which was disbanded in 1981.
The overall objectives of the TTDF fall under two broad categories: domestic
assistance and assistance to foreign states. Though not mutually exclusive, the TTDF
provides eleven functions within Trinidad and Tobago. There are two clearcut foreign
assistance functions which are assistance in times of natural disaster and overseas
peacekeeping. The domestic functions are as follows:
1. Internal security,
2. The control of terrorism and religious fundamentalism,
3. The prevention of drugs smuggling,
4. The protection and support of fishing rights,
5. Marine pollution control,
6. Search and rescue by sea and air,
7 Ceremonial duties,
8. Assistance to Government Programmes,
9. Assistance in Times of Natural Disaster (Domestic),
10. Assistance in the Maintenance of Essential Services
S1. Support of the Police in maintaining Law and Order
In December 1963, six members of the Armed Forces of National Liberation
(FALN), a terrorist group in Venezuela, highjacked an aircraft from Cuidad Bolivar to
Piarco, Trinidad. While in Trinidad, they were apprehended and subsequently extradited to
Venezuela. The FALN subsequently bombed the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy in Cara-
cas. As a result, starting 10 December, a detachment of the TTDF took up duties at Piarco
Airport and a tactical guard was mounted at the Prime Minister's residence by night and his
office by day. Prior to this, the regiment had assumed responsibility to guard the Governor's
House from 31 August 1962, a role that was previously carried out by the police.17
Apart from the two above mentioned terrorist acts, Trinidad and Tobago
remained relatively peaceful until 1965. Whatever law enforcement problems existed were
handled by the police. There was no need for frequent deployment of TTDF troops as was
already the case in Jamaica.
However, in March 1965, there was a growing mood of restlessness in Trinidad
and Tobago, particularly in the labour and black power movements led by George Weeks
of the Oilfield Workers and Trade Union (OWTU) and Geddes Granger of the National
Joint Action Committee (NJAC).8 This restlessnes was expressed in large-scale strikes by
the supporters of these movements. 19 As a result, the TTDF was on standby for approxi-
mately five months. Eventually, when a 2-week state of emergency, confined only to the
troubled area, was declared, a regiment detachment was noved to San Fernando where the
OWTU is headquartered, though they were not deployed.20
In the process of the industrial dispute, the leaders of both the labour and black
power movements began to invoke the notion of revolution. These appeals resulted in a
series of statements by political and military leaders. For example, in July 1966, Prime
Minister Williams alluded to "troublemakers" in the trade union movement and warned that
the government would not hesitate to step in to protect the country if such a move became
necessary.21 Nevertheless, his warning was followed by a demonstration through the
streets of San Fernando by some 1,000 sugar workers and the renewed call by the workers
d the farmers for revolution in Trinidad.
On 20 August, Lt. Col. J. Serrete, the then Commander of the TTDF, in a
speech at Independence Anniversary celebrations in San Fernando, issued a stern warning
o all those who would attempt violent revolution. He declared that the defence force had
on the respect of the entire country in the five years of its existence and that everybody
oved to see them at their parades and at sports. But he opined;
"I loathe to think there are people in our nation who
will test our efficiency, because this would not be the
same force who like [sic] to thrill you in other avenues
of our endeavors"22
Then, on 23 October 1968, the then Minister of Home Affairs and Personnel,
Hon. Gerald Montano, at a passing-out parade to recruits at Teteron Barracks, said:
There is a group of people in this country who speak,
in a sense like us, of democracy, but they are a kind of
Marxists. They speak of freedom but they really mean
dictatorship. This band who speak so glibly, of hu-
man rights kept silent when the greatest rape of man-
kind occurred a few weeks ago the rape of
Czechoslovakia. The Band who habitat the country
would sell out our independence for power, But I
charge you with the security of the country from within
and without. I warn you that you have not been ap-
pointed to be a threat to the nation, but to serve the
country as Government serves.23
And so, against the background of demonstrations, marches, protests, strikes
and discontent, a state of emergency was declared and the leaders of the OWTU, NJAC and
others were arrested on 21 April 1970 and subsequent days. They were taken to the Royal
Goal in Port-of-Spain and later transported to Nelson Island by the Coast Guard Patrol Boat
Courtland Bay. Under the leadership of Lt. Gaylor Kelshall, the Coast Guard manned the
Nelson Island camp for six months where, at one time, 52 black power leaders were
detained in three big cells.
As part of the procedure under the state of emergency, the soldiers from the first
battalion of the Regiment began preparation to be deployed. They gathered their small
arms and proceeded to the bunker for ammunition. However, some soldiers, notably Lts.
Raffique Shah and Reginald Lasalle, armed with SLRs, suddenly turned against others.
Shah and Lasalle were eventually overpowered. Another mutineer then rounded up some
supporters and took over the bunker.24 Shah and Lasalle were freed, their opponents
imprisoned instead, and the TTDF Headquarters taken over by the mutineers.25
According to Raoul Pantin, then a reporter for the Trinidad Guardian,
"The fear was that the army, which outgunned and
outmanned the police, would storm the city (Port-of-
Spain) in support of the Black power activists who, at
the time, were demonstrating and calling for the over-
throw of the Eric Williams government. In fact, in
spite of pay increases, many of the soldiers had more
interest in the black power movement than in the
However, the Coast Guard, with the aid of 50 soldiers (including 3 officers)
who had escaped from the mutineers at Teteron, opened fire on the ammunition bunker
which remained intact.27 It then diverted its fire to a convoy consisting of trucks, troop
carriers, jeeps and a few private cars which was leaving Teteron and heading for Port-of-
The Coast Guardmen, on board the HMTS Trinity, also established a defensive
perimeter outside Chaguaramas which was instrumental in containing the mutineers and, by
so doing, possibly saved Trinidad from insurrection.29
Subsequent negotiations between the reinstated Serrette and two of the muti-
neers, Shah and Lasalle, resulted in their surrender on 1 May 1970. Thereafter, other
soldiers were arrested. This activity led to court martial proceedings involving foreign
Commonwealth officers and 83 accused soldiers who were eventually discharged.30
After the arrests, Commander Serrette restored Teteron Barracks to normalcy
and in a broadcast to the nation on the night of 2 May 1970 said:
I have made it absolutely clear to my men that law and
order and discipline must be maintained. The law of
the land both civil and military, must be upheld...In
addition, I wish here to repeat the conviction that I
have often publicly expressed as a military man-that
the Army must abide by the Constitution and be abso-
lutely loyal to the Government of the day, elected
under the Constitution. There can be no compromise
with this, and I have again personally reconfirmed this
conviction to the Prime Minister Again, before clos-
ing, I cannot emphasize too much the point which I
made in my last public statement, as Commander of
the Defence Force, at San Fernando in August 1967:
the role of our Defence Force is to protect the people of
Trinidad and Tobago and their Government, duly
elected under our constitution.31
The state of emergency lasted for six months during which police and soldiers
mounted joint operations to, among other things, locate caches of arms and ammunition.
Part of the TTDF's ongoing internal security role is to keep surveillance of the
nation's offshore oil installations off Guayaguayare as well as the National Gas Pipeline
from Pointe-a-Pierre to Port-of-Spain. Security patrols for the latter were started in 1978.
Another routine role of the TTDF is to serve as the Aide-de-Camp to the head of state -the
Governor General (1962-76) and the President (1976-present).
Control of Terrorism and Religious Fundamentalism
Trinidad and Tobago has had some experience of terrorist activities. On 3 May 1980, a
Trinidad and Tobago-owned BWIA 727 jet was highjacked to Cuba while on its way to
Miami from Kingston, Jamaica, with 62 passengers aboard. They included ten Trinidadi-
ans.32 Four years earlier, the Cuban Americans who had engineered the Cuban crash off
Barbados on 6 October 1976, had been arrested by police in Trinidad and handed over to the
In respect of religious fundamentalism, as far back as September 1983, police
had claimed to uncover a plot by a radical black Muslim sect backed by Iran to overthrow
the government. The sect's membership, which included several former members of the
TTDF, were believed to be carrying out weapons training in a remote area of Trinidad.
Iranian embassy personnel had been observed visiting the sect's headquarters. In fact, a raid
on the sect's headquarters in 1984 failed to produce evidence but the leaders were kept
However, Trinidad and Tobago's worst fears came true on 27 July 1990 when
a group of the Jamaat al Muslimeen sect shot their way into a sitting in the parliament
chambers of the Red House, taking hostage the prime minister of the republic, plus 15 of his
parliamentary colleagues. This attack occurred simultaneously with a bomb assault on the
main police headquarters in the city, a raid on Radio 610 and the take-over of Trinidad and
Tobago Television the takeover being led by the head of the sect, the Iman Yasim Abu
Bakr. Almost immediately, Bakr went on the air, announcing that the Robinson government
had been overthrown. However, Robinson refused to concede to the hostage-takers. He was
shot in the calf and gagged with the barrel of a gun thrust down his throat. Outside in the
city, the TTDF, operating within a state of emergency and a nationwide curfew, gradually
contained the disorder. In all, 24 Trinidadians died during the ordeal. 34
On 20 June 1995, Trinidad experienced its first political assassination when
Selwyn Richardson, former Attorney-General (1976-1981; 1986-1989) and Minister of
National Security (1989-91) with a reputation of going after the big figures in crime, was
shot dead at his home by two unidentified men. As of August 1997, the assasins were yet to
In July 1995, the TTDF was again placed on full alert when a Muslimeen group
(allegedly not controlled by Bakr) made threats to blow up two bridges the Caroni and
Oroire/Mayaro and certain key oil installations at Petrotrin in Baracbore.
Prevention of Drug Smuggling
Trinidad and Tobago is situated to the East of the "Silver Triangle", above
South America, below North America and at the botton of the Caribbean. Such a location
presents the islands as an ideal transition point for dealers who manipulate the movement of
drugs. In view of this fact, the TTCG has become the frontline against the invasion of illicit
drugs. Specifically, anti-smuggling operations are carried out by the Special Naval Unit,
the TTCGs anti-narcotic patrol. The emphasis was on whiskey in the 1960's and marijuana
in the 1970s. However, in the 1980s and beyond, the emphasis changed to cocaine.
In 1996, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimated that a monthly
average of 2,000 kilograms or upwards of five tonnes of cocaine was being transhipped
through Trinidad, mostly in cargo vessels, pleasure boats and plane-hopping couriers, and
the Time Magazine (February 1996) called Trinidad the "Wild West." So much so, that the
resident U.S. ambassador to Trinidad publicly criticized the Trinidad government for not
doing enough to fight drugs.35
This picture has since changed. In 1996, the TTDF soldiers and around 160
U.S. marines conducted a two-week exercise dubbed "Weedeater 1996." The September
operation yielded six million marijuana plants and seedlings with a street value of over
US$800 million. This operation and others which followed were made possible by U.S.-
Trinidad and Tobago agreements, signed by Prime Minister Basdeo Panday and Secretary
of State Warren Christopher on 4 March 1996 which provide for maritime and air counter-
Protection and Support of Fishing Rights
The TTCG squadron, with a knowledge of the many inlets, bays and inland
waterways in both Trinidad and Tobago, endeavors to keep Trinidad and Tobago's territo-
rial sea as well as the 200 nautical mile Economic Zone free from pirates, polluters and
poachers. As an example of the latter, in 1994 two Barbadian fishing boats were seized by
the TTCG and 11 Barbadian fishermen were arrested.
The association between the TTCG and the Fisheries Division is both functional
and supportive. The functional aspects include the search for missing fishing boats and
crew. The supportive role includes instruction in scuba diving and maintainence of scuba
equipment; provision of personnel who travel around Trinidad with the staff of the Fisheries
and Harbour Master's Divisions so as to inform groups of fishermen on beaches concerning
the basic safety practices which are required when preparing for a voyage. Personnel also
assist with the planning and implementation of training programmes in the classroom for
fishermen and other marine-related personnel with specific reference to safety at sea,
survival, life raft drills, manoverboard procedures, search and rescue and First Aid.
The proximity of Trinidad to Venezuela has resulted in intermittent tensions.
There is, for instance, a thriving contraband trade between Trinidad and Venezuela which
has resulted in jurisdictional difficulties involving both the TTDF Coast Guard and Vene-
zuela's Guardia Nacional.
Marine Pollution Control
The TTCG is actively involved in Trinidad and Tobago's efforts to maintain an
oil pollution free environment. It is given an annual budget to conduct oil spill monitoring
and control and clean up operations. This task is carried out in relation to the operations of
the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP). The NOSCP engages the TTCG's
airwing to provide aircraft for surveillance flights over high risk areas. In addition, the
TTCG also conducts surface surveillance with their patrol boats.
The first major oil spill took place in the Gulf of Paria in 1976. However, the
first incident which necessitated the activation of the NOSCP was a tanker collision off
Tobago in 1979. However, as of 1979, the largest collision in the history of maritime affairs
involved the ultra-large crude carriers, the MV Aegean Captain and the MV Atlantic
Empress. This took place 50 miles east of Scarborough, Tobago and twenty crew members
were rescued from the sea. As a result, two Coast Guard officers were awarded the
Humming Bird Gold Medals, respectively, for their parts in the operation.
Search and Rescue by Sea and Air
The TTCG is the main organization in Trinidad and Tobago that conducts search and
rescue (SAR) operations for persons reported lost at sea. It uses its inshore patrol craft to
conduct search and rescue missions. Many of those lost at sea are inter-island schooners
plying from the Windward Islands or fishing vessels from Barbados venturing off Tobago.
Requests also come from the seafaring community for medical assistance. Since 1963,
there have been some nine successful SAR operations, involving accidents of marine
vessels, light aircraft and helicopters.
Units of the TTDF provide ceremonial duties such as mounting Guards of
Honour for distinguished visitors, as well as at parades held in such locations as Port-of-
Spain, Point Fortin, Toco and Scarborough on Independence Day. Ceremonial duties are
also provided at state funerals.
Assistance to Government Programmes
Up until 1970, the TTDF had a limited community service role. However, in the
post-mutiny period, this picture changed with the creation of the Servol Organization.
Under this scheme, projects were created in low-income areas for disadvantaged youth with
the support of some TTDF soldiers.
Also the TTDF, in particular the coast guard, has assisted the flight crew of
BWIA with ditching training on board coast guard vessels. In 1977 and 1987, the TTDF
assisted with carnival support activities. The TTDF has assisted government-sponsored
programmes in a number of other ways, including the cleaning of grounds, the building of
community centres and the provision of Physical Training Instructors, particularly in areas
where the crime rate among youths warrants some involvement in programmes which are
hoped to be remedial. Also, the Regiment routinely aids the police in ensuring order during
widely promoted activities in both sports and culture.
Assistance in Times of Natural Disaster (domestic)
The first national disaster experienced by the TTDF was in 1963 as a result of
the ravages of Hurricane Flora which struck Tobago. Beginning on 30 September, the coast
guard personnel conducted 18 days of relief work. Eleven years later, the TTDF was again
engaged in hurricane-relief work. This time it was Hurricane Alma which struck Trinidad
in September 1963.
In 1965, a combined party of fire officers, regiment personnel, coast guard
personnel and others, battled a bush fire on Monos Island, off Teteron, for eight hours,
efforts that were instrumental in saving many homes. In succeeding years, the Engineer and
other units have provided relief at fires, assisted during storms, built a temporary bridge and
access road as well as provided assistance with the Tobago earthquake in 1987
Assistance in the Maintenance of Essential Services
The TTDF, including the Regiment, has been on alert and in some instances has
become involved in the manning of the nation's essential services when regular workers
were on strike during period of industrial unrest. In 1975, the Regiment distributed petrol,
oil, lubricants and sugar during major strikes in the oil and sugar industries. The following
year, the force assisted with the sorting and handling of mail during a major postal strike.
On account of a confrontation between the government and sections of the police
service, the TTDF was on alert in May 1993. The face-off involved the decision of the then
Commissioner of police, Jules Bernard, to take legal action to fight his removal from office.
This decision gained the support of two police associations which threatened strike action.
Support for the Police in Maintaining Law and Order
The TTDF has increasingly played a police role not only in the preservation of
public order but also in combating crime. Joint operations, involving both the Regiment
and the police service, were an everyday occurrence during the state of emergency in the
1970s. In 1973, there were extensive foot patrols in the Northern Range and Southern
Trinidad. As a result, persons from the National Union of Freedom Fighters were captured
or killed following shootouts. This was against the background of rumours about Cubans
being in the hills of Trinidad preparing to wage guerrilla warfare after the attempted coup
In July 1991, National Security minister Joseph Toney introduced what he
called "mixed patrols" in which the army was put on the street as crime busters. Two years
later, in a move to better fight against escalating crime and illicit drug trafficking in those
districts noted for their high crime rate, National Security minister Russel Huggins an-
nounced that he was working on a plan to give soldiers, for a given period of time, the
power to arrest suspects "in certain limited circumstances and within certain boundaries."
This plan was also discussed with the then Attorney General Keith Sobien.37 The initiative,
likened to the Suppression of Crime Act in Jamaica, never materialized but points to the
desperation of policy makers to control crime.
Again, in October 1993, a well-armed, rapid deployment squad of 200 police-
men and soldiers carried out operations out of Mausicaa in an offensive against crime. The
camp was part of the recommended action plan in a report commissioned two days after the
murder of Prisons Comissioner Michael Hercules. A ministerial source said that the squad,
specially chosen from the regiment and the police, was, in the case of the latter, drawn from
Special Branch, Narcotics and other police divisions. The crime fighting areas of concentra-
tion were Central Trinidad and the East/West Corridor, including Port-of-Spain and its
environs where round-the-clock patrols were carried out.38
In January 1994, there was anew and renewed campaign against crime when
Prime Minister Patrick Manning announced in a Friday night television broadcast that the
army, working independently of the police, would begin foot patrols in various crime-trou-
bled regions of Trinidad. This urgency to fight the "savage" and alarming crime rate was
prompted by the realization that "a significant number of the 18,412 serious crimes reported
in 1993 were drug-related."39
In July 1995, a joint police-military exercise dubbed "Operation Flush" was
mounted because shooting and robberies in the Point Fortin district had become part of
everyday life. The aim of the operation was to crack down on violent crime and so the
operation targeted the Gun Hill, Cap-de-Ville, and Buenos Ayres areas. 13 persons, includ-
ing two women, were arrested on various offences from robbery to drug trafficking. 40
Again in November 1995, a 24-hour joint police-army highway patrol was
introduced for the detection of arms, ammunition and the recovery of a stolen car in the
East. Officers were divided into four teams which targeted the high crime districts, espe-
cially the East/West Corridor, along the Churchill Roosevelt and Uriah Butler Highway.
Because of a shortage of police vehicles, the highway patrols were carried out in army
Finally, in June 1996, the National Security minister Joseph Theodore called
out 180 defence force volunteers to help the police maintain peace and order during the
court hearings into the murder trial of ten men at the Chaguaramas High Court in the
western peninsula. The case had generated extreme levels of public interest. This was at the
same time that the protective services were assisting with security relative to the local
Assistance in Times of Natural Disaster (Overseas)
The TTDF has given assistance to fellow CARICOM countries in times of
national disaster. In September 1967, its coast guard provided such assistance to the
government and people of St. Lucia after the island was struck by Hurricane Beulah.
In 1979, a detachment of 38 from the 1st Battalion, Regiment traveled to St.
Vincent to assist with the evacuation of people as a result of the eruption of the Soufriere
volcano in the north of the island. When Hurricane David damaged a great deal of property
in Dominica in 1979, the TTCG was called out to render assistance to the distressed.
Also, in September 1988, a detachment from the TTDF, along with those from
the Barbados Defence Force and the Guyana Defence Force, journeyed to Jamaica as part
of the CARICOM Military contingent's response to Hurricane Gilbert. Again, in the
aftermath of Hugo on 19 September 1989, the TTDF, as part of the Caribbean Disaster
Relief Unit military engineers, lent assistance on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis,
Montserrat and Antigua and Barbuda.
When John Donaldson, Minister of National Security, received information of
hostilities in Grenada which saw the execution of that country's Prime Minister and several
other people, as soldiers of the Revolutionary Militry Council seized the government on 19
October 1983, the regiment was immediately put on stand-by.
However, TTDF personnel rendered overseas assistance for the first time in
Haiti in 1994 as part of CARICOM Battalions I, 11, III and IV The first two Battalions
were under the command of a U.S.-led multinational peacekeeping force and the last two
were under the auspices of the United Nations Mission in Haiti. The troops of CARICOM
Battalions I and II both spent 15 days of training in Puerto Rico where they received their
inoculation shots as well as training before redeployment to Haiti. In the case of CARI-
COM Battalions III & IV, inoculation and training were received in the theatre in Haiti.
Fifty-one TTDF soldiers were part of CARICOM Battalion I which was led by
Lt. Col. Linton Graham of the Jamaica Defence Force. They were stationed first in
southern Haiti and later at Cap Haitien in the North. Between October and December, they
were in charge of security operations at the Port-au-Prince docks where the U.S. landed
equipment and supplies for 21,000 forces, assisted in the repatriation of more than 6,000
Haitians from Guanatanano Bay, Cuba and the Bahamas, mounted a buy-back programme
which yielded more than 800 weapons and adopted a public school.43
The First Battalion was replaced by 266 men who made up CARICOM
Battalion II and included 33 TTDF soldiers. This battalion, whose Commanding Officer
was Col. John Sandy of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, was stationed at Cap
Haitien, a city about 400 Km north of Port-au-Prince and was engaged in peace keeping
In March 1995, a third contingent of TTDF soldiers was part of CARICOM Ill.
They served for six months. CARICOM Battalion 11, headed by Col. Edwards Collins of
the Guyana Defence Force, was active, first in Port-au-Prince and then in the south of Haiti.
In Port-au-Prince, they provided VIP protection for UN dignitaries, including to the Special
Aide to the Secretary General, Lakhdor Brahimi. Also, in early 1996, the Caribbean forces
were called out to carry out a crowd control operation during a period of demonstrations by
the ex-soldiers of the Haitian military.
In Les Cayes, the forces engaged in synchronized training. However, the role of
CARICOM Battalion III was to provide aid to the civil powers. In specific terms, this
entailed VIP excorts, convoy and foot patrols as well as assisting with the preparation for
elections. On the return of the third batch in September, 1995, all of the participants who
remained in the theatre for the minimum period received awards.
In September 1995, CARICOM Battalion IV was put in place. It came under
the overall command of Col. Hugh Caine of the Belize Defence Force. The Trinidadian
contribution to the fourth and final battalion was stationed at Gonaive and, in addition to
peacekeeping duties, it engaged in three different civil activities in the local community.
The present study indicates that the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force
(TTDF) was created to coincide with independence from Britain in 1962. Unlike Barbados,
Jamaica and other Commonwealth Caribbean countries, the establishment of the TTDF
ground forces did not arise from a pre-existing Regiment, since this was disbanded in 1948.
However, nationals of Trinidad and Tobago who served in the West India Regi-
ment in Jamaicajoined the TT army as well as nationals from the "Little Eight." In the case
of the TTCG, persons who transferred from the Marine Division of the police service
formed its nucleus.
It was also noted that the TTDF is made up of three major units: Headquarters,
an army (better known as the Regiment) and a Coast Guard. Unlike the officers-in-charge
of most other Caribbean defence forces who are designated Chief of Staff, the head of the
TTDF, formerly Commander Defence Force, is referred to as Chief of Defence Staff.
Advanced training is received overseas in such countries as the United Kingdom and
Its roles fall under two broad categories, domestic assistance and assistance to
foreign states. The former includes internal security, control against terrorism and religious
fundamentalism, prevention of drug smuggling, protection and support of fishing rights,
marine pollution, search and rescue, ceremonial duties, assistance to government pro-
grammes, assistance in times of natural disaster and assistance in the maintenance of law
and order. Also, the TTDF at the overseas level has provided assistance in times of natural
disaster as well as peace keeping services in Haiti. In particular, it was shown that the TTDF
was not only concerned with internal security but devoted an increasing proportion of its
time to anti-narcotic operations, search and rescue and disaster preparedness.
Acknowledgements. Thanks to Brigadier (Retd) Ralph Brown, Commodore (Retd) Mervyn
O. Williams and Brigadie (Retd) Joseph Theodore, three former TTDF Chiefs of Defence
Staff, Lt. Gordan Kellshall, a former TTCG pilot, Ms. Victoria Carrington, Permanent
Secretary, Ministry of National Security, Government of Trinidad and Tobago, Bertrianna
Gransaull, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trevor Parris, University of the
Virgin Islands, for their kind assistance in preparing this manuscript. A special thanks to
Brown, Theodore and Kellshall who each allowed me an interview on a visit to Trinidad in
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Militarization in the Non-Hispanic Caribbean, Boulder, Colorada: Lynne Rienner Publisher: 65-89; Whi-
man Brown, "Overt Militarism and Covert Politics in St. Kitts-Nevis," Conflict, Peace and Development
in the Caribbean, London, 1992: 175-193; George Danns (1986) "The Role of the Military in National Se-
curity of Guyana" in Alma Young and Dion Phillips, Militarization in the Non-Hispanic Caribbean, Boul-
der, Col: Lynne Rienner Publishers: 112-138; Neville Duncan (1991) "The State, Nationalism and
Security: The Case of the Anglophone Caribbean" in Jorge Rodriquez, J. Peter Figueroa and J. Edward
Greene Conflict, Peace and Development in the Caribbean London: MacMillan, 1991: 241-258; Hum-
berto Garcia (1986) Boots, Boots, Boots: Intervention, Regional Security and Militarization in the Carib-
beanMilitary Series 2, Caribbean Project for Justice and Peace, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; David Granger,
Defend and Develop: A Short History of the Defence Forces of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana, 1975; Ive-
law Griffith (1991) Strategy and Security in the Caribbean, New York: Praeger Publishers;
Ken Boodoo (1992) The Quest for Security in the Caribbean New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc; Anthony Harriott
(1994) "Race, Class and the Political Behavior of the Jamaican Security Force" Unpublished Ph.D. thesis,
Department of Government, University of the West Indies, Mona campus; Terry Lacey, Violence and Poli-
tics in Jamacia: 1960-1970, London, 1977; Malcolm McFarlane (1974) The Military in the Common-
wealth Caribbean: A Study in Comparative Institutionalization Ph.D. thesis, The University of Western
Ontario; Anthony Sutton and Tony Payne (ed.) "Size and Survival: The Politics of Security in the Carib-
bean and the Pacific," The Journal of Commonwealth & Caribbean Politics, XXXI, 2, 1993; Dion Phil-
lips (1985) "Caribbean Militarization: A Response to Crisis" Contemporary Marxism 10: 92-109; Ken
Boodoo (1993) "A Look at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force," Journal of the Bahamas Historical Soci-
ety, vol. 15, no. 1: 23-31, Jorge Rodriquez Beruff, J. Peter Figueroa and J. Edward Greene (1991) Con-
flict, Peace and Development in the Caribbean London: Macmillan; Andres Serbin (1990) Caribbean
Geopolitics: Towards SecurityThrough Peace? Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers; Tony
Thorndike (1988) "The Militarization of the Commonwealth Caribbean" in Central American Security
System Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Alma Young and Dion Phillips (1986) Militization in
the Non-Hispanic Caribbean Boulder, Col: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
2. It has been said that Prime Minister Eric Williams, under whose leadership the TTDF was started, gave the
retort, when told by Dr. Patrick Solomon that his government had established a regiment. "Regiment? I
never asked for a regiment, I asked for a national guard." (Edwards, 1982).
3. Laws of Trinidad and Tobago, Defence Act, Chapter 14:01, 1962.
4. The TT cabinet agreed that 42 men and 4 vessels of the Marine Division of the police service were to form
the nucleus of the TTCG. However, the Marine Division of the police department remained in tact.
5. At its inception in 1962, the headquarters of the TTDF was incorporated into the headquarters of the Regi-
ment. However, this practice was discontinued in 1971. In its place, an Administrative Company and
Command Company were created. In the year 1980, the Headquarters company was reinstated.
6. Initially, the Regiment was composed of a five-member battalion, namely, the 1st Battalion. This was made
up of five companies (A,B,C,D and E). However, the 1st Battalion was reduced to a battalion of three
companies (A,B and C). The remaining companies (D and E) became the nucleus of the the 2nd Battalion
(D,E and F).
7 This branch covers the areas of air-conditioning, refrigeration, electrical, electronics, machine shop, auto, die-
sel, welding, straightening and painting, shipwright, transport,.avionics and air mechanics.
8. The hanger of the air wing of the TTCG was commissioned on 31 December 1983. It is situated at the south-
ern side of the Piarco runway in the vicinity of the Belair Hotel. Initially, the hanger was located "in a cor-
ner" at the Light Aircraft Club.
9. The TTCG airwing was formed in December 1965 with Sub. Lieut. Gaylord Kelshall selecting ratings from
the coast guard's ship company. Those chosen were A.B. Fernando Gift, A.B. Patrick McWilliams, Able
Body Cladius Clunis, Elec. Albert Steward and Mechanic Kenrick Jasper. In 1966, Lt. Simon Archbold
was recruited and he and S/Lt. Gaylord Kelshall left to undergo training at Wichita, Kansas in the U.S.A.
while the ratings went to the Light Aeroplane Club (LAC) where they were taught basic aircraft mainte-
nance by the LAC engineer, Mr. Launsford Gibson, who later joined the pilots in the U.S.A. as the civilian
engineer for the coast guard.
10. The TTCG's airst aircraft was a super skymaster Cessna 337 It was purchased in the name of die govern-
ment of Trinidad and Tobago in Wichita, Kansas by coast guard pilots Simon Archbald and Sub. Lt. Gay-
lord T. Kelshall. It arrived in Trinidad around June 1966. In early 1972, it was sold and replaced by the
present Cessna 402B. In 1988, the airwing was augmented with the addition of a Cessna 310, formerly
owned by the Caribbean Air Training Institute at Walla Field.
12. When females were introduced in 1979, there were trained by four women police instructors in addition to
the Training Wing staffofthe TTDF, but they underwent the same regimen.
13. Correspondence, T.A. Heathcote. Curator, RMAS Collection, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst,
Camberley, Surrey, 12 July 1994.
14. Correspondence, Captain C.J. Benson, RTR, 18 January 1994 and E.C. Kavanagh, RO3, 25 February 1997,
both of the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, Swindon, Wilshire.
15. Correspondence, C.P Young, Directorate of Foreign and Commonwealth Training, Ministry of Defence, 9
16. Correspondence, D. MacSween, librarian, Transport Canada, Coast Guard College, Sydney, Nova Scotia,
19 July 1993 and D.G. Parkers, Director, Coast Guard College, Sidney, 2 November 1993.
17 The first Guard Commander was Sqt. Walker and the first NCO in charge of relief was Lcpl. Byer.
18. These movements were driven by the reception that the economy was dominated by whites as well as the
high level of unemployment among blacks.
19. This restlessness was influenced by the following factors external to Trinidad: the symbolic impact of the
Cuban revolution, the attendance of Trinidadians and other at the Tri-continental conferences in Cuba, the
barring of Walter Rodney from Jamacia in October 1968, the computer smash at Sir George Williams Uni-
versity, Montreal, Canada, in February 1969/and Britain's invasion of Anguilla in March 1969.
20. Trinidad Guardian, 5-24 March 1965; Forward to Journal of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment, 6 June
21. Sunday Guardian, 26 July 1966.
22. Morris Solomon, "Don't try test us-Defence Chief', Trinidad Guardian, 21 August 1967.
23. Selwyn Carr, "Marxist in our midst Montano," Trinidad Guardian, 24 October 1968: 1.
24. Among those supporters were three privates, Maurice Noray, Fergusson Guy, Malcolm Parkinson and
Lance Corporal Karl Lai Leung.
25. Nearly all of the soldiers at Teteron were in support of the mutiny. The few who did not, including Major
Henri Christopher, Captain Norris Baden-Semper and Captain Horace Grannum, were locked up for a few
days. Also, soldiers at the Regiment barracks at Camp Ogden, at the top of Long Circular Road in St.
James, did set fire to the barracks in support of the Teteron mutiny. They were however overwhelmed and
taken into custody without a shot being fired.
26. Lt. Raffique Shah has said that the mutineers took up weapons to prevent the army from being used against
the black power movement. Hence, the army had not developed a corporate feeling of self-interest which
bound the loyalty of the soldiers to it. Dissatisfaction and breakdown in discipline within this institution
had come about on account of the tension between short-service officers, who occupied positions vacated
by the British officers and whose contracts were extended for another five and in some instances six years.
Hence, the young officers, many of them Sandhurst-trained, saw the former as standing in the way of ca-
reer mobility; Malcolm MacFarlane, The Militiary in the Commonwealth Caribbean: A Study in Compara-
tive Institutionalization, Ph.D. thesis, The University of Western Ontario, 1974; Raoul Pantin, Black
Power Day: The 1970 February Revolution, Hatuey Productions, Trinidad, 1990: 86.
27. The three officers who escaped from Teteron were Captain David Dopwell (a Grenadian who served in the
West India Regiment, 1959-1963), Lt. Hugh Vidale and Captain Julian Spencer. It was the latter who first
alerted the coast guard at Stauble's Bay that a mutiny was afoot.
28. Under fire from the Trinity, the convoy of rebels retreated to Teteron. Some soldiers dropped their rilles
and went AWOL over the hills. The only casualty was Clyde Bailey, a young private, whose body was de-
29. Requests for military assistance were made to both Venezuela and the U.S. Lt. Laurie Goldstaw made two
trips to sea, the second with Francis Davila 'he then Venezuelan consular officer in Port-of-Spain, to
"stop those ships from coming in." In me case of the U.S., the U.S.S. Guadacanal, which traveled from
Puerto Rico, was asked to stay out of it. Prime Minister Eric Williams's position was "I don't believe in
outside interference in the affairs of sovereign states.
30. Lts. Shah, Lasalle and Bazie and some 80 soldiers were charged by a Commonwealth military tribal.
headed by Lt. Col. Theophilus Danjuma, a Nigerian, and composed ofmilitary officers from Ghana.
Uganda, Singapore and Guyana. Shah was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Lasalle to 15 years and Bazie
to seven years. Of the other 80 soldiers charged, 30 received shorter terms in jail. But in all, the lieuten-
ants and their rebel supporters served only two years and two months behind bars after their convictions
were overturned by the Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeals on legal technicalities.
31. Trinidad Guardian, 3 May 1972:
32. "Highjacking at our doorstep," Trinidad Guardian, 4 May 1970: 6; "BWIA crew are unarmed." Trinidad
Guardian 5 May 1970:1, "The hijacked Sunjet on its way back," Sunday Guardian, 3 May 1970: 1
33. Dion Phillips, "Terrorism and Security in the Caribbean: The 1976 Cubana Disaster ol' Barbados, Terror-
ism, 14, No. 4, 1991: 209-19.
34. In response to the coup attempt, the regiment deployed A company to the Television House and D and E
companies to the Red House; "The Coup Attempt," The Infanteer, Journal of the Trinidad and Tobago
Regiment, 29th Anniversary Issue: 5-8; Selwyn Ryan, The Muslimen Grab for Power: Race, Religion and
Revolution in Trinidad and Tobago, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: Imprint Carribean: 131-161.
35. "Donnelly vows to take criminal element apart: Drug fight to the finish," Sunday Express. 29 December
36. Reginald Dumas, "The Shiprider Solution," Trinidad Express, 21 May 1997 9.
37 Judy Diptee, "Soldiers to get power of arrest," Sunday Express, 24 January 1993:
38. "The anti-crime strike force," Jamaica Gleaner, 16 September 1993: 21.
39. "Army on crime," The Barbados Advocate, 25 January 1994: 10.
40. Alva Viarrull, "Operation Flush: Police/army arrest 13 in Point Fortin," Trinidad Express, 5 July 1995: 7
41. Nalinee Seelal, "ACP Crime: Highway patrols very effective," Newsday, 28 November 1995: 5.
42. "T'dad calls out army volunteers," The Barbados Advocate, 19 June 1996: 10; "Major murder case opens,"
Barbados Advocate, 11 June 1996: 10.
43. Francis Joseph, "Steelband and calypso for TT troops in Haiti," Trinidad Guardian, 29 December 1994: I.
I. Eric Williams (1964) "The Regiment," Journal of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment, I 5. December.
2. Stewart Hilton Edwards (1982) Lengthening Shadows: Birth and Revolt of the Trinidad Army, Port-of-
Spain, Trinidad: Imprint Caribbean, 1982.
Political And Policy Aspects Of The Jamaica/United States Shiprider
"Bitterly Francis said that a country couldn't be inde-
pendent in foreign policy if it wasn't independent in
earning its living...."- C.P. Snow, Last Thingsl
As part of its international counter-narcotics effort, the United StateStates
has sought to conclude a series of agreements with Caribbean countries on the circum-
stances in which American officials may search vessels in the Caribbean sea and its
environs.2 These agreements the so-called "Shiprider" or "Hot Pursuit" Agreements 3
-have generated a substantial degree of concern within the Caribbean, 4 and have prompted
well publicised commentary on the proper role of the United States in the region as a
whole.5 At the same time the negotiations on the Shiprider Agreement between Jamaica
and the United States were particularly sharp judging from public pronouncements on
both sides; the protagonists from both countries entered the negotiations with markedly
different perspectives, 6and, at various stages, the negotiations appeared to approach
breaking-point.7 In the end, however, agreement was reached: the Jamaica/United States
Shiprider Agreement was concluded on May 6, 1997, 8on the eve of the first United
States/Caribbean Summit held in the Caribbean.9
Given the apparently intense differences between the parties, it is opportune
to review the main items of concern in the Shiprider negotiations between Jamaica and the
United States. Having regard to the fact that most other Anglophone Caribbean States were
prepared to conclude Shiprider Agreements with the United States without demonstrating
much resistance, the main considerations which influenced the Jamaican Government's
position merit examination. 10 Also, bearing in mind the relative paucity of resources
available in Jamaica for counter-narcotics initiatives, Jamaica's determination not to accept
a Shiprider Agreement on American terms is also worthy of comment. Did Jamaica opt to
play a counterproductive game in the name of sovereignty at a time when incantations in the
name of sovereignty have an increasingly hollow ring? I And, given the obvious power
imbalance between both countries, why did Jamaica decide to resist the hegemony of the
United States on this particular issue?
These questions form the basis for the present discussion. Although both
the Jamaican and United States authorities may have succumbed to a fair degree of
sensationalism in the course of the negotiations, it will be argued that the differences
between both parties were real and substantial; it will also be suggested that the Shiprider
negotiations ultimately provide us with a notable example of interdependence3 in a region
which has traditionally been perceived by some as little more than the hegemon's "back-
II. U.S. POLICY PERSPECTIVES
In essence, the Shiprider programme represents a broad attempt to reduce
the flow of illicit drugs from Latin America and the Caribbean into the United States. It is
predicated on the assumption that certain Latin American and Caribbean States are signifi-
cant sources and transshipment points for narcotics such as cocaine and cannabis. 15
This assumption is well-founded. For instance, according to United States
estimates Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador had the potential to produce approximately
303,600 metric tons of the coca leaf in 1996, a slight reduction from 1995, when the
estimated potential production was 309,400 metric tons. 16 Similarly, with respect to
cannabis, for 1996, Mexico, Colombia and Jamaica had an estimated potential to produce
approximately 7,890 metric tons, as against a potential of approximately 7,990 metric tons
in the previous year.17 There is also potential to produce opium gum, but the region has not
reached prominence in this area: only Colombia and Mexico are sometimes mentioned
here, with the joint capacity to produce 117 metric tons in 1996, and 118 metric tons in
1995.8 Given such estimates, the United States Government has placed some emphasis on
drug eradication in source countries in certain parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.19
So, for example, with American assistance, approximately 54,500 hectares of cannabis
under cultivation were destroyed in Mexico, and approximately 3,100 hectares in Jamaica,
in the period between 1992 and 1996.20 In the same period, approximately 21,000 hectares
of coca were destroyed in Bolivia, as were 37,650 hectares of opium in Mexico.21
But, to be sure, eradication in source countries is only one element in the
overall United States strategy. More particularly, the United States Government has also
adopted policies aimed, inter alia, at improving domestic law enforcement in drug-related
matters, curtailing domestic demand for illicit drugs, rehabilitation of drug addicts in the
United States, and at raising public awareness about the social effects of drug-abuse.22
These initiatives, aimed primarily at the demand side of the drug trade, have been
supported by increased levels of funding in recent years23: accordingly, resources for
domestic law enforcement for the fiscal year 1997 were increased by 9.3% over 1996, from
$7.6 billion to $8.3 billion24 Likewise, between fiscal 1996 and 1997, resources allocated
for demand reduction, including resources for treatment, education and research, grew by
8.7%, from $4.6 billion to $5 billion. 25 Although there may be arguments about whether
the funds expended in these areas are judiciously spent, it seems clear that the demand
features of international drug trafficking are now acknowledged by the United States
The issue of transshipment whether via transit countries or the high seas -
has also been an area of focus for the United States Government in recent years. Thus, the
Clinton Administration has sought to allocate additional resources for drug interdiction,26
even though this increase has only been marginal: between fiscal 1996 and 1997, there was
an increase of 7.3%, from $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion, with funds being dedicated mainly to
the interdiction efforts of the U.S. Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization
Service, and the U.S. Department of Defence27 In practical terms, drug interdiction efforts
take the form of border patrols and search and seizure operations within national or
international waters; the Shiprider programme of the United States falls within this broad
category of American policy initiatives.
(b) Transshipment and the Shiprider Programme
The recent emphasis placed by the United States on its Shiprider programme
is best understood by reference to certain geographical and strategic considerations. In
particular, most of the maritime trafficking of narcotics from South America and the
Caribbean into the North American market follows a limited number of direct routes,
namely, through the Yucatan Channel (between the Western tip of Cuba and the Yucatan
Peninsula), through the Windward Passage (between the eastern tip of Cuba and Haiti), and
through the Mona Passage (between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico).28
In addition to the direct routes, a few more indirect routes also link South America
to Florida and the Southeastern flank of the United States. However, from the perspective
of the trafficker, the indirect routes, such as via the Virgin Passage and the Anegada Passage
(east of the Virgin Islands) or via the passages of the Leeward Islands, are a poor substitute
for direct access: among other things, the indirect routes are more difficult to navigate, add
considerably to the overall distance travelled, and have relatively few banks and cays which
facilitate subterfuge. 29
This geographical situation has distinct strategic implications. 3 For one
thing, because of the navigational and other advantages inherent in the direct routes, these
routes remain popular among drug traffickers. Armed with this knowledge, the United
States Government has traditionally focused much of its attention on the areas around the
Yucatan Channel, the Windward Passage and the Mona Passage. These areas constitute
"natural chokepoints" at which the United States Coast Guard has had some degree of
success in drug interdiction. 31
Partly for this reason, it is not surprising that drug traffickers have sought
additional means of shipping drugs from the South American mainland.32 Here, among
other things, the traffickers have increasingly used the islands of the Caribbean themselves
as transshipment points: through various clandestine forms, traffickers penetrate the na-
tional waters of the individual islands, and arrange for the movement of illegal drugs from
there to North America and Europe. As this penetration has increased, the inability of
Caribbean States to tackle the drug problem has been magnified. To put the matter at its
minimum, the Caribbean States, standing at the centre of a network of transshipment, have
neither the resources nor the experience to conduct interdiction exercises which could
match the collective wealth and ruthlessness of the international drug cartels.33
Bearing these considerations in mind, the U.S. Shiprider programme is a
perfectly logical response to the prevailing situation. For, in essence, the Model Shiprider
Agreement which the United States presented to the various Anglophone Caribbean States
sought to provide the United States with the legal authority to interdict and search vessels
within the national waters of each Caribbean State; the basic idea was that, given Caribbean
inadequacies in this area, maritime responsibility would be "licensed" out to the United
States, and that the result greater lawful control of Caribbean waters against drug traffick-
ers would redound both to the benefit of the United States and the Caribbean countries.
And yet, the Jamaican Government and a significant body of opinion in
Jamaica, found the United States approach objectionable. The reasons for this should be
considered in the context of an examination of basic Jamaican perspectives on international
III. JAMAICAN POLICY PERSPECTIVES
There can be little doubt'that the Jamaican authorities, in their deliberations
over the Shiprider Agreement, accepted the need to cooperate with the United States in drug
interdiction matters. This was evident not merely from the fact that Jamaica simply lacks
the resources effectively to challenge the power of the drug cartels; it arises also from the
fact that Jamaica is obliged under international law to take steps to counter drug trafficking
More specifically, Jamaica, as a party to the 1988 United Nations Conven-
tion against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 34is obliged to
implement a range of measures which underline its commitment to combat drug traffick-
ing.35 Among other things, Jamaica is required to maintain legislation which treats acts
such as the production, manufacture, preparation and distribution of narcotic drugs as
criminal offences, 36 to make drug-related crimes extraditable,37 and to enforce measures
which enable confiscation of narcotic drugs and the proceeds from such drugs.38
Similarly, on the maritime aspects of drug trafficking, Article 17 of the
Convention contemplates international co-operation in terms which set up a clear structure
of communications between the State parties. In effect, Article 17 seeks to ensure that drug
traffickers may not manipulate generally accepted rules of international law concerning
jurisdiction over ships as a means of evading scrutiny. It does this by asserting that each
State party to the Convention may request authorization to search foreign vessels,39 and by
confirming the right of the flag State to give such authorization, as it sees fit.40 Given that
the American interdiction efforts in the Caribbean are one practical form in which Article
17 has been put into operation, then Jamaican support for such efforts would uphold the
spirit of the 1988 Convention.
Other factors also help to explain why the Jamaican Government would be
inclined, from a national security point of view, 41to support the United States' drug
interdiction effort in the Caribbean. For a start, it bears emphasis that Jamaica, as a small,
open, economically impoverished society, is especially vulnerable to the temptations and
hazards of international drug cartels. 42 The resources available to the cartels allow them,
with relative ease, to threaten the health and welfare of Jamaicans, and ultimately to
undermine the economic and political foundations of Jamaican society;43 similarly, drug
infiltration is likely to have a profoundly corrupting effect on domestic institutions, and will
increase the tendency towards social alienation already present in substantial sections of
Jamaican urban communities. 44 Against this background, the case for co-operation with
the United States can easily be supported: drug trafficking, in the prevailing international
environment, may create huge profits for a small group of individuals, but, in the main, it
runs counter to Jamaican social aspirations. 45
Naturally, this is not to say that Jamaican society is unified on the major
questions concerning narcotics use and abuse. Jamaican public opinion in this area seems
divided primarily on whether the personal use of marijuana in moderate amounts should be
decriminalized. 46Proponents of decriminalization suggest that there is no basis for distin-
guishing between marijuana and tobacco (or alcohol) under the law, and emphasize that the
prevailing law encourages police abuse, overburdens the judicial system with trivial cases,
and violates the libertarian principles on which the criminal law ought to be based. 47Some
supporters also note that one effect of decriminalization would be to reduce profit levels on
the sale of marijuana. 4In contrast, however, there is also a substantial body of opinion
which prefers the status quo: those against decriminalization argue that there would be
insuperable difficulties in determining what is "moderation" in this context, and attach
importance to the fact that marijuana can, at the very least, affect personal habits.49
In any event, while this debate remains inconclusive, it did not have a
noticeable impact on the deliberations concerning the Shiprider arrangements. At the
public policy level, Jamaican officials together with the main commentators on the issue -
assumed that marijuana should be subject to the same treatment as cocaine, opium and other
narcotic drugs. This was not entirely surprising, for the Patterson Administration has never
publicly considered revising Jamaica's marijuana legislation; in practical terms, though, it
meant that a potentially divisive point about the treatment of marijuana, as against other
narcotics, did not trouble the Shiprider negotiators.51
While the Jamaican negotiating position was influenced largely by the
desire to co-operate with the United States, the question of sovereignty also had a profound
impact on the Jamaican perspective. Stripped of its niceties, the official Jamaican position
was that the country could not enter into any Shiprider arrangements which would compro-
mise the country's sovereignty: for the Jamaican Prime Minister, in particular, preserving
Jamaica's sovereignty was of primary importance. Thus, in his Statement to the Nation on
October 24, 1996, the Prime Minister maintained that:
"Since that moment when the proposal for a Mari-
time Drug Enforcement Agreement between the
United States of America and Jamaica first emerged,
my position and that of the entire Government has
been unequivocal, consistent and clear.
It has been based on our own determination to
eradicate the scourge of drug trafficking without any
infringement of our sovereignty and with full regard to
By extension, the Prime Minister indicated, on several occasions, that
aspects of the American Shiprider Agreement offended his notion of sovereignty. 53 In
purely political terms, the Prime Minister's position had its advantages: postcolonial States
and their nationals are normally zealous in the defense of their independence and
statehood, 54and in this regard, Jamaica fits the norm. Accordingly, to oppose certain
United States proposals on the grounds of "sovereignty" was always the popular option. In
fairness, it is also an option based on principle, though some aspects of the Government's
position require analysis.
In the first place, although the Government relied heavily on "sovereignty"
in its pronouncements, it did not define the concept at any stage in the Shiprider negotia-
tions. True, the Prime Minister repeatedly indicated that certain types of American searches
in Jamaican waters would be incompatible with national sovereignty, but he did not set out
exactly what he understood "sovereignty" to mean. Because sovereignty stood nominally
at the heart of its position, the Government stands open to the criticism that it was prepared
to rely on the emotive appeal of sovereignty, without facilitating a proper understanding of
This is not merely an academic matter, for the term "sovereignty" carries at
least two meanings which may be relevant for the Shiprider debate.56 As a legal concept,
sovereignty connotes a bundle of rights; it represents the sum total of the rights which each
State possesses by virtue of its statehood. As such, the principal attributes of sovereignty
include, among other things, jurisdiction over a territory and the persons resident therein,
and a duty not to intervene in areas of exclusive jurisdiction of other States.57 Sovereignty,
in this sense, also implies subjection to International Law, for, it is this system of law which
gives substance to the concept, and specifies the obligations which sovereign States owe to
each other. 58
On this meaning of the term, it was not entirely logical for the Jamaican
Government to use "sovereignty" as the basis of its objection to American searches in the
Jamaican territorial sea. This is so because States have long accepted that some of the rights
falling within the sovereignty "bundle" may be exercised by one State on behalf of
another.59 Or, in other words, although sovereignty as a legal concept means that Jamaica
has exclusive jurisdiction over its territorial waters, this does not bar Jamaica from entering
into arrangements which would grant jurisdiction within those waters to the United States.
Hence, if the Jamaican Government had accepted the provisions of the Model Shiprider
Agreement, granting extensive rights of interdiction and search to the United States, there
would have been no violation of Jamaican sovereignty, in the legal sense of the term.
Indeed, if there were a legal bar to entering into the Model Agreement arising from
international law, how could the other Caribbean States have entered into their respective
agreements with the United States?
However, the analysis is different if reliance is placed on an alternative
meaning of sovereignty. In particular, sovereignty, as a political concept, is sometimes
used synonymously with national pride and self-respect; this usage is perhaps more
consonant with the lay person's understanding of the term, and, because it pertains to
patriotic values and beliefs which are often deeply held, it helps to explain the emotive
appeal of sovereignty in the perception of the public. 60When used in this way, sovereignty
amounts to an irreducible core: it reflects the view that each nation is entitled, qua nation,
to a minimum level of respect from all other nations, and this remains true regardless of
each nation's size, economic status or military prowess. Accordingly, if the Jamaican
Government took the view that American searches in Jamaican waters are incompatible
with Jamaican sovereignty, in the political sense of the term, the Government would, ex
hypothesi, resist the proposed American incursions: no Government can reasonably counte-
nance foreign activities which go against the country's national pride and self-respect.
In the event, it seems that the Jamaican Government's approach was based
on sovereignty in the political sense. As the Government was silent on the point, this
conclusion needs to be reached by deduction. The legal concept of sovereignty would not
necessarily have prevented American searches as contemplated in the United States Model
Shiprider Agreement; but such searches could be viewed as incompatible with Jamaica's
self-respect as a nation, and therefore contrary to the country's sovereignty, in political
terms. The Prime Minister's insistence on sovereignty during the negotiations thus sug-
gested an attachment to the political meaning of the concept.
At the same time, it should be noticed that sovereignty, in the political sense
identified here, is a somewhat nebulous concept. In the course of its international relations,
every State is called upon to make arrangements and reach compromises which, in some
respects, may go against the State's self-interest, and even its self-respect. 61 But, in most
cases, such arrangements and compromises are accepted as necessary forms of accommo-
dation required for peace, stability or some other desirable end. So then, the question arises:
how can one determine which efforts at international accommodation amount to an in-
fringement of sovereignty or self-respect, and which do not?
Consider, for instance, Jamaica's rather schizoid relationship with the
International Monetary Fund between 1977 and 1995. In some respects, the requirements
of the Structural Adjustment Programme sanctioned, if not imposed, by the IMF may have
undermined Jamaican sovereignty in the political sense; 62after all, the IMF was, in effect,
able to direct the course of numerous economic decisions which were to have a lasting
impact on the Jamaican populace. Surely, it could be argued that the degree of intervention-
ism implicit in the Structural Adjustment Programme of the IMF was greater than that
which would follow from granting permission for Americans to undertake searches in
Jamaican territorial waters. And yet, in the case of the IMF, official opposition to the
Structural Adjustment Programme was founded primarily on the perceived unworkability
of the Programme in Jamaica and less upon the fact that the IMF activities amounted to an
infringement of Jamaican sovereignty. Or, in other words, the fact that IMF conditionali-
ties undermine a country's political sovereignty did not preclude the Jamaican Government
from accepting those conditionalities, but the original Shiprider Agreement was rejected on
grounds of sovereignty even though it would not have been as intrusive as IMF prescrip-
tions. On its face, this appears somewhat paradoxical.
A similar paradox was also noted during the course of the Shiprider negotia-
tions. Jamaica is prepared to accept supplies and other military contributions from the
United States, and, indeed, sometimes actively seeks such assistance. When the assistance
is forthcoming, it is not perceived as an infringement of the country's sovereignty (or
national pride). If this is so, then why is it that assistance in the form of searches in
Jamaican territorial waters pursuant to a treaty regime amounts to an infringement of
Both with regard to the IMF issue, and to the paradox of economic assis-
tance, the central question is whether there are any objective criteria for determining what
matters actually offend a country's national self-respect. In the Shiprider negotiations, the
Jamaican Government led the nation in identifying the minimum requirements of sover-
eignty in one particular context, but did not set out the basis for a more general assessment
of the circumstances in which national sovereignty may be offended. This is under-
standable, on both practical and prudential grounds. Given the wide range of circumstances
in which the sovereignty issue may arise, it would be difficult for any country to anticipate
the instances in which it will be required to set out the limits of sovereignty. Also, any
advance statement on the limits of sovereignty would also reduce the Government's
flexibility in future negotiations on particular matters.
However, while the problem of identifying matters which offend a country's
sovereignty will persist, one point emerging from the Shiprider debate should be noted. At
least implicitly, the Jamaican Government perceives an inverse relationship between sover-
eignty and need, so that in cases where foreign assistance is required to satisfy exception-
ally pressing national needs, the Government may be prepared to make compromises which
minimize the requirements of sovereignty. 63 This helps to explain why the Jamaican
Government was prepared to accept IMF prescriptions for almost twenty years without
resisting on grounds of sovereignty economic needs prevailed over questions of national
It also helps to explain the Government's decision not to compromise on
sovereignty in the course of the Shiprider negotiations. In these negotiations, the need to
co-operate against drug trafficking was certainly recognized; but, in essence, the Jamaican
Government took the view that there were forms of organizing a Shiprider relationship
which would not result in any infringement of Jamaican sovereignty. As there was no need
to compromise on sovereignty in order to achieve the desired results, the Government was
prepared to resist the more intrusive approach recommended by the United States.64
Finally, the inverse relationship between the requirements of sovereignty
and national needs is reflected in the different approaches to the Model Shiprider Agree-
ment taken by Jamaica and Barbados, as against Trinidad and Tobago and other Anglo-
phone Caribbean States. Jamaica and Barbados were willing to resist the Model Agreement
because they believe that the drug problem can be tackled without surrending to excessive
intervention on the part of the United States. In contrast, perhaps because of its proximity
to the South American mainland, Trinidad and Tobago apparently feels the impact of drug
trafficking in a more immediate way than Jamaica and Barbados. Consequently, for Trini-
dad and Tobago, the matter was viewed as a choice between compromising on sovereignty
by accepting the Model Shiprider Agreement, on the one hand, and surrendering control of
the country to drug cartels, on the other. 65 The Trinidadian perspective also seems to have
influenced the viewpoint adopted by most of the smaller Anglophone Caribbean States.
When the matter is viewed as a stark choice between political sovereignty and survival, it is
understandable that some Governments may be prepared to surrender their national pride if
this will assist them to overcome the threat of the drug cartels.
IV. THE SHIPRIDER RESULT
In the face of contending perspectives, the United States and Jamaica were
eventually able to reach agreement on a Shiprider treaty which, ostensibly at least, appears
to satisfy the interests of both States. 67 Although a detailed review of each provision of the
treaty will not be attempted here, the main points of agreement will be noted, for the result
reached will demonstrate the manner in which issues such as operational efficiency and
sovereignty were reconciled. The Shiprider Agreement executed between Jamaica and the
United States is concerned primarily with one general question namely the circumstances in
which United States officials may undertake searches of Jamaican or foreign vessels in
Jamaican waters, and searches of Jamaican vessels outside Jamaican waters. As a starting
proposition, the treaty specifies that the Jamaican authorities may designate law enforce-
ment officials (or "shipriders") to embark on U.S. vessels operating in the Caribbean region.
68 These shipriders shall be responsible for all searches of Jamaican and foreign vessels in
Jamaican waters. 69 Thus, although the United States will provide the law enforcement
vessels and most of the manpower for such searches, the searches will be undertaken under
Jamaican authority and pursuant to Jamaican law 70
This approach, which is analogous to the position taken in the U.S. Shiprider
Agreements with other Caribbean States, 71 shows deference to Jamaican sovereignty. At
the same time, it upholds principles of operational efficiency, for it acknowledges that, in
most cases, Jamaica will not have the resources to provide a substantial team of law
enforcers to combat drug trafficking. A possible criticism of the approach is that it places
more emphasis on form than on substance the Jamaican shiprider may be nominally in
charge of certain searches, but in reality control will remain with the officer in charge of the
United States vessel with the Jamaican on board. The validity of this criticism may only oe
assessed after the Shiprider Agreement enters into force, and searches take place thereun-
der. In fairness, however, the Agreement itself vests responsibility firmly with the Jamai-
can shipriders, so, if its terms are followed, there should be no conflict of authority.
However, the matter is less straightforward in cases where United States
officials wish to search a Jamaican or foreign vessel in Jamaican waters, but there is no
Jamaican shiprider on board the United States law enforcement vessel. In this case, the
United States officials are required to obtain permission from the Jamaican Minister of
National Security or a person designated by him. 72 In effect, therefore, the United States
needs to obtain Jamaican permission to undertake searches within Jamaican waters on a
case-by-case basis. This preserves respect for Jamaican sovereignty or national pride, and,
provided the channels of communication between United States vessels and the Jamaican
authorities are readily accessible, should also preserve operational efficiency. Indeed, in
the interests of operational efficiency, the Agreement also provides that all requests for the
right to search shall be dealt with expeditiously. 73
Significantly, these provisions differ from the approach in the United States
Model Agreement. In the Model Agreement, and in the treaties which follow the approach
in the Model Agreement, if a Caribbean national is not available to participate in law
enforcement activities by a United States vessel, authority is given to United States officials
to search vessels as they wish. 751n practice, this could lead to unrestricted enforcement
action by United States naval forces in the territorial waters of the Caribbean States which
have signed the Model Shiprider Agreement: the American authorities will always have the
option to say that a Caribbean shiprider was "unavailable" at the start of the naval opera-
The Jamaica/United States Shiprider Agreement also demonstrates sensitiv-
ity to national pride in the way it handles the issue of searches of Jamaican vessels seaward
of the Jamaican territorial sea. Thus, according to Article 3 of the Agreement, whenever
United States law enforcement officials encounter a Jamaican vessel outside the Jamaican
territorial sea and haven reason to suspect that the vessel is engaged in illicit traffic, the
United States may request authorization from Jamaican authorities to search the suspect
vessel. In the normal course of events, if permission to search is not granted, then the
United States law enforcement officials are constrained from pursuing any further activities
with respect to the Jamaican vessel. This approach is, again, inconsistent with the pattern
sanctioned by the United States Model Agreement 77 and the Caribbean Shiprider Agree-
ments executed pursuant thereto 7; thus, for example, in the Shiprider Agreement between
Trinidad and Tobago and the United States, American coast guard officials are granted prior
permission to search vessels of Trinidad and Tobago without any need to consult with the
national authorities of that country.
Another important difference between the Jamaica/United States Shiprider
Agreement and the Model Shiprider Agreement concerns the issue of reciprocity. In effect,
the Model Agreement was one-sided, in that it contemplated United States searches in
Caribbean territorial waters, but remained silent on Caribbean searches in the United States
territorial sea. From the American perspective, this approach was justifiable bearing in
mind that Caribbean countries are unlikely to have the wherewithal to undertake searches
within United States waters. But the approach is vulnerable to criticism, not least because
it fails to acknowledge the desire of Caribbean States to stand even nominally as equal
partners in the Shiprider arrangements.
Not surprisingly, therefore, the Jamaican Government, armed with the
concept of sovereign equality of nations, insisted that all the rights set out in the Shiprider
Agreement should be exercisable on the basis of reciprocity. 8To be sure, Jamaica may not
exercise the right to search American vessels or to search foreign vessels in American
waters with any degree of frequency; but, at least Jamaica's right to do so is recognized in
principle. Besides, if Jamaica had willingly granted rights to the United States on a
non-reciprocal basis, this would have created a precedent in support of unequal treatment in
circumstances where this may be unnecessary.
Other features of the Jamaican/United States Shiprider Agreement which
safeguard Jamaica's national pride may be mentioned briefly. First, the overflight provi-
sions follow the general pattern of rules set out for searches in Jamaican waters; as a result,
the United States will need to obtain Jamaican permission, on a case-by-case basis, to
pursue aircraft over areas of Jamaican sovereignty. 8Secondly, if agents of the United
States cause damage to a Jamaican vessel in the course of a search, then such agents will not
have sovereign, immunity in respect of any civil claims brought against them. Both these
provisions are more advantageous for Jamaica than the analogous provisions in the Model
Shiprider Agreement, for the model would allow overflight without the need for the United
States to obtain permission on each occasion, and would grant immunity from suit for all
actions undertaken by United States agents in the course of their law enforcement activities
in the Caribbean.
Finally, the termination period for the Jamaica/United States Agreement is
only three months, compared to one year in the Model Shiprider Agreement. In practice,
this will mean that if the Shiprider arrangements work to the detriment of either country,
there will be a relatively short notification period for withdrawal. As the Shiprider Agree-
ment represents an uncharted departure from basic rules of international law, a short
termination period is a well-conceived safeguard against possible abuse.
V. CONCLUDING REMARKS
Notwithstanding its turbulent background, the Jamaica/United States
Shiprider Agreement represents a balanced reconciliation of the main interests of both
countries. The primary objective of the United States in this area is to secure the right to
search vessels in the Caribbean Sea as a means of deterring the flow of illicit drugs via
well-known maritime routes between South and North America.
Yet, laudable though this objective may be, the United States has conducted
its Shiprider initiative with less skill than should be expected of a sophisticated world
power. From all appearances, the main thrust of the early United States strategy was simply
to impose the Model Shiprider Agreement on each Caribbean State, without regard to the
reservations which countries could reasonably have about particular provisions. Moreover,
the suggestion that the United States had opted to impose its Shiprider perspective without
respect for Caribbean sensibilities was reinforced by at least two developments which
loomed threateningly in the background to the negotiations.
The first was the view, articulated by Elliot Abrams about the Caribbean,
"(i)n an increasingly troubled region, reliance on a
foreign power for security and prosperity may be the
most sensible form of nationalism. And the only avail-
able foreign power is the United States."
Within the Caribbean, the Abrams' perspective was seen as the first step in an
attempt towards recolonization in the region, and, as his views were made partly in
justification of the United States Shiprider programme, the programme came to be viewed
with considerable suspicion. Admittedly, Abrams was not writing in an official capacity,
but still, one could expect that United States officials would have an interest in Caribbean
reaction to such views at very least, Abrams was perceived as the stalking horse designed
to test whether Caribbean States are prepared to surrender aspects of territorial control and
political sovereignty in return for certain security guarantees from the Urrited States.
With even less subtlety, the United States sought to link the Shiprider
negotiations to its congressional decertification process. So, for example, Patricia Lasbury
Hall, speaking on behalf of the State Department, warned that Jamaica's attitude to the
Shiprider discussions, among other things, had raised the possibility that Jamaica could lose
access to United States and multilateral financial assistance, beginning from as early as
1997. The effect of this threat, and related statements by Ms. Hall, was to prompt patriotic
fervour even among some Jamaicans who usually view the United States Government with
equanimity. This event, along with the perception that the Barbadian Government was also
being penalised for resisting the Model Shiprider Agreement, did nothing to enhance the
image of the United States within the region.
But, at the same time, the Jamaican Government was not without fault. In
the early stages of the negotiations, the Jamaican Government's position was not always
constant: on at least one occasion the Prime Minister appeared to be softening his position
against searches in Jamaican waters without permission on a case-by-case basis, while the
Minister of Foreign Affairs was less than clear in his main pronouncement on the subject.
In addition, on at least one point concerning the nature of rights which Jamaica may
exercise in its Exclusive Economic Zone the Jamaican Government seems to have
misconstrued important aspects of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea. It is also true that a significant element in Jamaica's negotiating position was not
seriously considered by the United States, namely the idea that any Shiprider Agreement
concluded should also address the question of the flow of illicit guns from the United States
In view of the foregoing, success at the negotiating table was not assured in
advance. But, to their credit, the representatives of both sides were able eventually to
disregard the rancour and posturing which had come to be associated with the Shiprider
debate. And, the agreement finally reached should serve as an important model of interde-
pendence in two particular respects.
For one thing, it underscores the point that the regulation of drug trafficking
is an issue which, by its very nature, requires States to work in close co-operation. If the
Jamaica/United States agreement had not been successfully concluded, the main benefi-
ciar-ies would certainly have been the drug cartels. One lesson for the United States,
therefore, is that, notwithstanding its paramount status as an economic and military power,
it cannot cope with the numerous problems of the post-Cold War era including the
growing drug trade without accepting the need to organize its initiatives with an eye to the
national sensitivities of other States. And, bearing in mind that Jamaica and Barbados have
been able to secure a less intrusive agreement than that accepted by the other Anglophone
Caribbean Statpi, one lesson for the Caribbean is that interdependence must also work
within the region as well; for, arguably, if the CARICOM States had acted as a co-ordinated
unit in their negotiations with the United States, each CARICOM State would have been
able to secure a Shiprider Agreement akin to that garnered by Jamaica and Barbados.
For another, the Agreement demonstrates that, even in the face of American
hegemony, developing States may, in appropriate circumstances, reach agreements which
take their main interests into account: the Jamaica/United States Shiprider Agreement
reflects Jamaica's concerns about political sovereignty as much as it gives consideration to
American perspectives on operational efficiency in the fight against drug trafficking. After
public anger and recrimination, this appears to be one case albeit still a rare case in which
a country was able to demonstrate independence in its foreign policy, even though it is not
independent in earning its living.
Notes and References
C.P Snow, Last Things, p.112 (1980).
2. To date, the United States has concluded such agreements with the following anglophone Caribbean coun-
tries: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St.
Vincent and the Grenadines. St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago: see further infra, pp. 25-30.
For a careful discussion on the legal aspects of the basic United States model agreement, see Kathy Ann
Brown, The Shiprider Model: An Anaysis of the U. S. Proposed Agreement Concerning Maritime Counter-
Drug Operations in its Wider Legal Context, (1997) 1 Contemporary Caribbean Legal Issues.
3. For the text of the Model United States Shiprider Agreement. see A Look at the Shiprider Contract, The Daily
Observer (Jamaica), (hereinafter, The Daily Obserer), October 27. 1996; No Riding with this Agreement,
The Daily Nation (Barbados), October 23, 1996.
4. From the numerous journalistic references, see, for instance, US Cracks the Whip? Govt Flip Flops Over
Search Deal, The Daily Gleaner (Jamaica) (hereinafter, The Daily Gleaner), October 1, 1996; Claudienne
Edwards, Fishermen Fear US Coast Guard, The Daily Gleaner, October 1, 1996; US-Jamaica Narcotics
Talks Set to Begin Tomorrow, The Daily Observer, October 17, 1996; Foggy Policy: i Ica Is Position Still
Unclear as Hot Pursuit Talks Start, The Daily Observer, October 19, 1996; Claudienne Edwards, Who'll
Guard Our Seamen?, The Daily Gleaner, October 26, 1996; Terrel Yearwood, Sign Shiprider Pact, The
Weekend Nation (Barbados), December 6, 1996; Regional Leaders Meet on US Drug Treaty, The Daily
Observer, December 15, 1996; Terry Ally, The Drug Problem in the Caribbean, The Sunday Sun (Bar-
bados), December 15, 1996; Rickey Singh, CARICOM Summit Looks at United States 'Pressures', The
Sunday Gleaner, December 15, 1996; CARICOM Flares Up at US Pressure, The Daily Gleaner, Decem-
ber 17,1996; Notfor Sale, The Barbados Advocate, December 20,1996; Justin Verity, Shiprider., A Power
Play, The Sunday Advocate (Barbados), December 22, 1996; No Need to Fear Sltiptider Agreement US
Official, The Daily Observer, January 18, 1997; Shiprider a Good Move, The Sun On Saturday (Bar-
bados), February 22, 1997; Aceord Ahoy.- Simmons Reports Progress in Shiprider Talks, The Barbados
Advocate, March 27, 1997; Nations Taken for a Ride, The Daily Nation (Barbados). April 14, 1997; Dion
Phillips, Drugs, Shiprider and US-Caribbean Relations: Cooperation Key to Success, Caribbean Week,
May 24, June 6, 1997.
5. See, e.g., Glenroy Straughn, Shiprider Interaction, The Barbados Advocate, October 14, 1996; Gladstone
Holder, This Global Village, The Barbados Advocate, November 1, 1996; Eric Lewis, Owen, You Don't
'Diss'America, The Barbados Advocate, November 1, 1997; Peter Walcott, US Supremacy, The Barbados
Advocate, December 9, 1996; Patrick Smikle, Questions Surround US Drug Enforcement Activities in St.
Kitts, The Daily Observer, November 24, 1996; Geoff Brown, Moment of Truth, The Daily Gleaner, De-
cember 6, 1996; Up to Bill, The Barbados Advocate, December 17, 1996; Editorial, Urgent Need for
US/CARICOM Talks, The Daily Observer, December 19, 1996; Gordon Matthews, Arthur Must Not Bow
to the US, The Barbados Advocate, December 19, 1997; C. Roy Reynolds, A Timefor Reasoning, The
Daily Gleaner, December 31, 1996; Mark Wignall, -The US Will Have its Way, The Daily Observer, De-
cember 19, 1996; Rickey Singh, A Letter to US President Bill Clinton, The Daily Gleaner, January 5,
1997; Tony Best, Colonialism Warmed Over, The Weekend Nation (Barbados), January 24, 1997; Errol
Miller, Less Carrot, More Stick, The Daily Gleaner, February 20, 1997; Calvin Bowen, The Jamaica-
USA Connection, The Daily Gleaner, May 7, 1997.
6. For the clearest public statement of Jamaica's basic position, see Statement by the Jamaican Prime Minister,
P.J. Patterson to Parliament on December 4, 1996, reprinted in The Daily Observer, December 5, 1996;
see also Statement by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, October 24, 1996 (text on file with author); PM
Lashes US: Patterson Resents 7hreats to Ja's Sovereignty, The Daily Gleaner, September 19, 1996; 'No
Searches in Our Waters' Patterson Vows Sovereignty Still Intact, The Daily Observer, September 30,
1996; PJ Clears the Fog: PM Insists No Split in Govt Position on Shiprider Agreement, The Daily Ob-
server, October 25, 1996; for discussion, see further infra, pp. 12-16. For references to the United States
perspective, see, for instance, Caribbean Key to U.S. Drug Trade, The Washington Post, September 23,
1996; U.S. Wins "Hot Pursuit' Rights in Caribbean Drug Fight, The New York Times, July 21, 1996; see
further inifra, pp. 6-12.
7. This is, of course, a matter of judgement which persons outside the actual negotiations should be slow to
make; however, having regard to public statements from Jamaican officials, this conclusion is certainly
not far-fetched: see also Singh, Frank Talking at 'Drugs Summit', The Daily Gleaner, December 22, 1996.
8 Agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the United States of America concern-
ing Co-operation in Suppressing Illicit Maritime Drug Trafficking, May 6, 1997 (hereinafter the Ja-
maica/Unitect States Shiprider Agreement); for text, see Government ofJamaica, Ministry Paper No.
9. Generally, see Caribbean/United States Summit, Partnership for Prosperity and Security in the Caribbean,
10 May 1997; Caribbean/United States Summit, Plan of Action, 10 May 1997; The White House, office of
the Press Secretary, Press Conference with President Clinton and Caribbean Leaders, May 10, 1997
10. Of the Anglophone Caribbean States, only Barbados refused'to accept the United States Model Shiprider
Agreement in a manner similar to Jamaica. Barbados eventually signed a Maritime Cooperation Agree-
ment with the United States on June 25, 1997. Generally, see Increasing Stress on Barbados, The Daily
Nation (Barbados), October 3, 1996; Guyana Ready to Board Shiprider, The Sunday Sun (Barbados), Octo-
ber 6, 1996; Shiprider Issue Not Settled, The Barbados Advocate, October 20, 1996; Avoid the Breach:
Ship-Rider Follows an Obscenity, The Barbados Advocate, October 21, 1996; Will Barbados Sign
Shiprider Agreement?, The Barbados Advocate, October 26, 1996; Arthur Not Signing Shiprider Agree-
ment, The Weekend Nation (Barbados), December 6, 1996; Shiprider Warning, The Barbados Advocate,
December 20, 1996; Day Barbados Got 'Dissed', The Sunday Sun, March 30, 1997; No Deal!, Sun On Sat-
urday (Barbados), April 26, 1997; Shipmates: Barbados Getting New Boat as Part of Maritime Deal, The
Daily Nation (Barbados), June 26, 1997; A Done Deal, The Barbados Advocate, June 26, 1997.
II1. For the view that demise of sovereignty and sovereign States is "by no means regrettable", see Neil MacCor-
mick, Beyond the Sovereign State, 56 Modern Law Review 1 (1993),
12. Jamaica's real GDP per capital for 1994 amounted to $3,816, in contrast to $26,397 for the United States:
United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 1997, 146-47 In 1995, Jamaica
received US$192.45 in Official Development Assistance, a figure which is used in the present context to
note international acknowledgement of Jamaica's level of economic impoverishment: Planning Institute
OfJamaica, Economic And Social Survey Jamaica 1995, at 26. 1.
13. The concept of interdependence is, of course, not free from ambiguity; following Morgan, the term is used
here to denote a situation in which "the effects of one government's actions are partially determined by
what other governments do":-Patrick-, Morgan, Theories And Approaches To International Politics:
What Are We To Think?, 238 (#rdc Ed.) 1981
14. For a review of early American efforts to combat international drug trafficking, see, for instance, Kevin
Fisher, Trends in Extraterritorial Narcotics Control: Slamming the Stable Door After the Horse has Bolted,
16 N.Y.U.J. Int'l Law & Pol. 353.
15. For the view that the inter-American drug policy of the Reagan and Bush administrations was characterized
by the "cocainizacion" of the drug war, see Juan G- Tokatlian, The Miami Summit and Drugs: A Placid,
Innocuous Conference?, 36 Journal Of nteramerican Studies 75, 77 (1994). Tokatlian argues that the
American obsession with coca/cocaine demonstrates the lack of sophistication in United States drug pol-
icy, and glances at the hypocrisy implicit in the fact that the United States continues to be a significant pro-
ducer of marijuana, even as it discourages such production in Colombia, Mexico and Jamaica: id. at 7-
16. United States Department Of State, Bureau For International Narcotics And Law Enforcement Affairs, Inter-
national Narcotics Control Strategy Report, March 1997, 24.
18. Id. The relative insignificance of Latin America and the Caribbean in opium produl is highlighted by a brief
comparison between this region as against South East and South West Asia, respectively. The figure of
117 metric tons for Latin America and the Caribbean falls well short of South West Asia, with a potential
production capacity estimated at 1,352 metric tons, and of South East Asia, estimated at 2,790 metric tons:
19. For a discussion on the link between American attempts at drug eradication in this hemisphere and United
States hegemony, see William 0. Walker, The Foreign NarQotics Policy of the United States Since 1980.-
An End to the War on Drugs?, Xlix Int'l Journal 37
20. Calculations based on figures provided in International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 1997, Op. Cit.
note 16, at 24.
21 Id. For a brief overview of the questions which arise from drug eradication programmes in Latin America,
see Kenneth E. Sharpe, The Drug War: Going After Supply, 30 Journal Of nteramerican Affairs 77 (1988)
22. This is consistent with the position stated by then Secretary of State Warren Christopher on the launch of the
Clinton Adminstration's "new" drug control strategy in 1994. Among other things, Secretary Christopher
noted: "The strategy recognizes that America's first line of defense against drugs is to reduce drug abuse
here at home. We are the world's largest illegal drug market nothing at all to be proud of- but defi-
nitely we should shoulder our share of the responsibility for combatting the drug scourge": see Warren
Christopher, Secretary of State, A New International Strategy to Combat Drugs (Remarks at a briefing for
foreign ambassadors, Washington, DC, February 9, 1994), 5 DISPATCH 89 (Dept. of St. Bureau of Public
Affairs, 1994). See also Robert S. Gelbard, Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics Matters, id., at
90. For criticism of the earlier United States policy of placing emphasis on eradicating supply, see, e.g.,
Peter Andreas and Coletta Youngers, U. S. Drug Policy and the Andean Cocaine Industry, World Policy
Journal, 1989, 529; Nicholas Hopkinson, Fighting The Drug Problem (Conference Report based on Wil-
ton Park Conference 331), at 16-17; Oxford Companion To The Politics Of The World250 (Joel Krieger
ed., 1993); Drugs And Latin America -economic And Political Impact And U.s. Policy Options: Proceed-
ings Of A Seminar Held By The Congressional Research Service, April 26, 1989, Report Of The Select
Committee On Narcotics Abuse And Control, 101st Congress, Ist Session, SCNAC 101-112 (hereinafter,
"Drugs And Latin America ") (Contributions by Bruce Bagley and R. Craig, at 43 and 48, respectively); Jo-
Marie Burt and Ricardo Soberon, 'The Only War We've Got' Anti-Drug Campaigns in Washington's
Latin America Strategy, in Altered States: A Reader In The New World Order 441 (Phyllis Bennis and
Michel Moushabeck, eds., 1993).
23 Cf Mathea Falco, U.S. Drug Policy Addicted to Failure, 102 Foreign Policy 120 (1996).
24. United States, Office Of National Drug Control Policy Of The Executive Office Of The President, The Na-
tional Drug Control -r 25 Id.
26. For a slightly different, but perhaps dated view, see Raphael F. Perl, Clinton's Drug Policy, 35 Journal Ofln-
teramerican Studies 143, 145 (1993-94).
27. Id., at 25.
28. See especially Andrew W Anderson, In the Wake of the Dauntless: The Background and Development of
Maritime Interdiction Operations, in The Law Of The Sea: What Lies Ahead? 11 at 18-20 (T.A. Clingan
ed., 20th Ann. LOS Inst. Proc.) (1988). 29 id
30. See also Michael Morris, Caribbean Maritime Security 136-146 (1994). 3' 31.
31. The term is Anderson's: supra note 28 at 18. 10 32
32. For instance, although Caribbean transit routes remain popular, there has been a noticeable shift toward the
Central American isthmus and Mexico: Morris, supra note 30, at 138; Lisa McGregor, Mexico. Jamaica,
Drugs and the Ship-riderAgreement, The Daily Gleaner, October 19, 1996.
33 For a systematic assessment of Caribbea coast guard and naval capabilities, see Morris, supra note 30a t 1 -
34. U.N. Doc E/CONF.82/15, Corr. I and Corr. 2, 19 December 1988; 28 I.L.M- 497 (1989) (hereinafter the
U.N. Convention Against illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs). The Convention entered into force on Novem-
ber 1 1990, and, as of December 31, 1995, there were 122 parties: Multilateral Treaties Deposited With
The Secretary-general Status As At 31 December 1995, U.N. Doc. ST/LEG/SER.E/14, at 291 Jamaica
became a party to the Convention on December 29,1995: id
35. The illicit drugs contemplated by the U.N. Convention Against illicit Traff, Drugs are those identified in the
1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1972 protocol Amending the Single Convention on Nar-
cotic Drugs, and the 1971 Convention on psychotropic Substances.
36. U.N. Convention Against illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs, Article 3.
37 Article 6
38. Article 5. From the extensive literature on money-laundering, see, e.g., Jeffrey Robinson, The Laundrymen
(1994); David A. Andelman, Maze, 73 Foreign Affairs 94 (1994); Beth Aub, Why a Drug War'?. The
Daily Gleaner, December 2, 1996.
39. Articles 17(2) and (3)
40. Articles 17(4), (5) and (6)
41. On some of the main security concerns which arise from the operations of international drug cartels, see
also Ivelaw Griffith, From Cold War Geopolitics to Post-cold War Geonarcotics, XLIX Int'l Journal I
42. Carl Stone highlighted the urgency of the situation in Jamaica from 1989, as is evident from the following
extract: "Now that we have bipartisan unanimity on the issue of the war against drug dealers which threat-
ens to cripple our economy, it must surely be possible to get [certain anti-drug] laws enacted in a hurry and
to make any constitutional changes that may be necessary to facilitate them. The very future and liveli-
hood of this country and its people are at risk here and everything has to be done to cramp this illegal drug
trade": quoted by Anthony Manigot in Drugs And Latin America, supra note 22, at 60. But while the drug
problem in Jamaica is increasing, it is important, for policy purposes, not to exaggerate its impact: cf.
Tomasek, complex Interdependency Theory Drug Barons as Transnational Groups, reprinted in Theory
And Practice Oflnternational Relations (William C. Olsen, ed., 1994) at 288 ("In Jamaica drugs exceed
twice the value of all exports combined").
43. Time For Action: Report Of The West Indian Commission, 343-344 (2nd ed. 1993).
44. Generally, see, for example, Drugs And Latin America, Op. Cit. note at V VII, Ron Saunders, Narcotics,
Corruption and Development: The Problems in the Smaller Islands, 3 Caribbean Affairs, 79, (Jan-Mar
1990); William Perry and Max Primorac, The Inter-Amrerican Security Agenda, 36 Journal ofInterAmer-
can Studies and World Affairs 111, 114-5 (1994)
45. Of course, this point applies not only to Jamaica, but also to the United States, for it is certainly not in the in-
terest of the United States to ignore the pernicious effects of drug trafficking on the social structure of its
hemispheric neighbours: see, e.g. James Van Wert, The US State Department's Narcotics Control Policy
in the Americas, 30 Journal Of Interamerican Studies And World Affairs, 1, 5 (1989).
46. In support of decriminalization, see, e.g., Dennis Forsythe, The Law Against Ganja In Jamaica, esp. 26-40
(1993). For the view that marijuana use is entrenched in the social and cultural life of certain strata of Ja-
maican life, see Barry Chevannes, Backgroundto Drug Use in Jamaica (ISER Working Paper No. 34), 7-
19, 67-68 (1988).
47 John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, reprinted in Utilitarianism, On Liberty, Considerations On Representative
Government (H.B. Acton ed., 1972), 69-185.
48. See, for instance, Leahcim Semaj, Drugs: The Demand Side, The Daily Observer, July 4, 1997; Wolfgang
Grassl, The Economic Case for Legalising Ganja, ibid, November 19, 1996.
49. See also Stephen Vasciannie, Legalize the Weed?!, The Daily Gleaner, July 15, 1996.
50. See, e.g. Statement to Parliament by the Hon. K. D. Knight, July 2, 1997; Knight Rejects Call to Legalise
Drugs, The Jamaica Observer, July 3, 1997. 51 While views in support of decriminalization, whether only
of marijuana or otherwise, are regularly canvassed in the United States, neither the Clinton Administration
nor its recent predecessors has given solace to this perspective: for a brief but useful review of the argu-
ments, see, e.g., Bruce Bagley, The New Hundred Years War? US National Security and the War on
Drugs in Latin America, 30 Journal Of Interamerican Studies 161, 176-178.
52. Statement by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, Thursday, October 24, 1996, I (emphasis added).
53. See also Statement by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson to the Jamaican Parliament, December 4, 1997. repro-
duced in The Daily Observer, December 5, 1997; 'No Searches in Our Waters' Patterson vows Sover-
eignty Still Intact, ibid, September 30, 1996; PM Lashes US: Patterson Resents Threats to JA's
Sovereignty, The Daily Gleaner, September 19, 1996.
54. See, e.g., Luzius Wildhaber, Sovereignty and International Law, iN The Structure And Process Of Interna-
tional Law 425, 439-440 (R. St.J. MacDonald and D.M. Johnston, eds., 1983); Hedley Bull and Adam
Watson, The Expansion Of International Society 433-434 (Bull and Watson,
55. See also Government of Jamaica, Ministry Paper No 17/97, at 1 (including "noninfringement of the sover-
eignty of Jamaica within its territorial waters and airspace" as one of the main principles which governed
the Jamaican position in the Shiprider negotiations, but giving no definition of sovereignty).
56. From the numerous possible meanings of "sovereignty", it is important to make a preliminary distinction be-
tween sovereignty within the national sphere, which pertains to the ultimate location of governmental
authority within each nation (internal sovereignty), and sovereignty on the international plane, which re-
lates to the interaction of different countries (international sovereigntyy. The discussion in the text is con-
cerned only with aspects of international sovereignty; see also Eli Lauterpacht, Sovereignity: Myth or
Reality, 73 International Affairs 137 (1997)
57 lan Brownlie, Principles ofPublic International Law 287-297 (1990); Declarationb on POrinciples of Inter-
national Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States, U.N. General Assembly
Resolution 2625 (XXV) (1970) (especially the principle of sovereign equality of States); Commission on
Global Governance, Our Global Neighbourhood,68-72 (1995)
58. Lauterpacht, supra note 56, at 40.
59. See, e.g., Separate Opinion of Judge Anzilotti in the Austro-German Customs union Case, PCIJ Reports, Se-
ries A/B No41(1931)
60. See, for instance Anthony Gomes, Soluble Sovereignty, The Sunday Observer (Jamaica), November 17,
1996, 15 ("In the developing countries, sovereignty is a shadow of its former self and has become an ideal-
istic rallying point for nation integrity...... ).
61. Lauterpacht equates this meaning of the term "sovereignty" with national power: op. cit. note 56, esp. at 149-
62. For the view that multilateral financial assistance to Jamaica serves to undermine the country's sovereignty,
see also Barrymore Anthony Bogues, The Limits Of Political Sovereignty: A Review Of The Jamaican Ex-
perience (1989-1991) (1994); Neville C. Duncan, Mechanisms Of Impoverishment In The Anglophone
Caribbean: The Role Of The Bretton Woods Institutions And The Recommendations Of Caribbean NGOS
(1995), 13. In its Marxist critique of the IMF Programme in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Workers'
Party of Jamaica maintained that the Programme "would make Jamaica once more into a dependent of
United States imperialism and to take the country off the more independent course it had begun to pursue
in its foreign and national policy" Report of the Central Committee to the Second Congress of the Work-
ers, party of Jamaica on the Political Situation and the Immediate Tasks of the Party, Delivered by General
Secretary Trevor Munroe, ]7th December 1981, 52. This analysis is a short step from the view that reli-
ance on the IMF is incompatible with sovereignty.
63. This approach implies that sovereignty is a flexible tool, and that its requirements may be adjusted in differ-
ent circumstances to achieve preordained national ends: see also Geoffrey Howe, Sovereignty and Interde-
pendence.- Britain's Place in the World, 66 Int'l Affairs 675 (1990).
64. Cf Winston Witter, We are Going to Bow, Scrape and Grovel, The Daily Observer, December 18, 1996;
Mark Wignall, The US Will 14-
65. See e.g., Too Much Cocaine passing Through Region Trinidad, The Daily Gleaner January 22. 1997;
Trinidad Defends Shiprider Agreement, ibid, February 22,1997 Gleaner
66 See, for instance the comments of Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Lester Bird made prior to the
Special CARICOM Summit in December 1996: "We can stand on the Special CARICOM Summit in Dec
the light of the circumstances that now exist ", Sovereignty Must Address Sovereignty- Lester Bird,
The Daily Gleaner December 14, 1996.
67. JA Seals Shiprider: 'Useful Partnership' Between JA, USA to Fight Drug Trafficking, The Daily Gleaner,
May 6, 1997; Shiprider Accord: Jca, US Sign Pact on Maritime Searches, The Daily Observer, May 6,
1997; Shiprider Pact: NDM Cautiously optimistic, JLP Sees Inadequacies, ibid., May 7, 1997
61. Jamaica/United States Shiprider Agreement, Article 7.
69 Article 7(2).
71. See, for example, the Trinidad and Tobago/United States Shiprider Agreement, Articles 5 and 7; the An-
tigua and Barbuda/United States Shiprider Agreement, Articles 5 and 7; the Grenada/United States
Shiprider Agreement, Articles 5 and 7; the St. Kitts and Nevis/United States Shiprider Agreement, Arti-
cles 5 and 7; the St. Lucia/United States Shiprider Agreement, Articles 5 and 7
72. The Jamaica/United States Shiprider Agreement, Articles 10 and 13
73. Artcle 10(3). For a promise that secure and reliable communications channels will be established, see State-
ment to Parliament by the Hon. K.D. Knight, Jamaican Minister of National Security, May 27, 1997
74. United States Model Shiprider Agreement, supra note 3, Article g(c).
75. See Article g(c) of the respective Shiprider Agreements between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago,
Antigua, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent.
76. See also Brown, supra note 1, at 34.
77. United States Model Agreement Article 11
78. See Article 10 of the respective agreements between the United States and Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada,
St. Kitts Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. See also Stephen Vascianne Shiprider Sails Home" The Daily
Gleaner, May 19, 1997
79. The notion of reciprocity is built into all the substantive provisions of the Jamaica/United States Shiprider
Agreement; see also Ministry Paper No. 17197, 2; Statement by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson to Parlia-
ment on May 27, 1997 (following the execution of the Jamaica/United States Shiprider Agreement).
80. Article I 1; see also Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of Jamaica and the Govern-
ment of the United States of America, annexed to the Jamaica/United States Shiprider Agreement giv-
ing permission for each State to convey information about law enforcement to suspect aircraft.
81. Jamaica/United States Shiprider Agreement, Article 20; Letter from US Ambassador to Jamaica to Jamaican
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, annexed to the Shiprider Agreement. For the criticism that
the Agreement does not, however, contemplate the waiver of sovereign immunity for criminal matters, see
Statement to the Jamaican Parliament, May 27, 1997, by Bruce Golding, President of the National Demo-
82. Jamaica United States Shiprider Agreement, Article 20; Letter from U. S. ASmbassador to Jamaica to Jamai-
can Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, annexed to the Shiprider Agreement. For the criticism
that the Agreement does not, however, contemplate the qwaiver of sovereign immunity for criminal mat-
ters, see Statement to the Jamaican Parliament, May 27, 1997, by Bruce Golding, President of the National
83. United States Model Agreement, Article 8(b).
84. Article 19.
85. Jamaica/United States Shiprider Agreement, Article 24(2).
86. United States Model Agreement, Article 24.
87. Elliot Abrams, TheShiprider Solution: Policing the Caribbean, 4National Interest, 86 (1996) (emphasis in
88. Abrams described the original Shiprider Agreements in terms which emphasise the shift in sovereign author-
ity implied by each agreement "(U)nder agreements signed in 1995, six of the smallest states in the East-
ern Caribbean now permit U.S. Navy vessels full freedom of action in their territorial waters, calculating
no doubt that it is better to have their sovereignty invaded by Americans under treaty than by drug runners
at will" id
89. The certification process, mandated by Section 490 of the United States Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as
amended, was first enacted in 1986, ostensibly as a result of the congressional view that the executive
branch was not sufficiently firm on drugproducing and transit countries; for a schematic listing of certifica-
tion decisions between 1987 and 1996, see United States Department Of State, Bureau For International
Narcotics And Law Enforcement Affairs, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, March 1996, at
90. See, e.g., Stephen Vasciannie,7he US Jamaica Drug Controversy: Bombs Bursting in Air, The Daily
Gleaner, December 8, 1996; Patrick Scudder, US Prods JA on Drugs War: Decertification Mentioned
But Not a Threat, The Daily Gleaner, December 3, 1996; US Turns Up the Heat, The Daily Observer, De-
cember 3, 1996; Larry Rohter, U.S. Jamaica Dispute Undermining Antidrug Efforts, The New York
Times, February 9, 1997; US Puts IDB on Alert, The Financial Gleaner (Jamaica), December 6, 1996;
Luke Douglas, US Aid Hanging on Drug War Seaga, The Daily Gleaner, December 2, 1996.
91. See, e.g., National Leaders Back PM on Drug Issue, The Daily Observer, December 11, 1997; Geof Brown,
Moment of Truth, The Daily Gleaner, December 6, 1996; Rickey Singh, A Region in Anger, ibid., Decem-
ber 8, 1996; cf. Diplomacy Gone Wrong, The Financial Gleaner, December 13, 1996.
92. No Final Decision on Bdos Airport US, The Daily Observer, December 13, 1996.
93. The degree of Jamaican annoyance at perceived American high-handness over the decertification issue was
encapsulated in Prime Minister Patterson' s retort that "We will not grovel": see Patterson Resists US Pres-
sure, The Daily Observer, December 5, 1996; Statement by Prime Minister Patterson to Parliament on De-
cember 4, 1996, supra note 6. See also No Justification for Decertification Pm, The Daily Gleaner,
February 22. 1997.
94 For discussion, see Stephen Vasciannie, American Searches in Jamaican Waters, The Sunday Gleaner, Octo-
ber 20, 1996; Response by G. Anthony Hylton, then Parliamentary Secretary in the Jamaican Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (Who is Signalling Whom, Dr. Vasciannie), ibid., October 27, 1996.
95. Foggy Policy: J'ca's Position Still Unclear as Hot Pursuit Talks Start, The Daily Observer, October 19,
1996; 'Sack Mullings': NDM Says No Place for 'Foggy' Minister, ibid., October 21, 1996; PJ Clears the
Fog: PM Insists no Split in Govt Position on Shiprider Agreement, ibid, October 25, 1996.
96. U.N. Doc. A/CONF. 62/122, 7 October 1982. Pursuant to its Exclusive Economic Zone Act, Jamaica stated
that it had the exclusive right to search foreign vessels in its EEZ; this is questionable, as a matter of law.
The Jamaican Government later re-siled from this position, accepting that other States may also exercise
criminal jurisdiction in the Jamaican EEZ: Statement of Prime Minister P.J. Patterson to Parliament, De-
97. Jamaica dropped its attempt to link maritime searches for drugs with gun smuggling in the Shiprider negotia-
tions, suggesting that the matter of gun smuggling should be handled by CARICOM as a group: see State-
ment by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson to Parliament, May 27, 1997; 'Stop the Guns': Jca Wants US to
Help Reduce Arms Inflow, The Daily Observer, October 7, 1996; PJ Calls for Joint Gun Pact, ibid., March
4, 1997; Against the Illegal Gun Flow in the Region: Patterson Proposes CARICOM/US Pact, The Daily
Gleaner. March 4- 1997-
98. See also Joseph. S. Nye, American Strategy after Bipolarity, 66 International Affairs 513, 520 (1990); Ro-
drigo Pardo Garcia Pena, The Issue of Drug Traffic In Colombian-US Relations: Cooperation as an Im-
perative, 37 Journal oflnterAmerican Studies 101 (1995); Time for Action, supra note 43, at 349;
CARICOM Flares up at U.S. Pressure, The Daily Gleaner, March 4, 1997
99. A similar view has been advanced by Sir Sridath Ramphal, Chief Negotiator for CARICOM: see Jamaica,
Barbados Shipriders Lauded, The Sunday Gleaner, May 11, 1997
The Eastern Caribbean in the 1990s: New Security Challenges
In the post Cold War era, there has been widespread recognition of the need to
redefine security and to reassess the principal sources of threat for the international commu-
nity, states and individuals. The discussion on new sources of insecurity in fact started some
10-15 years earlier, but it has been intensified since the collapse of the bipolar framework
of international relations. Within this debate, at an academic level such questions are
examined as the relative merits of global, as opposed to international security, and the
contradictions to be found in these concepts. Likewise, some writers question the suitability
and the capacity of the contemporary state as a vehicle to meet the security needs of
individuals or groups. They all agree on the need for a more holistic view of security, which
takes into account many non-military sources of threat. At a more practical level, both
countries and regions are re-formulating their security agendas in response to changed
strategic conditions and new threat scenarios.2
In this article, we propose to survey the security issues facing the smallest and,
arguably, the most vulnerable national units within the Western Hemisphere. We shall be
revisiting the theme of security in the Eastern Caribbean, with special reference to the
territories of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Our discussion is
informed by the view that the most challenging security problems, with far-reaching
international or regional implications, often erupt in the world's smaHest and most insignifi-
cant societies witness Liberia, Rwanda, Cyprus or Bosnia on the international level,
Grenada on the Caricom sub-regional level. Consequently, despite the small populations in
such countries, considerable attention needs to be paid to tackling incipient issues before
they.become major crises.
We shall draw on the concepts developed by four contemporary security analysts.
Michael Klare, in a concise, yet comprehensive analysis of post-Cold War security issues,
"A fresh assessment of the world security environment
suggests that the major international schisms of the
21'st century will not always be definable in geo-
graphic terms. Many of the most severe and persistent
threats to global peace and stability are arising not
from conflicts between major political entities but
from increased discord within states, societies, and
civilizations along ethnic, racial, religious, linguistic,
caste, or class lines...The intensification and spread of
internal discord is a product of powerful stresses on
human communities everywhere. These stresses eco-
nomic, demographic, sociological and environmental -
are exacerbating the existing divisions within societies
and creating entirely new ones...Where certain condi-
tions prevail a widening gulf between rich and poor,
severe economic competition between neighboring
ethnic and religious communities, the declining habita-
bility of marginal lands internal conflict is likely to
Barry Buzan paints a broad picture of the security issues facing Southern countries
in the 21'st century, defining the necessary ingredients for their security as:
"..freedom from threat and the ability of states and societies to maintain their
independent identity and their functional integrity against forces of change which they see
as hostile. The bottom line of security is survival... "
Thomas Weiss and Neil McFarlane focus on some of the policy approaches and
paradigms that are required to address Klare's scenario. In advocating a comprehensive
approach to human security, they speak of economic, legal and environmental security, as
well as politico-military security. They stress the importance, for those engaged in con-
structing a secure environment, of sustainable development patterns, democratization and
human rights as security guarantees.5
These considerations seem particularly relevant to the situation of the Eastern
Caribbean microstates currently very much challenged by the forces of change in the global
political economy. Contemporary developments endanger their economic survival, and the
maintenance of open, stable, political systems in effect, the security guarantees mentioned
The 1980's left OECS governments and societies with a deeper understanding of
their vulnerability as microstates in the international community, an awareness of the
economic, environmental and socio-cultural dimensions of this vulnerability, as well as the
political and military risks. They were also agreed on the need for a variety of responses,
including political and diplomatic strategies, national and regional arrangements and the
importance of utilizing external support, when necessary, to complement their very limited
We shall survey the main security-related developments of the last five years, and
the responses of the countries concerned. We argue that the basic threat scenarios which
emerged at the end of the 1980's have not changed substantially. Instead, they have
intensified, and now present a clearer picture of the security agenda for the OECS as they
enter the 21'st century. These issues are listed as environmental threats, narcotrafficking,
global economic shifts, and the complex influence of all these factors on domestic political
and social stability in the OECS territories. The complexity of some of these issues has been
compounded, to some extent, by the need to adjust to U.S. security perspectives and
solutions, which may not always reflect the priorities of the OECS territories themselves.
The most significant threats confronting them are mainly non-military and transnational in
nature, but with extremely destabilizing domestic consequences. In general, OECS actors
exercise diminishing control over the sources of insecurity which they confront, and they
rely heavily on assistance from regional or international support systems when available.
The continuity of some of the support systems is in question.
THE EVOLUTION OF SECURITY PERCEPTIONS IN THE OECS
One can distinguish four different phases in the development of security con-
sciousness in the Eastern Caribbean. The first phase spanned the 1960's and most of the
1970's. At that time, the threat perceptions of most Commonwealth Caribbean territories
centred on the questions of small size and political and economic viability. Major external
security threats were experienced only by Guyana and Belize, the two mainland members
of Caricom. Another issue pertaining specifically to the island territories surfaced in the
1960's. This was the risk of secession in multi-island states, as in the case of St. Kitts-
Nevis-Anguilla in 1967. In general, traditional security considerations did not feature
highly on the agendas of Caricom political actors until the late 1970's.
At that time, a series of events which included an attempted coup in Dominica
(1978), a foiled mercenary invasion of Barbados (1978), an uprising in St. Vincent (1979)
and the overthrow of the Gairy government in Grenada (1979), rapidly changed the threat
perceptions of Eastern Caribbean governments. This led to the signing of an agreement on
mutual security cooperation, between Barbados and the independent members of the
OECS, in 1982. The resulting Regional Security System (RSS) was intended to cover a
whole range of contingencies, including natural disasters and coast guard operations.7
However, in this phase the participating governments were concerned primarily with
domestic instability and with mercenaries.
There was a qualitative change in the Eastern Caribbean security climate in 1983,
precipitated by the counter-coup in Grenada, and the US/Caribbean invasion of the island.
Those events marked the beginning of a much stronger US military involvement in the area,
and the superimposition of American strategic objectives on the local security agenda. The
period was characterized by a marked degree of militarization. US military assistance rose
from US$100,000 per annum in 1982 to US$5.6 million per annum in 1985-1987.
However, there was some ambivalence among the RSS member states themselves about the
scale of the security infrastructure that they required, 9 and donor reluctance to commit
themselves to funding ambitious expansion plans of the RSS.
So, by 1987, there was a more modest design for regional security arrangements.
Only Barbados and Antigua retained Defence Forces and St. Kitts and Nevis have now
re-established one since the change of government in June 1995. In the other territories,
there are small, specially trained paramilitary units of the police force, and coastguard units.
Likewise, in ensuing years, there has been a shift in the focus of activity to training in
disaster preparedness, maritime policing of various types and narcotics interdiction. This
reflects both the priorities of the RSS countries themselves, and the security priorities of the
donor countries, particularly the United States, their major partner in annual military
Present-day Security Developments
Recent publications by the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London
and by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute show that military spending in
the Caribbean fell by over 60% between 1985 and 1994. While this relates to the region as
a whole, figures for Eastern Caribbean countries like Barbados and Trinidad suggest
defence spending cuts in the order of 19% and 16% respectively. I This has happened
despite the 1990 coup attempt by the Jamaat al Muslimeen movement in Trinidad, which
triggered renewed discussions among Caricom Heads of Government about a tighter
system of collective security. 12 One may attribute the significant reductions in military
expenditure to various factors. These include cutbacks in U.S. military assistance after
reaching its highest levels in 1987, 13 added to Caribbean countries' structural adjustment
programmes and budgetary restrictions during the past decade. Another contributing factor
may be the changed global strategic conditions since the start of the 1990's. The latter,
however, does not indicate a significant diminishing of threat scenarios for the Eastern
Caribbean countries, and especially for the OECS. Our survey of security-related events
between 1992 and the present suggests the contrary.
In the 1990's, the potential for natural disasters is turning out to be extremely high
among the OECS territories. This is actually not unexpected, since it fits in with UNEP
warnings of the Caribbean's current vulnerability to climate change and sea level rise. 14 In
1994 and 1995, for example, the OECS territories experienced their most devastating series
of hurricanes for several years.
In September 1994, Tropical Storm Debbie destroyed 40% of the banana produc-
tion of the Windward Islands. In Saint Lucia it was estimated that the banana industry
would not return to full production before September 1995, with a projected loss of export
earnings of EC$32 million.15 This was followed in August and September 1995 by one
tropical storm and two hurricanes, which collectively battered most of the Windward and
In their aftermath in the Windward Islands, Dominica had suffered an overall
decline of 20% 25% in its agricultural output and would not be in a position to export
bananas for the next twelve months. Total infrastructural and agricultural damage was
valued at US$65 million. It was estimated that this would result in a decline of 2% in the
GDP growth rate and a steep decline in government revenues for that year. In the Leeward
Islands, Antigua suffered US$300 million in damages to 70% of the tourism plant, housing
and infrastructure. It was estimated that there would be an overall decline of 20% in activity
in the country's key tourism sector for the 1995 1996 winter tourist season. St. Kitts and
Nevis registered US$149 million in infrastructural and agricultural losses. Preliminary
figures on Anguilla suggested damage in the amount of EC$100 million and a projected
decline in the GDP growth rate of almost 3%. 16 Most of these territories were again
affected, but less severely, by the passage of Hurricane Bertha in July 1996.
Another environmental misfortune began in Grenada, in 1995, with the appear-
ance of a major agricultural pest, the pink mealybug. This decimated at least 30% of the
cocoa crop, and halted Grenada's regional agricultural exports. The mealy bug later spread
throughout the Eastern Caribbean with devastating effects between 1995 and 1997 on food
crops, fruit trees and gardens, and on regional agricultural trade. Efforts to eliminate the
pest have depended largely on the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, and
its use of biological control programmes. By 1997, it was reported that these measures were
showing signs of success.17
However, by far the most catastrophic environmental crisis to occur in the Carib-
bean for almost a century started in Montserrat, in July 1995, where the main volcano,
Chances Peak in the Soufriere Hills, resumed activity after lying quiescent for approxi-
mately 400 years. It resulted in the evacuation of more than 40% of the population from the
Southern areas of the island, notably from Plymouth, at least six times between August
1995 and August 1997. By December 1995, after prolonged threats of a major eruption, all
significant economic activity in Montserrat had ground to a halt.
By August 1997, it had become obvious that this was not a short-term emergency.
Scientists predict ongoing volcanic activity in varying degrees of intensity in Montserrat for
about five years. The island's capital, Plymouth, has been destroyed, and the Southern
two-thirds of the island is no longer inhabited after a major eruption in June 1997 killed at
least 19 people. 18 Approximately 70% of the population has migrated to neighboring
islands or to Britain. To date the evacuation operations have been conducted and revised
development plans for Montserrat have been made, based on the assumption that a smaller
Northern section of the island would remain safe for habitation and would ultimately be
economically viable. However, the increasing violence of the eruptions in 1997 led to areas
in the "safe zone" being affected by ash and rock falls. These plans are therefore now in
question. In August 1997, the British government announced its willingness to evacuate the
population on a voluntary, rather than forced basis.
The Montserratian crisis has fuelled dissatisfaction, depression, political tensions
and a deteriorating social fabric among a population that has been living under refugee
conditions, in Montserrat or in surrounding islands, for the last two years. It has led to the
emergence of new political leaders and also to the premature departure from office of two
Chief Ministers, in October 1996 and in August 1997 20 It has stimulated far greater public
interest than before in the issues of administrative competence, corruption and the uses to
which disaster assistance funds are put. It has also generated tensions in the relationship
between the authorities in Montserrat and the British government over Britain's quantum of
assistance, overall commitment and policy towards the volcano-stricken island. It has
fuelled debate in the British Parliament over British policy towards its small island depend-
encies in general.21
Montserrat now faces a terrible dilemma which is reflected in the divided re-
sponses to the volcanic crisis. There is a degree of uncertainty in all the scientific projec-
tions about the duration or the degree of destructive force of the continuing eruptions.
Common sense and safety suggest the desirability of a total evacuation of the island, and
this may yet be the final outcome. At the same time, however, many in the island commu-
nity are reluctant to face the fearful implications of that solution -long term residence
elsewhere, temporary or permanent exile from an environmentally stricken island, absorp-
tion into other countries and societies, the loss of an integrated, distinct identity based on
their previous lives in an stable, viable territory.
Uncertainty and resistance have therefore produced short tern, ad hoc responses
to the crisis, in which families have been split up and children scattered throughout the
Caribbean and Britain, in limbo. More thought needs to be given to offering opportunities
for the re-establishment of viable and cohesive Montserratian communities elsewhere in the
Caribbean and primarily in the OECS islands, to focusing the rehabilitation efforts and
resources on providing the necessary physical and social infrastructure for such communi-
ties which may have to be there for a very long time.
The Montserrat authorities, on the other hand, have been desperate to demonstrate
that Montserrat itself is still viable, still a "going concern", both economically and in terms
of adequate land space, water and clean air in the North of the island. Their main objective
has been to attract investment into providing the over 1000 housing units that are needed,
and into the construction of a new capital. 22 The British government has been reluctant to
commit itself to this project in the face of the ever more violent and destructive volcanic
eruptions, focusing instead on short term packages meant to assist with relocation of
individuals and families elsewhere. By September 1997, however, the Montserrat authori-
ties had obtained substantial support from Britain for their redevelopment plans. Caribbean
governments and societies have offered support in various ways, and have basically been
sympathetic to the concerns of the Montserratian leadership. However, the stark reality
remains and has to be dealt with: it is increasingly doubtful whether very large areas of this
very small island will be habitable for the next few decades. Montserrat's former thriving
economy was based on agriculture, tourism and a prosperous offshore financial sector.
None of these economic activities can be re-established on a significant scale in the short to
medium term. Economic viability therefore is a major question and Montserrat's future
population will probably rely heavily on remittances from abroad for economic survival.
Most Montserratians can never be fully compensated for the loss of their lives' work,
property and productive investment.
For the Caribbean as a whole, and for Montserrat's fellow OECS memberstates in
particular, the eruption of the Soufriere Hills has been a stark reminder of the region's
ever-present vulnerability to volcanic activity....the fact that eruptions can not only take
place, but can annihilate entire communities or small islands. Moreover, given the proxim-
ity of the islands, such an occurrence in one territory has spill-over effects on its closest
neighbours, not only in terms of receiving evacuees but also in terms of the environmental
effects like ash falls, climatic disturbances and the possibility of tidal waves.
It offers major lessons in disaster management, particularly in coordinating and
administering responses to the long term displacement of the population. It has triggered a
greater emphasis on Volcanic Emergency Planning within the Caribbean Disaster Emer-
gency Response Agency (CDERA), and a proposal for the expansion of the Seismic
Research Unit at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, which monitors
Finally, it has underscored the region's interdependence and collective responsi-
bility for seeking both short and long term solutions to the Montserratian volcanic crisis.
Montserratian evacuees, particularly the island's children, are now stationed throughout the
rest of the Caribbean. It is the responsibility of their host societies to offer adequate housing,
health, educational and employment facilities. It has also shown, yet again, the OECS
territories' considerable dependence on external sources of assistance for economic, infras-
tructural and technical support in the face of a disaster of this magnitude.
A number of observations can be made about all these developments. The first,
and most obvious, is that they really highlight the extent of the subregion's vulnerability to
a range of different environmental factors. Most of the events demonstrated that within
hours, island economies could be devastated, indeed entire communities destroyed, by
unanticipated forces over which they have no control. The fragility of OECS economies,
and the close links between the physical environment and the main productive sectors of
agriculture and tourism, have been thrown into even sharper relief. Secondly, in each case,
while playing a responsive role, regional capabilities have been insufficient to meet all the
needs of the disaster zones. The OECS territories have had to rely heavily on the assistance
and support of United Nations agencies, the United States, British forces in the case of
Montserrat, and economic relief from the European Union. They will continue to need such
external assistance for the foreseeable future.
Ironically, such heightened vulnerability to natural disasters and their disastrous
economic effects occurs at a time of waning donor interest in the Eastern Caribbean. The
latter is indicated both by the 1995 closure of the sub-regional USAID office, and by the
current debate on the future of the European Union/Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Group coop-
eration after the expiry of the Lome IV Convention in 2000. The European Development
Fund financial cooperation under Lome has been a significant source of disaster relief
assistance, and of compensatory funding to meet shortfalls in export earnings when the
banana industry has been temporarily disabled by hurricanes.
The short to medium term scenario is that Caribbean countries will have to rely to
a much greater extent on their own meagre resources, and plan for disasters on an ongoing
basis. This underscores the importance of further augmenting the national and regional
disaster preparedness plans and machinery. 24 A priority objective should be the estab-
lishment of national, or subregional insurance funds specifically designed to provide
emergency public funding in the wake of natural disasters.
Another increasing source of instability is the global narcotics industry, in which
the Caribbean plays a prominent role, primarily by providing trans-shipment facilities to
Europe and North America. The 1997 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
names the Eastern Caribbean as a key transit zone, second only to Mexico, for the transport
of drugs to the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency estimates that up to 40%
of the cocaine reaching the U.S. market and one-third of drug shipments to Britain come via
the Eastern Caribbean. 25
The sub-region has many advantages for the narcotics industry, including its
geographic characteristics, isolated, inadequately policed coastlines and territorial waters,
large-scale tourist movements, small administrations and economic need. 26 Since 1994,
reports of drug trafficking activities have included all the OECS territories, but they
especially single out Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as
trans-shipment points, money-laundering centres, or production sites for marijuana. They
also document the growing incidence of local drugs consumption, related criminal activity,
official corruption and infiltration of the political systems by narcotics traffickers. 27
Events in St. Kitts in 1994-95 graphically demonstrated some of the destabilizing
political and social effects of the narcotics trade. A series of drugs-related murders in
October and November 1994 led to the resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister, and
contributed indirectly to riots and a prison rebellion in November of that year. In the latter
instance, the government requested assistance from the Regional Security System to restore
order. The series of events discredited the People's Action Movement (PAM) government,
and were a major factor leading up to its electoral defeat in July 1995.28
The themes of narcotrafficking and official corruption overlaid other causes of
political disaffection. Early elections in 1995 satisfied popular perceptions of the need for
political change in the country, and restored stability. However, there are deeper narcotics-
related issues that cannot be resolved by elections alone. These include persistent allega-
tions of drugs-related investment in the commercial and tourist sectors and the possibility
of growing dependence on this source of income 29 Likewise, the recent cycle of events
has raised the issue of the effectiveness of the police force in dealing with heightened
criminality, increased availability of weapons and civil disturbances. Both the present and
past administrations, in various ways, have acknowledged its inadequacies and have been
addressing the need for reorganization and the provision of greater training. 30
While considerable media attention was focused on St. Kitts, elections in St.
Vincent in 1994 were also overshadowed by allegations of narcotics-related financing of
both political parties. A U.S. State Department report in 1995 named St. Vincent as the
second largest marijuana producer in the Caribbean for 1994. 'lGenerally in the 1990's
there has been consistent evidence of rising marijuana cultivation in all four Windward
Islands. 32 The trend is likely to continue, as the banana industry, battered by a multiplicity
of environmental, political and economic problems, becomes less and less competitive in
the export markets of the European Union, and farmers look for an alternative cash crop.
Finally, Antigua has provided the clearest instances to date of high-level involve-
ment in narcotrafficking and related activities. In June 1995, the Prime Minister's brother
was convicted on charges of intent to transfer cocaine. 33Earlier, in 1989-90, Antigua had
been the focus of an arms trafficking scandal, in which ten tons of weapons and ammuni-
tion, supposedly for the Antigua Defence Force, were shipped to the Cali drug cartel in
Colombia. Antiguan officials implicated in facilitating the operation included a government
minister, the commanding officer of the Antigua Defence Force and customs officials.34 In
the recent US State Department narcotics surveys, Antigua is listed as a storage site and
staging area for the Cali drug cartel, and an attractive target for money-launderers, given its
offshore banking industry. One should note, however, that since December 1996, the
Antiguan government has passed stringent anti-money laundering laws, and five Russian
offshore banks on the island were closed in February 1997, evidencing a new official
resolve to address the issue of money laundering. 35
These are cogent examples of the extent to which the global narcotics industry has
infiltrated the political structures, societies, and economies of the OECS. While it may offer
rapid growth and substantial earnings for its beneficiaries in the short term, it brings with it
the certainty of longer term political and social upheaval. Analysts now raise the prospect
of "narcodemocracies" in the region, in which international drug barons and their local
counterparts dictate political and social agendas, with the support of sectors of the popula-
tion which depend on the proceeds of the industry. The prospect is increasingly plausible in
the light of the decline of traditional economic sectors and the failure of most non-tradi-
tional exports to fill the vaccuum.
Most observers stress the complex, multidimensional nature of the drugs phe-
nomenon, which requires counter measures to be correspondingly multidimensional.
They should include public education and rehabilitation for local drug users, military and
legal interdiction and alternative income-generating activities. No OECS territory possesses
the resources or the capabilities to undertake such programmes singly. Even working
collectively through regional institutions, their efforts would require much external support
to be effective. Despite the need for multidimensional programmes, within subregional as
well as national institutions, the drugs problem continues to be addressed primarily as an
Interdiction is therefore the sphere of action that has been pursued most vigorously
up to now, in close collaboration with the United States. The RSS has focused its activities
increasingly on narcotics interdiction, and participates in a Regional Maritime Movement
Information System. All the OECS states have now acceded to the 1988 U.N. Convention
against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. They all signed
extradition treaties with the United States in 1996 and most have mutual legal assistance
treaties. Most also have legislative provisions for the seizure of assets of those implicated in
narcotics-related activities. Antigua's new money-laundering legislation is the latest addi-
tion to the array of legal instruments against narcotics-related activity that the United States
has helped to instigate. Finally and perhaps most significantly, in 1995 all the OECS states
signed Shiprider agreements with the U.S., adding overflight amendments in 1996.8 These
agreements give the U.S. the right to police their territorial waters, board and search ships
there suspected of carrying drugs shipments.
US drug reports note that the regional system has been moderately successful in
narcotics enforcement in the mid-1990's. The 1997 Report claims that the bilateral mari-
time cooperation accords resulted in 14 successful interdiction operations in 1996. Despite
their ever tighter security coordination, however, the U.S. reports still voice criticism of the
sub-region's judicial system. 39 The most recent developments in anti-narcotics cooperation
emerged out of the Caribbean-U.S. Summit in Barbados, in May 1997, in which the final
agreement included extensive further plans for cooperation in the fields of justice and
security. The areas named included arms trafficking, deportation of criminals, modern-
ization of criminal justice systems and programmes for the protection of witnesses, jurors
and law enforcement/judicial officers. 40
OECS governments also work in conjunction with the United Kingdom and with
France. Both countries conduct enforcement and control programmes in their Caribbean
territories of Anguilla, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands (members or associate
members of the OECS), and in Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint Martin, which are
geographically close to OECS states. Coordination between the US and EU memberstates,
notably France, Britain and the Netherlands, on the interdiction of drug trafficking and
money laundering in the Caribbean, was increased in 1996. 41All the developments of the
last three years point to a major policy shift among EU memberstates and the United States
vis-a-vis the Eastern Caribbean one which is based on a perception of the sub-region as a
high priority area for narcotics-related security activity.
Programmes to combat demand, however, or to develop alternative sources of
income generation have been woefully inadequate. Neither can be meaningfully developed
without external assistance. The United States concentrates its assistance firmly on interdic-
tion. 42 The European Union is more receptive to such policies, both in its domestic
anti-narcotics programmes, and in international cooperation. However, while the EU par-
ticipates in a number of projects with Latin America and Asia in its North-South Pro-
gramme for Cooperation on Drug Abuse Control, its aid to the Caribbean in this respect has
been limited 6% of the global total between 1987 and 1991, and 2% of the total in 1992 43
European Development Funds under Lome IV can be used to finance narcotics demand
control programmes...although few ACP governments allocated the resources for this
purpose under the first part of Lome IV In fact, the European Commission has urged a
greater emphasis on cooperation in the area of narcotics control programmes during the
latter part of Lome IV Up to mid-1995, one OECS territory, Grenada, was known to be
involved in the preparation of such a programme. 45
Another major area of vulnerability for the OECS is generated by the current
"systemic changes in global trade relations", 46 and the consequences for their principal
agricultural exports. The most immediate focus of such concerns is the Windward Islands
banana industry. This accounts for between 60% and 90% of the export earnings of Saint
Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica, and for a smaller proportion of
Grenada's export earnings. There are 11,000 banana farmers in the Windward Islands, and
the industry provides employment for some 53,000 people. 47
From the late 1970's to 1990, banana exports to the European Community took
place under the very favourable preferential marketing conditions established by the Ba-
nana Protocols of successive Lome Conventions. Production expanded by more than 250%
between 1981 and 1990 48 and the banana industry became one of the chief generators of
economic growth and social welfare for significant sectors of the populations in the
producing states. However, with the establishment of the Single European Market in 1993,
the banana marketing regime underwent a number of modifications. Under the new regime,
ACP preferences were maintained on a transitional basis until the year 2002, but Windward
Island bananas now had to struggle to maintain their market share in Europe against the
more competitive Latin American producers. 49 Even this temporary concession has now
been cut short by the United States' successful legal challenge to the EU 1993 banana
market regime, mounted within the World Trade Organization, on the grounds that it was
discriminatory to US fruit multinationals. 50 Caribbean banana producers can now expect
an early dismantling of the EU transitional banana marketing regime, well before the end of
As part of the package that was negotiated for the transitional marketing regime,
the Windward Islands received technical and financial assistance for restructuring the
banana industry. From 1994-1996, they were also eligible for income support funds to deal
with temporary market disturbances resulting from the new regime. 51 Nonetheless, the
changed circumstances of the banana sector have set in train a series of destabilizing
economic, political and social events since 1993. Banana retail prices in their traditional
markets began to fall in 1993, and there was a precipitous drop in 1995. Prices were halved
during the first half of that year, and were halved again by September 1995. 52 Low prices
led to reduced production in all the territories, and this was compounded by the devastation
and disruption from hurricanes in 1994 and 1995.
Under these circumstances, the implementation of a serious restructuring pro-
gramme is a difficult exercise. Restructuring is, in itself, another cause of instability and
uncertainty, since it involves rationalizing and scaling down the industry to retain only its
most competitive elements. There has been related upheaval in both the internal and
external production and marketing structures, particularly in Dominica and Saint Lucia.
The downturn in the banana industry and the recent spate of natural disasters have
caused a considerable decline in the economic performance of the OECS states. In 1993,
gross earnings from the banana industry contracted greatly, and this trend has continued.
Growth rates in the Windward Islands, adversely affected by reduced agricultural output,
declined to quite modest figures from 1993 onwards. 53 For most of the OECS, tourism is
now the remaining dynamic economic sector, and unemployment levels have risen. To
compound these economic problems, the damage resulting from the 1995 hurricane season
was estimated to generate sizeable new budgetary deficits. 54 It should also be noted that by
January 1995, Antigua, formerly the country with one of the highest growth rates within the
OECS grouping, had embarked on a structural adjustment programme, designed to reduce
public expenditure and service its heavy external debt.
The short to medium term economic outlook for the OECS states is not-promising.
Not only is there the need to recover lost ground from the current misfortunes, but there is
the huge challenge of adjustment to a permanent shift in their trade and aid relationship with
the European Union after the year 2000. Likewise, the OECS have now all been graduated
from the concessional facilities of the international financial agencies, and USAID has
reduced its presence in the Eastern Caribbean. The result is reduced access to external
support in the future, while the key to sustained development is still elusive. Economic
restructuring and diversification, the search for new markets within a liberalized hemi-
spheric trading system, the struggle to maintain a niche in traditional markets are all
processes which are exerting tremendous pressures within the domestic socio-political
environments, with inevitable implications also for the regional institutions of the Eastern
The growth of illicit narcotics-related activities, in tandem with the decline of
preferential markets for Eastern Caribbean agricultural products, provide separate, but
related examples of the contradictions between the interests of Caribbean states and the
United States. Neither the US reliance primarily on interdiction approaches to the drugs
problem, nor the US diplomatic and legal campaign against the EU preferential banana
regime coincides with the interests of Caribbean states. Peter Andreas argues that the two
main US policy agendas in Latin America and the Caribbean, namely neoliberal market
reforms and narcotics interdiction, work at cross purposes. Narcotics interdiction pro-
grammes promote a strong interventionist state, while neoliberalism reduces and weakens
the role of the state. It would appear that "neoliberalism ...stimulates... the very illegal
market which the USA is attempting to prohibit" Recent economic trends in the OECS
countries endorse this conclusion.55
Impact on the Political Process
The most immediate consequence of the economic uncertainties has been the
growing public dissatisfaction manifested with the political directorates, and with the
public institutions that manage various economic sectors. In 1995, elections in Grenada,
Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis resulted in new administrations in all three countries.
Their predecessors had held office for some twelve years. There were leadership changes in
Saint Lucia in the two main political parties in 1995 96, followed by a sweeping electoral
victory for the Saint Lucia Labour Party in May 1997 It had been in opposition for 16
More significantly, the process of political change, and the relations between the
populace and the former administrations in various OECS territories have been fraught with
the tensions of economic upheaval and, in many cases, narcotics-related violence. This was
evidenced in the events leading up to the 1995 elections in St. Kitts and Nevis. Likewise,
Antigua's launch of a programme of structural adjustment in January 1995 led to strikes and
demonstrations in February and March of that year over new taxation measures. General
levels of criminality increased, creating the need for greater policing in the tourist sector in
particular, Antigua's chief source of revenue.
Saint Lucia provides another example of increased political tensions. The country
experienced an intensifying wave of strikes and confrontations in the banana industry, and
in the public sector from 1993 onwards. In January and in February 1995, there were two
strikes in the banana industry. 56 There were also three public sector work stoppages,
culminating in a month-long strike in June. The political tensions in 1995 were heightened
by a public enquiry into the misappropriation of United Nations funds by government
officials. The overwhelming scale of the SLP's electoral victory in 1997 attests to the
magnitude of public disaffection that had been exacerbated by the increasing problems in
the banana industry. 57
In Dominica, although there has not been any comparable incidence of public
discontent, the incoming government moved in 1995 to disband the Banana Growers'
Association and bar it from being the official representative of the banana farmers...presum-
ably in the context of effecting major changes through the restructuring of the industry.
Finally, in St. Kitts and Nevis, the political as well as economic developments of
the last few years have led to a resurgence of the old separatist tensions between the two
islands. Despite the mediation efforts of Caricom and OECS institutions as well as pro-
tracted domestic discussions on constitutional reform, the Nevis Island Administration, in
June 1996, initiated the parliamentary procedures which may lead to a referendum in 1998
or 1999 on secession from St. Kitts 58 The process is fuelled by internal political
developments, economic rivalry, suspicion and a spiral ofmisperceptions among key actors
in the two islands. Despite clear prognoses from a variety of internal and external sources
on the negative effects of secession for both islands, 59 the proposal evokes strong popular
support in Nevis. A major diplomatic and administrative offensive as well as rapid and
far-reaching constitutional reform will be necessary to avert a referendum outcome that
would endorse the break-up of the two-island federation.
The St. Kitts and Nevis secession issue currently attracts limited public attention
in the rest of the Caribbean region. Yet it has many disturbing implications, first and
foremost for the territorial integrity and the long term political and economic security of a
country which is already one of the world's most diminutive states. The viability of either
St. Kitts or Nevis alone is questionable. Moreover, ifNevis were to successfully succeed, it
could destabilize relations within many other multi-island states within the region, and
particularly within the OECS sub-region, namely St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada
and Antigua and Barbuda. 60
These developments signal an end to a decade of relative economic and political
calm in the OECS countries. The recent levels of instability and challenges to administra-
tive authorities are reminiscent of the period immediately following independence -an
earlier period of transition for most OECS countries. Thus far, elections have continued to
offer an outlet for some of the tensions. Nonetheless, far greater pressures are being placed
on the institutions of public order. OECS authorities face the imperative of channeling their
resources and energies into managing confrontation and maintaining public order, while
they also have the urgent task of thinking out and building new economic bases for survival.
The present process of political change also has an impact on subregional organi-
zations. There is an undeniable need for the Eastern Caribbean territories to pool their
limited human and financial resources in various areas of public administration. During the
past 15 years, the organs of the OECS, established for this purpose, have attained a
remarkable degree of institutionalization and have functioned effectively, to the point
where the participating territories have been able to collaborate closely in the two vital
spheres of monetary policy and security policy. The entire evolution of the process of
integration was greatly facilitated by the personal ties, understanding and cooperation that
existed among the small, close-knit group of veteran political leaders between 1981 and the
Today, the OECS has a number of new administrations. Although they may have
previously worked together in the regional grouping of opposition parties, SCOPE, they are
in the process of building working relationships in their new capacity as incumbent
governments. They are acquainting themselves much more closely than before with the
regional institutions, and to some extent, with the tasks of regional governance. The OECS
also has new internal leadership.
This offers the opportunity for organizational renewal. The OECS Secretariat has
already embarked on the task of internal restructuring, relocation of some offices and
reallocation of functions, in response to a reduced budget and a perception of new regional
needs. 61 The organization has the challenge, therefore, of rebuilding the former leadership
consensus as well as redefining its role and relevance for the member states in a changed
and threatening socio-economic environment. -The quality of the relationship among the
members of its new political directorate as well as their relationship with the Secretariat will
be vital for the continuity of subregional cooperation.
Public institutions and the social fabric of the OECS territories face possibly their
most serious threat from the creeping onslaught of the international narcotics industry. It
has tremendous potential to corrupt most administrative sectors, to irreparably weaken the
state apparatus, and to criminalize entire societies. 62 Given the growing paucity of eco-
nomic alternatives for most OECS states, it is easy to visualize their deepening involvement
in narcotics production and trans-shipment a trend already signalled in the U.S. State
Department International Narcotics Reports.
It is useful to return at this point to the conceptions of security borrowed from
Weiss, McFarlane and Buzan, in order to determine where the OECS countries stand, in
relation to this yardstick. They emphasize the importance of economic, legal and environ-
mental security, as well as political and military security. Buzan defines a secure status as
being the ability to maintain functional integrity against forces of change.
While we are in agreement with these definitions of a secure state and society, they
seem somewhat unattainable and removed from the realities of the global environment for
microstates at the present time. In this article, we have argued that the Eastern Caribbean
territories currently face an era of deepening insecurity. The causes of their insecurity are
structural, rooted in the changing international political economy and in changing global
climatic conditions, both of which intensify their vulnerability. Moreover, neither of these
root causes is amenable to conventional military or political solutions.
In the case of climatic/environmental threats, the degree of vulnerability may be
somewhat reduced by comprehensive disaster preparedness programmes and networks. In
the future, the territories will also require new sources of funding to offset the damage
caused by natural disasters. A much larger portion of such funding will have to be generated
by the countries themselves, namely by national or regional insurance schemes set up for
that purpose. Regional cooperative institutions are an indispensable element to address
The other sources of insecurity are profoundly interactive, with economic vulner-
ability at the root of all the other problems. We are well aware of the OECS territories' acute
dependence on externalities. Up until now, they have enjoyed a relatively benign buffer of
preferential export markets, and significant levels of development assistance. Both eco-
nomic security and political stability have been premised on the existence of such condi-
tions. In the future, the closure of these options dictates the need to exploit other
possibilities for economic survival. Unless the OECS are able to demonstrate, in the near
future, competitiveness in a range of non-traditional exports, their only options may be
labour remittances, tourism, tax havens, drugs trans-shipment and money laundering. 63
These are the niches into which they are being forced by neoliberal economic transforma-
tions, and by the processes of globalization of the international economy.
Narcotics and money laundering, in particular, imply a stark trade-oll between
short-term economic survival and societal stability. They imply the weakening of the state
and its inability to perform one of its fundamental functions, the maintenance of some
minimum acceptable levels of internal 'urity for its citizens. In addition, the entire
process of socio-economic adjustment iin i which the OECS territories now find themselves
is leading to an erosion of political consensus and greater confrontation between the
administrations and other actors within their societies. All these factors may ultimately
exert a negative influence on democratic structures and human rights in the various
It is clear, therefore, that maintaining functional integrity in the face of major
forces of change is a supreme challenge for the Eastern Caribbean. Weiss and McFarlane
speak of sustainable development as a significant security guarantee. It is still an open
question as to what sustainable development really means for micro-states. 6In the OECS,
as in many other micro-entities, survival and development strategies have, until now, meant
heavily dependent development, in the form of preferential export markets and develop-
ment assistance flows. 65 The international political and economic environment no longer
favours those forms of dependence, and new development strategies have to be identified.
Long term security, therefore, dictates thinking through, and successfully applying
the concept of sustainable development, in the particular context of the Caribbean. In the
short term, however, security measures will entail continued cooperation with external
powers and the maintenance of mechanisms of regional cooperation, in the form of the
Regional Security System, and the organs and agencies of the Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States. Finally, it requires the protection of the islands' environmental resources,
the preservation as far as possible of some kind of social and nnlitical consensus within the
small societies of the Eastern Caribbean, and the development of their human resources to
the fullest extent possible.
Notes and References
Examples of these views include H. Haftendom, "The Security Puzzle: 'Theory-Building and Discipline-
Building in International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 35, 1991, pp.3-17; B. Buzan,
"New Patterns of Security in the Twenty-First Century", International Affairs, Vo7.67, No.3, 1991,
pp.431-451. A recent article that cogently sums up contemporary global security issues is M. Klare, "Rede-
fining Security: the New Global Schisms", Current History, November 1996, Vol. 95, No. 604, pp. 353 -
2. For a useful discussion of the changed scenarios and new needs, see the Introduction to SIPRI Yearbook
1996: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, Oxford University Press,Oxford, 1996, pp. I -
12. The Military Balance 1995-1996, IISS, London, 1995. Summary carried in Latin American Newslet-
ters Caribbean/Central American Report, January 1996. See also SIPRI Yearbook 1996, Op. Cit., p. 36-9,
for figures on military expenditure in the Caribbean for 1995.
3. See M. Klare op.cit. p354-355
4. B.Buzan, op.cit. p.4325 T. Weiss and S.N. McFarlane, The United Nations, Regional organizations and
Human Security: Building Theory in Central America", Third World Quarterly, Vol.15, NO, 2, June 1994
Central America pp.277-25.
6. Commonwealth Secretariat, Vulnerability: Small States in the Global Society, London, 1985 and N. Linton,
"International National And Regional Units to Enhance Security Through Exchange of Information and
Diplomacy in the Commonwealth Region Re-Visited", in A. Bryan, J. Greene, and T Shaw, eds. Peace
Development and Security in the Caribbean, MacMillan, Lond. 1990, pp257-280
7. For information on the Regional Security System, see Griffith, "The Regional Security System A Decade
of.Caribbean Collective Security",Caribbean Affairs, 1993, pp. 179-191, V Lewis,-F The Eastern Carib-
bean States: Fledgling Sovereignties in the Global Environment, in J. Dominguez et al, eds., Democracy
in the Caribbean: Poli.tical, Economic and Social Perspectives, Johns Hopkins University Press, Balti-
more 1993, pp.99-121.
8. See P Sutton, "U.S. Intervention, Regional Security and Militarization in the Caribbean", in A. Payne and P.
Sutton eds., Modern Caribbean Politics, lan Randle Publishers, Kingston Jamaica 1993, pp. 284-286.
9. There were plans to upgrade and expand RSS, at a cost of approximately US$100million. However this was
opposed by the Prime Minister of St. Vincent, joined eventually by other Windward Island leaders and
Barbados, on the grounds of budgetary costs and the fact that the creation of a large army had led to the
downfall of the Grenadian regime. See Sutton, ibid
10. 1. Griffith, Op.cit., ppl87-88, lists training exercises since 1987 that have focused primarily on civil de-
fence, disaster relief, Coast guard review, civilian evacuations during volcano eruptions, search and rescue
operations and drug interdiction.
The Military Balance 1995-96, IISS, London, 1995. Summary carried in Latin American Newsletters Carib-
bean/Central America Report, January, 1996. See also SIPRI Yearbook 1996, op.cit., p369, for figures on
military expenditure in the Caribbean for 1995.
12 I. Griffith, op.Cit., p. 179.
13 P.Sutton, op.cit
14. UNEP Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in the Wider Caribbean, Background paper for the Preparatory
Sessions on SIDS Conference, July 1993, quoted in D. Pantin, The Economics of Sustainable Developemnt
in Small Caribbean Islands, UWICED, Jamaica, 1994, p.17
15. Caribbean Insight,, October 1994, March 1995
16 Caribbean Insight, October 1995, Caribbean/Central American Regional Report, Jan5, 1996, see also "Spe-
cial Report: Hurricane Luis in the Caribbean Caribbean Disaster News, September 1995; "The Eco-
nomic Impact of Recent Disasters in the Eastern Caribbean", Caribbean Disaster News. Jan. 1996,pp19-20
"The 1996 Hurricane Season in Review", Caribbean Disaster News, March 1977,ppl2-13
17. See Caribbean and Central America Report, 25 March, 1997
18. See Caribbean Insight, July 1977
19. The Guardian Weekly Vol- 157, No. 8 of August 24, 1997
20. For details of the 1996 political tensions, see Caribbean and Central America Report, 12 December 996,
21 The Guardian Weekly, Vol 157, No. 9 of August 31, 1997.
22. Caribbean Disaster News, March 1997, p5
23. Caribbean Disaster News, March 1997, pp5-7
24. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response (CDERA), formed in 1991, is the major regional institution
engaged in the coordination of disaster management activities. It has worked to improve the capabilities of
the national disaster machinery in each member territory. Nine of its 16 members are either OECS states
or associate members. disaster response initiatives There are also other more recent proposals such as
Mexico'sproposal to establish a Caribbean Regional Network for Disaster Reduction in the Caribbean.
See Caribbean Disaster News, March 1997, p21
25. International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, State Department, Bureau for Intenational Narcotics and
Law Enforcement Affairs, Washington, March 1997, summarized in Caribbean and Central America Re-
port, 25 March 1997, pp. 2-3.
26. US Department of State, International Narcotics Report, Washington D.C., April 1994, excerpts of which
are carried in Caribbean Affairs, Vol.7, No.4, September/October 1994, pp.41-77.
27. International Narcotics Reports, Ibid, April 1994, and March 1995; See also Caribbean and Central Ameri-
can Report, 6 April 1995, Caribbean Insight April 1995, Klaus de Albuquerque "Drugs and the Carib-
bean", Caribbean Week, Jan.20, 1996, Feb.3, 1996.
28. Caribbean Insight, November and December 1994, July and September 1995, Caribbean Week, Feb. 3, 1996
29. See Caribbean Week, five part series on Drugs in the Caribbean by Klaus Albuquerque, Jan-Feb 1996,
30 The process began under the former administration, in May 1995, when they contacted officials from the
British police to re-organise and retrain their own Criminal Investigation Department, after the murders
and political riots in 1994-5. In July 1995, the new Labour administration signalled its own priorities of
tackling the issue of weapons availability, and of depoliticizing the police force. Refer to Caribbean In-
sight, June and September 1995.
31. Caribbean and Central Report, 6 April 1995, p.72.
32. See 1997 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Op.Cit
33. Caribbean Insight, June 1995
34. For details see A. Maingot, "The Offshore Caribbean", in Payne and Sutton, op.Cit., pp259-276; R.Sanders,
"The Drug Problem: Policy Options for Caribbean Countries", Dominguez et al Op.Cit., pp229-237
3 See Caribbean and Central America Report, March 1997, p.3.
36. See, for example, 1. Griffith and T. Munroe, "Drugs and Democracy in the Caribbean", Journal of Common-
wealth and Comparative Politics, Vol.33, No.3, November 1995, pp.357-376.
37. Griffith, "Drugs and World Politics, The Caribbean Dimension', The Round Table, No. 332, 1994, pp.419-
38. See International Narcotics Reports, Op. cit. 1994 and 1997; also I. Griffith, "Drugs and World Politics: the
Caribbean Dimension', Op.Cit., p.429.
39. See 1997 Report in Caribbean and Central America Report, Op. cit., March 1997, p.3.
40. See Caribbean Insight. June 1997, pp. 1, 12.
41. See article by David Jessop, Sunday Observer (Jamaica), March 24. 1996
42. Recent commitments contained in the Plan of Action resulting from the Barbados US-Caribbean Summit in
May 1997, at least pay lip service to the notions of demand reduction and non-military measures. How-
ever, it is too early to assess their significance.
43. Commission of the European Communities, Progress Report: Programme of North-South Cooperation on
Drug Abuse Control, Brussels, 8 June 1993, CV-dd-744rev.2, p.3.
44. Commission of the European Communities, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the
European Parliament on a.European Union Action Plan to Combat Drugs 1995-1999, COM(94) 234 fi-
nal, Brussels, 23 June 1994, p.V
45. Communication from the Office of the Delegation of the Commission of the European Union in Jamaica,
March 15th 1995.
46. See Commonwealth Consultative Group on Small States, Commonwealth Small States and the Interna-
tional Trading System, CGSS(95)2, Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, London, March
47 Statement by former St. Lucian Prime Minister Johrt Compton, 7 July 1995, Caribbean/Central American
Report, August 1995.
48. Saint Lucia Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and cooperative, The Analysis of the Banana
Industry, PSUIMOA108194, Castries, Saint Lucia, 30 August 1994, p.3.
49 "Bananas: Victory for ACP/EC Producers", IPS Press Release, Strasbourg, April 8, 1992; Caribbean Insight,
50. See D. Jessop "EU/US Ridiculous Banana War" Sunday Observer, March 24, 1996, p.1 I; 'US to Challenge
EU Banana Import Regime in WTO", USIA Wireless File, September 29, 1995, p.14. Preliminary and fi-
nal WTO rulings against the banana regime are reported on in Caribbean and Central American Report,
25 March 1997 and 10 7une 1997.
51. See Council Regulation (EC) No.2686194 of31 October 1994, in Oficial Journal of the European Com-
munities, No.L 286/1.
52. Caribbean/Central American Regional Report, January 5 -1996.
53. Two sources consulted indicate a deteriorating trend in OECS growth rates. Indications are that the growth
rates have, in most cases, slowed considerably Saint Lucia, 1992 7.%, 1993 3.1%, Antigua 1993-
3.4%; Dominica, 1992 2.3%, 1993, 1.8%; St. Vincent, 1993 -1.3%. Figures taken from A Business
Man's Guide To The OECS 1995-96, KDK Publishers, St. John's Antigua, !995. A longer term view is
provided by ECLAC, which contrasts the differences between the average GDP figures for 1981-1990
and 1991-1996: St. Lucia: (81-90) 6.8%, (91-96) 3.4%, and in fact for 1995-96, St. Lucia's growth rate
slowed to 1.9%, St. Vincent: (81-90) 6.5%, (91-96) 3%; Grenada: (81-90) 4.9%, (91-96) 1.8%; Antigua:
(81-90) 6.4%, (91-96) 0.9%. See Caribbean and Central America Report, 14 January 1997, August 1997.
54. See "A Tough Year for the Caribbean Economies", Latin American Regional Report for the Caribbean and
Central America, January 5, 1996, p.5
55. P Andreas, "Free Market Reform and Drug Market Prohibition: US Policies at Cross-purposes in Latin
America', Third World Quarterly, Vol.16, No.l, 1995, pp.75-86.
56. The disruption in the banana sector has mainly been orchestrated by a new entity, the Banana Salvation
Committee, a group of dissident farmers who oppose the governments approach to the international nego-
tiations and decision-making on the future of the industry. See Caribbean Insight, January, March,
May,June and July 1995.
57. See reports on the landslide victory of the St Lucia Labour party on May 23 1997 in Caribbean and Cen-
tral America Report, 10 June 1997 and Caribbean Insight, June 1997.
58. See Caribbean Insight, February 1997.
59. See, for example, The Fiscal Impact of Secession, Caribbean Development Bank Economics and Program-
ming Department, Bridgetown, Barbados, September 1996.
60. Witness the recent tensions between St. Vincent and Petit Martinique in the Grenadines over the central gov-
ernment's authorization of the construction of a U.S. Coast Guard base on Petit Martinique. See.Carib-
bean and Central America Report, 6 May 1997.
61. See The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: Past and Present, OECS Secretariat, Castries, St Lucia,
62. It is reported in Caribbean Week, Jan. 20, 1996, that in St. Kitts, the serious crime rate increased from 1873
per 100.000 Population in 1989 to 2686 per 100,000 in 1993. Robberies increased eight-fold between
1990 and 1993,- in Antigua the 1994 homicide rate was triple that of 1990, and the robbery rate had more
than doubled in the same period, while wounding had increased by 383; in Saint Lucia, robberies in-
creased significantly between 1990 and 1994, while assaults seem to have increased dramatically from 57
in 1993 to 1017 in 1994. The latter figure is questioned, as there may have been a reporting error. In the
other OECS territories in the Eastern Caribbean, crime rates appear to have remained stable.
63. For more on the economic choices and strategies ofmicrostates, see G. Baldaccino "The Pseudo-Develop-
ment Strategies of Microstates", Development and Change, Vol.24,, No.1,, January1993, pp. 29-52.
64. See D. Pantin, Op.cit.
65. Baldaccino, op.Cit., p.39.
Engendering Caribbean Security:
National Security Reconsidered from a Feminist Perspective
International relations is a discipline concerned with the fate ofthe world; but the
world with which it deals is a fragmentary and distorted version of the world in which we
The cost [of gender bias in international relations] has been a discipline un-
equipped to comprehend the full range of causes that lie behind international events.
World War II had at least one cause linked specifically to issues of gender Hitler's
primary war aim was not military triumph but the establishment ofa new order in Germany
based on race and sex.2
I. Introduction: Internal and External Threats to Caribbean Security
One dilemma of the Caribbean security agenda lies in how we define Caribbean
security and decide what Caribbean security issues really are. 3 Are they about asserting our
sovereign rights in the face of US encroachment on our territorial waters, as in the case of
the Shiprider controversy in early 1997? Or is Caribbean security about protecting our
societies from the scourge of the drug trade and drug abuse? Is "security" only to encom-
pass those threats which come from outside? Obviously not, but it may have previously
been the tendency, or perhaps the temptation, of those working in Caribbean international
relations, to attempt to place our security concerns in the same context as those of the
mainstream international relations actors. This was a dangerous practice in that it prevented
our acknowledging that many if not most of our security issues are manifested internally,
within our countries. This dialectic has changed considerably with the shifts that have
taken place in the past ten years in the global arena. These shifts have brought about a new
understanding of security, so that mainstream international actors are themselves now
recognizing that they too must consider and counter both internal and external threats to
We are now, then, "allowed" to focus more on internal processes and their
implications for national security, without removing ourselves from the broader context,
and thus, perhaps, losing validity. However, though we may feel more justified in pointing
to internal dynamics in assessing security concerns, it is important that we not lose sight of
their international dimensions. That is, though many security problems in small states may
be manifested internally, their strings are pulled from outside national borders. Though the
exploration of internal security issues may be new to the mainstream, alternative perspec-
tives-such as a feminist perspective-have long asserted these claims and worked to
reveal their facets.
Perhaps one of the greatest ironies-and most telling features-of Caribbean
security issues is the fact that in Jamaica the security forces are fully deployed within
Jamaica, protecting national security interests from internal forces, rather than from exter-
nal threats. Relating this phenomenon to foreign policy is not difficult, however: foreign
policy in the Commonwealth Caribbean, certainly in Jamaica, generally has the objective of
economic development at its centre. International processes and actors strongly influence
economic development strategies. But many of these have been inappropriate or have
simply failed to realize economic growth, create employment, and reduce inflation. There-
fore social instability and its offspring, crime and violence, proliferate. Though the
Jamaican case may be unusually severe, it shows the extreme to which instability can have
Just as the quest for resources for economic development is primary on the
Caribbean foreign policy agenda, the fall out from increasing underdevelopment in many
countries is the source of the major internal security concerns of Caribbean countries, and
tops the security list. Issues of maritime protection, territorial boundaries (in the case of
Guyana and, until recently, Belize), and increasingly, the threats of the drug trade and its
concomitant implications for sovereignty, complete the security agenda of most, if not all,
Caribbean countries. Where the gap lies, then, is not so much in the identification of the
issues, but in the failure to address the multiple dimensions of these security concerns. All
of these issues have multiple facets, many of which are not revealed or considered from the
bureaucratic, foreign policy or mainstream academic points of view. Because of this gap,
there are crucial areas which are not included in security analysis, regarding the causes, the
effects, and the possible solutions. This essay brings the dimension of gender to the
security table, with the aim of showing how different the main security issues might look,
when viewed from a feminist perspective.
Feminist scholars are not the first to argue that the international relations main-
stream, including in the Caribbean, ignores critical analyses of international processes and
their national economic, social and political manifestations. A feminist perspective on
security asks two main questions-'What work is gender doing?' And, 'What about
women?' (Zalewski 1995). These questions force international relations analysts to look
not only at policies and strategies, and alliances and poles, but at structures and processes.
Ultimately, in looking at gender and at women, and how these are related to international
relations, we arrive at the end result of international relations: its effects on people.
What this suggests is that a feminist perspective of international relations will
bring a more holistic, perhaps truer, picture to light than would a sterile mainstream
perspective which does not account for the "gritty" details. s This is not to argue that only a
feminist perspective can reveal "tlie truth" but it is the only methodology which specifi-
cally considers gender and the role of women. In looking at gender, it is the only perspec-
tive which makes a pointed attempt to understand some of the most fundamental dynamics
underlying human organization and behaviour. By wanting to know about women, it is the
only perspective which recognizes that women experience life very differently from men,
yet it has been men's experience that has constituted the basis and polity of modern
enlightenment philosophy, upon which the social sciences, and the study and practice of
international relations, are constructed.
Hlow can feminism be applied to international relations in a practical and useful
way? What can feminist analysis bring to such International Relations concepts as security,
negotiation and mutlilateralism? What is the worth of considering Caribbean international
relations issues from a feminist perspective? What will it tell us that we do not already
know? These are the questions in the process of being answered through the rapidly
flourishing feminist international relations school. This article does two main things in
aiming to contribute to the discourse: first it outlines what has so far constituted the feminist
international relations approach to security; it then examines the main contemporary Carib-
bean security issues from a feminist perspective. The conclusion proposes alternative
security strategies for Caribbean states that would fulfill the feminist objective of a gender
II. The changing international security agenda
The achievement oj security a s as aliav been central to the norlmative concerns f/
international relations scholars [ b]ut dissatisfied with the traditional models ofmnatiornal
security, which focus exclusively on military security, certain scholars have begun to use
the term common security to envisage a type of security that is global and miullidilmensional
with political, economic, and ecological Jacets that are as important as its military diclmen-
J. Ann Tickner's comment usefully describes the transition that the mainstream
security agenda is, having to undergo since the end of the Cold War, and the demise of the
dominant realpolitik approach. Where the primary issues on the mainstream security
agenda were once arms pacts such as NATO, alignment of states either with the West or the
East and the armed strategies often employed to "encourage" or prevent alignment, and the
strength and capacity of one's military compared to the military of the "cnemy", these have
now had to make space for other, newer security concerns.
In a special issue of the journal Current History 1996, "Global security: the
human dimension" Michael T Klare expands on this fundamentally different approach.
Klare suggests that contemporary security concerns comprise environmental, demographic,
of military strength and potential cannot be put to rest when, in one not-so-isolated
example, Latin American countries are avidly pursuing arms deals with the US, seeking
security alliances with NATO, and insisting on a permanent seat on the UN Security
III. The Caribbean security equation
By security is meant the protection of the capacity to govern, preserve and
advance the state and its peoples consistent both with the core values of the polity and with
the principle of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states.8
Threats to security involve threats to territorial integrity, including aggression or
invasion by foreign state. establishmentt of foreign bases, sece. the use of one'
territory for unauthorized or illegal purpose, threats to political security including foreign
pressure for policy change, destabilization and subversion, ,xtraterritorial jurisdiction,
and undermining of social and cultural identity; economic security [including] the ability
to take actions and responsibility for improving economic conditions of the country.
Both of these definitions of security, the first written in the context of Eastern
Caribbean security and the second regarding small island "micro" states, regard security as
a predominantly external issue. Many of the security threats tabled above can be seen in the
Caribbean: in Belize and Guyana threats to territorial integrity, with new concerns in this
area cropping up in the present day "Shiprider" agreements the invasion of Grenada by
the US in 1983; secession as a present day concern in the Leeward Islands as Nevis is on the
verge of autonomy from St. Kitts; and the extensive and increasing use of Caribbean land,
airspace and waters as drug transshipment points. Some may argue that the imputed CIA
involvement in Jamaica's political affairs in the 1970s constituted "destabilization and
subversion" Finally, it is a given fact that international agencies (particularly international
financial institutions) wield considerable influence over our domestic polity.
Inarguably, the fundamental forces which shape Caribbean security are the small
size of Caribbean countries, and the historical economic relationships which the Caribbean
has been a part of since the sixteenth century. These forces bring to the Caribbean security
agenda some "traditional" issues of war and military strategy, but it is primarily issues of
economic development and the security fall out from lack of same that pose the greatest
problem for Caribbean countries. It is this latter concern, which we can call economic
security, that is really the issue in Caribbean security; even in the case of the Shiprider
controversy, a great deal of the Caribbean's powerlessness derives from its direct and
indirect economic dependence on the United States.
Economic insecurity is not necessarily considered peripheral to the mainstream
security agenda; particularly in the era of economic globalization, the field of political
economy is growing in US and European security studies. However, in the Caribbean, its
peculiarity is that economic insecurity is manifested internally, rather than externally, by
rising levels of crime and violence, the breakdown of civil society and social capital, and the
increasing ungovernability of the nation. Again, Jamaica may be the 'worst case scenario'
in this regard, but that it has reached this stage shows the extent to which economic
insecurity implodes. Nevertheless, much of the emphasis on addressing these security
issues is external, rather than internal: continuing negotiation for preferential trade arrange-
ments instead of massive investment in human capital; export-led investment which con-
tributes to a decreased local food supply, thus adding to the pressure on consumers to
purchase imported goods which substantially undermines their purchasing power; and
monetary liberalisation, which increases inflation. This is not to argue that these initiatives
are fundamentally wrong; however, without at least a concomitant thrust to counter the
negative effects of these actions, social cohesion and hence security will be weakened
instead of strengthened.
The drug issue, perhaps the second item on the Caribbean list of security concerns,
conflates internal and external security issues with its multi-dimensional nature. There are
at least four security concerns directly related to the drug trade: one, the use of Caribbean
countries as transshipment points; two, the proliferation of the drug trade within countries
and the accompanying often brutal violence in the enforcement of the drug underworld's
norms; three, the perceived threats to territorial and jurisdictional sovereignty effected by
US efforts to curtail transshipment through the Caribbean; and four, the increasing domestic
use of drugs in Caribbean countries. All these can be linked to economic security, or more
correctly, the lack of economic security.
Other issues comprising the contemporary Caribbean security agenda relate to
questions of the environment, as in the case of Montserrat, and the increase in devastating
hurricanes in the past ten years. Environmental degradation also increases as persons, in the
face of economic disenfranchisement, are forced to literally live off the land. Paul Sutton
in a 1993 special issue of the Journal ofCommonwealth and Comparative Politics on small
island state security also adds extra-territorial jurisdiction to the Caribbean list, primarily
regarding United States' overtures in relation to Cuba, as well as issues which later
comprised the Shiprider debates.
Feminist analyses, in considering these-and other issues which may be deemed
security issues-seek to uncover their gendered bases and their gendered effects. This
entails contemplating the social and political complex as a whole, and questioning the
origins and legitimacy of social and political institutions, with particular emphasis on how
the bases and manifestations of these are gendered While these questions may sound like
those asked by critical theory or even political economy, critical theory has not yet
embraced analyses of gender to a significant extent.11 Similarly, IPE works from the
premise that economic and political processes, at international and national levels, intersect
and interact to produce the various phenomena which constitute everyday reality While it
identifies class, race and ethnicity as driving forces behind international relations, gender
has not been considered in its analyses. This, despite the fact that, "it is in the field of IPE
that feminist questions can be raised most successfully" (Whitworth 1996). In Caribbean
IPE studies, the unequal and inequitable international division of labour is a central theme,
but its gendered dimensions have so far largely escaped mention or attention. Nevertheless,
women's and gender issues appear on the Caribbean foreign policy agenda, in such issues
as migration, population concerns, and labour in the free zones; these, in turn, clearly rellect
the gendered international division of labour.12
IV. Feminist approaches to international security
That the constructions [of the state, sovereignty, politic., political identity, and
"legitimate authority"]-and the understndersding of securiOt they presuppose-are pro-
foundly gendered has important implications for (re)visioning world securiOy: much more
than rethinking security arrangements between and beyond states is required Structural
insecurities internal to states-constituted by gendered (and other) divisions of labour,
resources and identities-as well as androcentric politics generally must be recognized and
critically examined 13
In defining a feminist perspective in the context of international relations, we
begin with the premise that universally, the gendered sexual division of labour has been
institutionalized in and perpetuated by social, economic and political institutions, of which
the state and its actions and apparatus are a core element. This perspective views this
historical sexual division of labour as the fundamental factor in the gender asymmetries
which have generally placed women in less privileged positions, and which have resulted in
the oppression of women. In this context, a feminist interrogation of international relations
aims to reveal the ways in which the policies and practice of international relations
maintain, deepen-or alter-historically embedded patterns of gender inequity and in-
The intention, having revealed these dimensions, would then be to revise interna-
tional relations so that it is managed in such a way as to promote gender equity. What a
feminist perspective of international relations tells us that we do not already know is how
gender affects international relations thinking and acting, and how international relations
affects gender processes within a society. In the Caribbean where the bottom line of
international relations is securing resources for development, gendered analyses of interna-
tional relations are even more relevant, as international relations directly contributes to
Feminist analyses of international processes have been present in the feminist
literature since the 1960s, but it is only since 1988 that feminist incursions into International
Relations "proper" and International Political Economy have begun.14 Since then, the field
of Feminist International Relations has witnessed an exponential growth, as evidenced by
the many books and journal articles which now comprise the Feminist International Rela-
tions bibliography. The initial steps in the field have followed two general trends: interro-
gation of the gender/gendered bases of international relations theory, and exposing the
gender issues inherently embedded in foreign policy and international political processes.
Only more recently has feminist work in IPE begun, despite the apparently more obvious
openings which IPE offers to such themes.15
In the Caribbean there has begun some exploration of gender issues in interna-
tional relations. 16 However, much remains to be done, particularly if Feminist Interna-
tional Relations is to maintain the feminist objective of inclusiveness, and so represent not
just the work and words of northern feminist international relations scholars and writers, but
also those coming from other perspectives. As with Caribbean versions of mainstream
International Relations, Caribbean feminist versions of International Relations must also
take the analysis yet a step further so that they are representative of the perspectives and
realities of Caribbean gender patterns. 17
A large proportion of the rapidly growing feminist international relations literature
is concentrated on the analysis of security issues. This stems from the position shared by
many that, "the gender bias in issues of war and security has been the source of much of the
gender bias in international relations theory" (Grant 1991:16). The rewriting of security
issues by feminist international relations scholars has itself been subject to what has been
called "the essentialist-constructivist debate" This debate is not confined to feminist
international relations but is contested throughout feminist theory and study. Essentialists
believe that women have an intrinsically "feminine"-peace-loving/nurturing/coopera-
tive-nature, in opposition to men's "masculine" nature which renders them warlike and
aggressive. Social constructivists see the characteristics of femininity and masculinity as
gendered impositions created and reinforced by society and its norms. That is, though some
men and some women may display these characteristics, they are not innate but socially
[Social constructivists] label the essentialist approach as a reductionist and sim-
plistic one which ignores the diversity of women's experiences and perspectives on a wide
spectrum of issues, including conflict (Rennie Forcey 1996). They urge caution in the
automatic linking of women with peace movements. Possibly the most penetrating critique
of essentialist claims about women's intrinsic pacifism has come from Jean Bethke Elshtain
(1995:345), who writes, "women as leaders...mothers...and workers have sustained and
supported the wars of their states in far greater numbers than women in any capacity have
acted in opposition to wars and militarism and nationalistic excess" (Byron and Thorburn
Possibly the most significant argument against essentialism is that, as Jacqui True
points out, "it tends to reinforce oppressive binary gender identities and structures."18
A great deal of the feminist international relations analysis of security has focused
on the military and on war. Cynthia Enloe (1989, 1994) was one of the earliest to attempt
to "make feminist sense of international politics" Enloe looks at both international rela-
tions theory and foreign policy practice and argues that gendered stereotypes of masculinity
and femininity provide the basis upon which the international system is maintained and
operated. She places particular emphasis on the way the US military operates and at (he
militarization of the Cold War, positing that security and war are based on gendered notions
of man and women, which in turn reverberate societally in the form of domestic violence,
as one example. The gendered dimensions of war-women and children as 80% of all war
refugees, the use of rape as a tool of war as seen in the recent Eastern European conflicts,
and the diversion of spending from social security areas on which women depend, to arms
and battalions-have also been analysed in the literature.19
As in mainstream international relations, the Caribbean situation looked at from a
feminist perspective provokes the need for alternative ways of looking at security. 2 At the
same time, these alternative areas point back to the original dilemma of defining Caribbean
security: are we threatened more from internal or external threats? The feminist perspective
brings this quandary even closer to the ground: security is not only sovereign security,
territorial integrity and military prowess (external security); or societal stability, economic
stability and low rates of crime and violence (internal security); it also includes the very
specific gendered issues of domestic violence and sexual crimes.
V.Feminist versions of Caribbean security
Violence against women has increased over the past decade and has become a
feature of the lives of women of all social classes and ages. 2
Women of every kind, all over the world, live with the knowledge that there is no
kind ofsafety, no haven for them at work, on the streets or in their homes.22
Just as in mainstream international relations, where the Caribbean is hard put to
identify with the traditional issues of war, arms strategies, etc, issues of military spending
and the gender effects of military ideology are much less relevant to the Commonwealth
Caribbean situation. Military expenditure in Caribbean countries cannot be said to be
exorbitantly high compared to the proportional expenditure in industrialized countries
where this criticism is a core argument of the feminist school (and others). (See table
below.) However, from the Jamaican standpoint, though to a lesser extent in other Carib-
bean countries, it is plausible that issues of war are relevant. 23 This argument is strength-
ened by the staging of a three day shootout between the Jamaica Defence Force and armed
men in an inner city Kingston community in May, 1997. The casualties were four innocent
women and children, and in the end the JDF did not retrieve one piece of artillery, kill one
person besides the innocent bystanders, or arrest one person. News reports proliferate
recounting families forced to leave their homes on account of violence, many under threat
of death. Many of these families are headed by women alone. A classic case of civil war
this may not be, but the characteristics are eerily similar, and may suggest revisiting the area
with a feminist perspective.
Table 1: Military Expenditure and Resource Use in the Caribbean
I US Millions IAs % of GDP Per capital
(US; 1993 prices)
Military T o t a I
(as % of combined education
and health expenditure)
1985 1994 1985 1994 1985 1994 1960 1990-1 1994
B'dos 16 13
0.8 64 51
B'ham 48 17 1.4 0.5 194 63
;81 1.4 1.4 181 ;63
Antigua 96 ,3 1.4 0.8
11 1.8 1.9 32 51
6 0.9 0.9 I II
Guyana ,26 6 9.7 1.4 75 8
Source: UNDP Human Development Report 1996
When we look at two of the primary concerns on the contemporary Caribbean
international relations security agenda-economic security and the implications of the drug
trade-we do see that a feminist perspective opens up these issues to the promise made by
feminist international relations: that of a more holistic understanding of the issues. For
example, we see that the pursuit of beneficial trading arrangements, and debates about the
relevance of sovereignty, are insufficient to truly understand and address the problems,
unless the analyses involved look at how people affect and are affected by these issues, and
then make the gender differential between groups of people. We also see how these are
linked to one of women's greatest security concerns: their personal security, which comes
under constant threat from domestic violence and from sexual assault and violation.
Trade agreements, for example, are core components of the neoliberal economic
thrust being attempted by most Caribbean nations. With the loss of preferential access to
the European banana market, the urgency to arrive at alternative arrangements is pressing.
The prospect of economic collapse for banana-dependent countries such as St. Vincent and
Dominica has profound implications for women's personal security. Obviously, women
engaged in the banana industry will suffer economically from the fallout, but theirs is likely
to be a double blow, as their personal security will also suffer: men, in the face of not being
able to fulfill the socio-cultural 'masculine' role of provider, turn to other means of proving
their virility, namely through aggression and fecundity.24 This in turn spells violence
against women, and quite possibly, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.25 This is
but one example of how international relations-as manifested in this particular case by
globalisation of a commodity market and international trade agreements-has specific
gendered effects on women differently from men.
Women's economic insecurity is also very important, because it is inextricably
linked to that of children, particularly in the Caribbean context where female-headed single
parent homes predominate. In the face of economic insecurity, women face a double
burden: the rise in the labour and stress they bear as they attempt to keep pace with rising
costs and social, economic and family deterioration; and the continued repercussions of
gender discrimination. Yet women's attempts at survival have disastrous repercussions for
their personal security in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados recent research has shown
that reported cases ofdomestic violence against women have risen in tandem with, and have
been related to, women's increasing economic independence (Gopaul and Morgan 1997:
Barriteau 1996). In Jamaica, 24 cases of domestic violence were reported in 1985; in 1993,
that number multiplied more than tenfold to 268.20 This is in accordance with trends
across the Caribbean linking rising levels of male violence against women to frustration
over lower spending levels during economic downturns (Gopaul 1997:1 I). These figures
could be interpreted as rising along with inflation, unemployment and the cost of living,
giving credence to the assertion that violence against women increases in times of economic
hardship. ("Could be" however, because the rise in figures could also be interpreted as a
rise in women's reporting these incidents, and not a rise in domestic violence itself.)
Relating this back to international relations, one can point to the implementation of struc-
tural adjustment programmes, as delivered by international financial institutions.27
There is also the gendered effect of economic insecurity on men as a separate
group. The discussion has so far focused on how economic security affects men, and how
that in turn affects women. A truly gendered perspective would be concerned with the
impact on men as "people too" The research on masculinity shows that economic insecu-
rity has more repercussions, beyond men simply turning to deviance in lieu of acceptable
ways of expressing their masculinity. They also, in contrast to women, give up more on the
traditional methods of self-advancement. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the
experience of males and females in the educational system. Where boys see (female)
teachers struggling, and school leavers without jobs or without adequately remunerating
jobs, they conclude that school is "sissy" 28 On the other hand, women return to school to
pursue higher educational qualifications to increase their earning potential in the face of
economic hardship. 29 What is often referred to as the "male marginalization" crisis, as
argued by Professor Errol Miller (1988, 1992), is not so much a result of "women's
liberation", but is one of the manifestations of economic policies based on not only
women's subordination, but the subordination of what could be called the proletariat.
Subsequently, the drug trade has gendered effects on women's security. Largely
controlled by men, women are often used as "couriers" of small amounts of drugs in their
bodies. Anthony Harriot (1996) makes the point that, "In 1994, [in Jamaica] females
accounted for 23% of the arrestees for Breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Law (mainly
trafficking) and 34% of arrestees for cocaine trafficking." Their participation in this crimi-
nal activity may be a result of their own economic need in the face of unemployment, or
inadequately remunerated employment; or they may be coerced. Research is needed in this
area to reveal the motives behind women's participation in the drug trade, and impact of
their participation on societies and communities. For example, does this contribute to a
further break down in social capital, of which women's networks and community activities
are integral components? Will their participation have the same effect on young girls as the
'drug don' has had on boys, where the don becomes the idol and model of achievement?
These are questions which are often answered in sociology, or womens/gender studies, and
quite rightly so. But if we consider that at least a part of the roots is in the international
arena and in international processes, it is time for international relations to consider these
issues also, with the view to designing foreign policy to best avert or at least deal with them.
The field of feminist international relations is rich with possibilities for research.
One of its principal challenges, however, is not so much in drawing gendered analyses out
of international processes, but in proving to 'malestream' international relations scholars
and practitioners that feminism makes for a legitimate framework for enquiry. Feminist
international relations does not claim to provide universal answers to questions of a global
nature. As Roanna Gopaul, in discussing the gendered impact of globalisation in the
The issues arising from globalisation are far broader than women's issues and are
not solely a task for the women's movement. They are issues which need to be addressed
at regional and international levels since the processes and implications of globalisation are
international in scope.
Nevertheless, feminist enquiry can lay claim to uncovering dynamics that have,
up until now, never been considered as valid or worthwhile in international relations. But
they are valid and worthwhile because, through examining international relations from a
feminist perspective, we can work at an international level to removegender inequality, as
well as understand how international relations perpetuates that same inequality. Is it not the
purpose of scholarship, ultimately, to seek a better world? Critical and Marxist theorists
have sought to answer this call by digging beneath the superficial layers of foreign policy to
uncover historical dynamics of class and capitalist exploitation. Feminist theorists are
doing the same, but looking at what many feminists feel is the more fundamental 'machine'
governing the way of the world, by examining gender and the sexual division of labour.
Contemporary mainstream international relations scholars are beginning to em-
brace new categories of international relations. They are looking at the environment, at
human rights, at refugees, and at gender. The most recently published international rela-
tions texts, though still mainly at postgraduate level, include chapters on feminism and
international relations. Conscious international relations lecturers are including modules
on gender in international relations courses. But there is still much to be done. Despite over
twenty years of activism at the level of the United Nations to include women into govern-
ment policy in a way that will augur well for gender equality, and the creation of women's
desks in nearly every UN member state, international statistics show that the status of
women has not improved sufficiently. Globalisation, it seems, threatens to wipe out many
of the gains that have been made.
Feminist international relations will have lived up to its claims if it can propose
alternative policies, or revise security policies, that will satisfy macro and micro needs. In
the Caribbean this might amount to, in the case of the profoundly gendered effects of
economic insecurity, a reconsideration of the social programmes (such as the Jamaica
Social Investment Fund) which aim to compensate for structural adjustment fallout. Trade
agreements can be formulated with a gender perspective by carefully examining how men
and women engage in the production process differently, and designing manufacturing,
agricultural or service providers that work with these differences. The end result is not only
a step toward gender equality, but also a more aptly formulated policy which considers the
real lives of the people who will be carrying the work out, day to day.
Both of these suggestions, if implemented, could help to address the drug problem.
Admittedly, few solutions have been found at the international level, to combat the scourge
of drugs. Exceedingly large profits for simple work are too difficult a force to combat, it
has been found, even in the United States where, after more than ten years in the anti-drug
war, increasing drug use and increased trafficking of narcotics are evidenced. The argu-
ment here is to provide even a semblance of an alternative to participation in the drug trade.
This is not so much a feminist suggestion, as one which might be considered at a general
Caribbean security issues do not only affect women. Nor is the debate really about
answering the question, "How do we define security?" The challenge is to answer the
question, "How can we provide for security?" Can feminist analyses of international
processes, structures and policies help? If by feminist analysis we begin and end with
looking not just at women, but ultimately at people, understanding how their lives are
affected by and affect macro processes, and address both the roots and their manifestations,
then yes, it can.
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank both Stephen Vasciannie and Jessica
Byron for reading and commenting on earlier versions of this paper
NOTES AND REFERENCES
Introduction To Gender And International Relations (1991)
2. Rebecca Grant, The Quagmire of Gender and International Security (1992)
3. The Caribbean in this essay refers to the Commonwealth Caribbean, which, uptil 1995 constituted the Carib-
bean Community and thus made an easy excuse for excluding the other Caribbean states of Haiti,Cuba and
the Dominican Republic. Admittedly, their inclusion in this essay would have required more research.
fewer generalizations, and would have made the essay more comprehensive.
4. One example is Hilboume Watson's (1993) scathing critique of the Caribbean mainstream: "Caribbean inter-
national relations has no developed consciousness of the state and civil society and therefore it cannot con-
ceptualize the underlying class basis of international relations. [...M]ost Caribbean leaders, technocrats,
and academics have no critical intellectual consciousness of Capitalism as a system based on production
5. This claim has been argued by feminists working in other disciplines, particularly feminist economists.
6. Ticker (1992) Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security
7 The Guardian Weekly August 31 1997, p.15
8. Neville Linton, Security Problems in the Eastern Caribbean Prospects and Opportunities (1989)
9. From the 1985 report of the Commonwealth Consultative Group, quoted in Axline (1988)," Regional Coop-
eration and National Security: External Forces in Caribbean Integration"
10. See, for example, Stephen Vasciannie's paper in this collection for a recent commentary and analysis.
For example, see Mark Hoffman (1987), "Critical Theory and the Inter-paradigm Debate"
12. A notable exception is the Hilbourne Watson edited collection The Caribbean in the Global Political Econ-
omy (1994). This volume contains a chapter on weomen and global re-structuring by Cecilia Green,
which takes a historical perspective of how global economic forces have shaped women's work and
choices. Watson's own conclusion mentionas women's and gender issues as concerns in the contemporary
13. V Spike Peterson, "Security and Sovereignty States: What is at Stake in Taking Feminism Seriously?" 1992
14. In 1998 the London School of Economics staged a symposium on women and international relations,
which subsequently materialized in a special issue of the international relations journal Milenu'", both the
first of their kind.
15. This is not to say that international political economy has bnot figured in the feminist literature. There has
been significant and important work looking at gendered dimensions of international political economic
processes, most notably beginning with Maria Mies' Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale
(1986), and, followed, for example, by Safa (1995) and Dunn (1995), among others. These analyses, how-
ever, have unfortunately remained confined to the feminist literature and have not informed IPE scholar-
ship. despite critical IPE's claimed intention reveal the class and racial dimensions of international
processes. A 1994 article by Cecilia Green and a 1996 article by Marianne Marchand are two attempts to
bridge this gap by examining feminist interpretations ofglobalization and bringing these to critical IPE
16. Green (1994), Thorburn (1997), VanGlaanen Weygel (work in progress), Gopaul (1997) and Byron and
Thorbur (1997) are some examples.
17. It is important to note that Caribbean fieminism and the Caribbean Women in Development (WIl)) move-
men., since the 1970s. have been global in Ihier liocus and have recogniscd lhe work ol global proccsscs in
the status of women and the assymctry in tile global sexual division of labour. What has not been done.
until these very recent feminist explorations into International Relations "proper" inl the Carilbban. is to in-
corporate these analyses into mainstream international relations and foreign policy
18. "Feminism". in theories of International Relations (1996) Ilurchill and l.inklater
19. For example, see Longwe, 1995, Agarwal, 1996, Michel in Ashwotli 1995; UNDI'
20. In the Jamaica I)fence Force (JDF), though women are admitted. they arc not deployed in hll inlaniry.
'This prevents the rotation of officers from infantry to administration \lo liinclinn snootllly Iew v\woVlCin
are admitted, and thle impression is that lleir presence is seen as more problematic tllan useful.
21. Situation Analysis of Children and Women in Jamaica (1995)
22. Ginny NiCarthy, War Against Women (1995)
23. In Jamaica in 1996, 975 people were murdered, a rate o'f2.7 per day.
24. Report of the Gender Socialization Project. UNICEF (1995)
25. Roanna Gopaul (1997) makes the interesting point that in Trinidad and Tobago. tle incidence ol crime and
the level ofunemnployment peak coincidentally. I however, although the Icmnale imlenploymleni rate is
higher that the male unemployment rate, females are scarce in the crime statistics.
26. Source: Situation Analysis of Children and Women in Jamaica (1995)
27. Peggy Antrobus was perhaps the first to identily the gendered consequences of structural adjustment pro-
grammes in a 1989 paper. Gender Implications ogf the Development Crisis
28. "In One Ear and Out the Other: Unmasking Masculnities in the Caribbean Classroom" Parry. (1 996)
29. "Female Schooling Achievement in Jamaica: A Market and Non Market Analysi" Figucroa and I land,
Antrobus. Peggy. 1989. "Gender Implications of the Development Crisis." In Dcvelopment
in Suspense edited by George Ueckford and Norman Girvan, 145-160. Kingston: Friedrich iEbert Slililug.
Axline, W. Andrew. 1988. "Regional Co-operation and National Security EIxtcrnal Forces in Caribbean Inte-
gration." Journal of Comnnon Market Studies XXVI1:I, 1-25.
Barriteau. V Eudine. 1994: "Gender and Development Planning in the Post-Colonial Caribbean: Female EI
prencurs and the Barbadian Slate" Ph.D Dissertation, Iloward Uniiversity. Washington DC
Bellthke Elslain, Jean. 1995. "Exporting IFeminism." Journal ofInternational Affairs 48:2, 541-558.
Byron, Jessica and Diana Thorburn. 1997 "Gender and International Relations: A global perspective and issues
for tile Carilbean." In Gendered Realities: An Antholo'y of Essays in Caribbean Feminist thought. edited
by Patricia Mohamnmed and Althea Perkins. (Forthconling)
Dunn, Ieith. 1995. "Free Trade Zones: Issues and Strategies". in Ashworth G., ed.. A DiplomacJy of the Op-
pressed, Zed Books Ltd., London, pp. 90 104.
Enloe, Cynthia. 1989. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics.
Berkeley: University of California Press.
1993. The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War. Berkley: University of
Figueroa. Mark and Ashu I landa. 1996. "Female Schooling Achievement in Jamaica: A Market and non-Mar-
ket Analysis." Mimeo.
Gopaul. Roanna. 1997 "A Gender Analysis of Globalisalion and Regional Integration in ltie Einglisli-Speaking
Caribbean." Paper presented at the workshop "Integration and National Sovereignty in the Caribbean"
ILSA, Caracas, Venezuela.
Gopaul. Roanna and Paula Morgan. 1997. "Spousal Violence: Spiralling Patterns in Trinidad and Tobago."
Grant, Rebecca. 1991. "Sources of gender bias in international relations theory." In Gender and International
Relations, edited by Rebecca Grant and Kathleen Newland, 8-26. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
1992. "The Quagmire of Gender and International Security in Gendered States: Feminist
(Re) Visions of International Relations Theory, edited by V.Spike Peterson, 83-98. Boulder and London:
Lynne Reinner Publishers.
Grant, Rebecca and Kathleen Newland (eds). 1991. Gender and International Relations. Bloomington: Indi-
ana University Press.
Green, Cecilia. 1994. "Historical and Contemporary Restructuring and Women in Production in the Carib-
bean." In The Caribbean in the Global Political Economy, edited by Hilboume A. Watson, 149-172.
Kingston: lan Randle Publishers.
Harriott, Anthony. 1996. "The Changing Social Organization of Crime and Criminals in Jamaica." Mimeo.
Hoffman, Mark. 1987 "Critical Theory and the inter-paradigm debate." Millennium: Journal of International
Klare, Michael T. 1996. "Redefining Security: The New Global Schisms." Current History 95:604, 353-358.
Linton, Neville. 1989. "Security problems in the Eastern Caribbean-Prospects and opportunities" Mimeo.
Marchand, Marianne. 1995. "Gender and New Regionalism in Latin America: inclusion/exclusion." Third
World Quarterly, Vol.3
Michel, Andree. 1995. "Militarisation of Contemporary Societies and Feminism in the North." In A Diplomacy
of the Oppressed New Directions in International Feminism, edited by Georgina Ashworth, 33-5 I. Lon-
don: Zed Books.
Mies, Maria. 1986. Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale. London: Zed Books.
Miller, Errol. 1991. Men at Risk. Kingston: Jamaica Publishing House.
1994. Marginalization of the Black Male: Insights from the Development of the Teaching Profes-
sion. Mona: Canoe Press.
NiCarthy, Ginny. 1995. "War Against Women." In A Diplomacy of the Oppressed New Directions in Interna-
tional Feminism, edited by Georgina Ashworth, 52-68. London: Zed Books.
Parry, Odette. 1996 "In One Ear and Out the Other: Unmasking Masculinities in the Caribbean Classroom." So-
ciological Research Online 1:2.
Peterson, V Spike. 1992. "Security and Sovereign States: What is at Stake in Taking Feminism Seriously?" In
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64. Boulder and London: Lynne Reinner Publishers.
Rennie Forcey, Linda. 1995. "Integrating Women's Studies with Peace Studies: Challenges for Feminist The-
ory." Indian Journal of Gender Studies 2:2, 211-226.
Safa, Helen. 1995. The Myth of the Male Breadwinner. Westview Press, Boulder, Colo.
Sutton, Paul. 1993. "The Politics of Small State Security in the Caribbean." Journal of Commonwealth and
Comparative Politics XXXI:2, 1-32.
Sylvester, Christine. 1994. Feminist Theory and International Relations in a Postmodern Era. Cambridge: Cam-
bridge University Press.
Thorburn, Diana. 1997 "Gender, Regionalism and Caribbean Development: An Examination of CARICOM
Policy." M.Sc thesis. University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
Tickner, J. Ann. 1992. Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security.
New York: Columbia University Press.
True, Jacqui. 1996. "Feminism." In Theories of International Relations, by Scott Burchill, Andrew Linklater et
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UNICEF 1995. "Report of the Gender Socialization Project." Mimeo.
UNICEF/PIOJ. 1995. Situation Analysis of Children and Women in Jamaica. Kingston: UNICEF.
VanGlaanen Wcygel. Jeanelle. (work in progress). "Gender Identity and Female Negotiators in the Caribbean."
M.Sc thesis. University of the West Indies. St. Augustine.
Vasciannie, Stephen. 1997. "Political and Policy Aspects oflthe Jamaica-United States Shipridcr Ncgotiations."
This issue, Caribbean Quarterly
Watson, I lilbourne A. 1993. "Globalization. Liberalism and the Caribbean: Deciphering the Limits of Nalion.
Nation-Slatc. and Sovereignty under Global Capitalism." Caribbean Studies 26 (3-4):213-408.
Watson, lilbourne(cd). 1994. The Caribbean in the Glpbal Political Economy. Kingston: lan Randle Publish-
Whitworth. Sandra. 1994. "Theory as Exclusion: Gender and International Political Economy." In Political
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Zalcwski. Marysia. 1995. "Well, what is the feminist perspective on Bosnia?" International Affairs 71:2, 339-
(Reviews of these books are invited. Interested persons should write to tlie editor
quoting the title(s) of the books) concerned, prior to reviewing tlem.)
Ten Is The Age of Darknes. The Black Bildungsroman, Gela LeSeur,University of
Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri 65201, 1995. pp. 233.
Cultural Power, Resistance, and Pluralism Colonial Guyana 1838-1900, Brian L. Moore,
The Press University ofthe West Indies,1995. pp. 376
The Haitian Dilema A case Study in Demographics, Development, and U.S. Foreign
Policy, Ernest H. Preeg, The Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC
20006, 1996. pp. 133
Defining Jamaican Fiction Marronage and the Discourse (f Survival, U Lalla, The
University of Alabama Press, Tucaloosa, Alabama 35487-0380, 1996. pp. 224
From Dessalines to Duvalier Race, Colour and National Independence in laiti, David
Nicholls, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1996. pp. 357
Sugar and Slavery, Family and Race The Letters and Diary of Pierre De. salle. Planter
in Martinique 1808-1856. Edited by Elborg Forster and Robert Forster, The John I lopkins
University Press, 1996. pp. 322
Persistent Underdevelopment Change and Economic Modernization in the West Indies,
Jay R. Mandle, Gordon and-Breach Science Publishers, 1996. pp. 190
The Caribbean Legion Patriots, Politiciana, Soldiers of Fortune, 1946-1950, Charles D.
Ameringer, The Pennsylvania State University, 1996. pp. 180
French and West Indian: Martinique, Guadeloupe, and fiench Guiana Tuoda, edited By
Richard D.E. Burton and Fred Reno,University Press of Virginia, 1995. pp. 202
Tobago in Wartime 1793-1815, K.O. Laurence, The Press University of the West Indies,
IA Acqueduct Flats, Kingston, 1995. pp. 280
Les democracies antillaises en crise, Denis-Constant Martin, Karthala, 22-24 Boulevard
Arga, 75013, Paris, 1996. pp. 185
Presencia Criolla en el Caribe y America Latina Creole Presence in the Caribbean and
Latin America, Ineke Phaf, Verveutlberoamericana, 1996
Choices and Change: Reflections on the Caribbean, W Dookeran (ed.), Inter-American
Development Bank, 1996
Women in the Latin American Development Process, C.Bose and Edna Acosla-Belen
(eds.)Temple University Press, 1995
Maroon Societies, Richard Price (ed.),Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996
Conversations with Marse Conde, Francoise Pfaff, U.of Nebraska Press, 1996
African Origins of the Major World Religions, Amon Saba Saakana (ed.) Karnak I louse,
Colonialism and the Destruction of the Mind, Amon Saba Saakana (ed.) Karnak I louse,
Ethnicity in the Caribbean, G.Oostindie (ed.), Warwick University Caribbean Series, 1996
A New Moment in the Americas, Robert S.Leiken (ed.), Transaction Publishers, us,1994
On The Cultural Achievements of Negroes, lcnri Gregoire, University of Mass Press, 1966
Trinidad Carnival: A Quest for National Identity, Peter van Koningsbruggen, Warwick
University Caribbean Series
Tiger in the Stars. The Anatomy of Indian Achievement in British Guiana 1991-29, Clem
Seecharan, Macmillan Education Ltd. Warwick University Caribbean Studies, 1997
The Repeating Island The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective, Second Edition,
Antonio Benitez-Rojo,Duke University Press, Cloth: L47.50, Paper: Ll6.95
Emmanual Appadocca: O, Blighted Life: A Tale of the Boucaneer, Edited by Selwyn R.
Cudjoe. The University of Massachuetts Press. Paper: US$17.00, Cloth: US$60.00
Myths of Ethnicity and Nation Immigration, Work, and Identity in the Belize Bananc
Industry. Mark Moberg. The University of Tennessee Press
Afro-Creole Power, Opposition and Play in the Caribbean. Richard D.E. Burton Cornell
University Press, Cloth: US$51.75, Paper: US$20.65
Integrating the Americas: Shaping Future Trade Policy. Edited by Sidney, Transaction
Publishers, Paper: US$19.95
Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women. Myriam J.A. Chancy. Rutgers
University Press. Paper: US$17.00 Hardcover: US$48.00
Narratives of Exile and Return. Mary Chamberlain. Macmillan Caribbean. Warwick Uni-
versity Caribbean Studies. L14.95
The Imperatives of Power- Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in
Grenada from 1951-1991. Pedro Noguera. Peter Lang. US$64.00
Law, Justice and Empire: The Colonial Career of John Gorrie 1829-1892. Bridget Brere-
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EPIC of the Dispossessed: Derek Walcott's Omneros. Robert D. Hammer. University of
Missouri Press. Paper: US$19.95, Cloth: US$39.95
God's Angry Babies. lan G. Strachan. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1997 Weintraub
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
is lecturer, Department of Government, UWI, Mona
is lecturer, Department of Government, UWI, Mona
is a professor, University of the Virgin Islands,
is a graduate student, Institute of International
Relations, UWI, St. Augustine
is lecturer, Department of Government, UWI,
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