The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative
A Shared Regional Security Partnership
Working together through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the United States and the nations of the Caribbean are combating the drug trade and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security. This partnership fulfills the commitment President Barack Obama made at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in April 2009 to deepen regional security cooperation and complements the other citizen security initiatives in the Hemisphere, the Merida Initiative in Mexico, Central America Regional Security Initiative, and Colombia Strategic Development Initiative. The United States, CARICOM member nations, and the Dominican Republic are improving citizen safety throughout the Caribbean by working together to:
- Substantially reduce illicit trafficking
- Increase public safety and security
- Promote social justice
Through ongoing dialogue in the technical working groups, CBSI partner nations have collectively identified several priority areas that include building a regional information sharing network, improving maritime interdiction coordination, developing regional training capacity, implementing corrections reforms, improving asset sustainment and maintenance practices, and addressing illicit firearms trafficking. While U.S. assistance can help advance many of these priorities, effective solutions to these challenges will require a sustained commitment from all CBSI partners, as well as the assistance of other international donors.
United States Support Under CBSI
The United States is making a significant contribution to CBSI, providing a now combined $139 million in funding for the first two years of the initiative. This U.S. contribution to CBSI includes assistance in the following areas, all developed through the CBSI cooperative dialogue process:
- Maritime and Aerial Security Cooperation. Supporting regional maritime and aerial coordination by improving radar coverage in strategic locations and sharing radar information. Providing equipment and training that will enable Caribbean governments to carry out maritime and aerial operations to identify and respond to threats, engage in effective end game operations, and sustain those capabilities with reliability and regularity.
- Law Enforcement Capacity Building. Enhancing law enforcement effectiveness through police professionalization, anti-corruption training, community-based policing, and sharing regional ballistics and fingerprint information. Equipment and training will enhance the region’s polygraph capacity, cultivate expertise in the delivery of specialized law enforcement training, and support vetted units in conducting complex investigations, anti-gang initiatives, and combating money laundering and other financial crimes.
- Border/Port Security and Firearms Interdiction. Providing technical support, technology upgrades, and training on techniques for intercepting smuggled narcotics, weapons, bulk cash, and other contraband at commercial airports and seaports, to include the enhancement of strategic trade controls through training to strengthen border security capabilities. Funding will also support the interdiction of firearms and secure management of weapons and ammunition stockpiles.
- Justice Sector Reform. Reforming and strengthening juvenile justice systems through alternative sentencing and rehabilitation services. Regional justice advisors are providing technical assistance to judges and prosecutors, advising on legal reform, and developing a task force to address critical crime issues. Funding will support prison assessments and training to assist host governments in alleviating overcrowding and improving prison conditions.
- · Crime Prevention and At-Risk Youth. Increasing educational opportunities and providing workforce development and entrepreneurship training for at-risk youth as an alternative to crime and other harmful behavior. Funding also will support drug demand reduction through the training of treatment and rehabilitation professionals.
CBSI Complements Other U.S. Assistance
The U.S. commitment to the Caribbean and to the CBSI partnership extends beyond the CBSI funding described above. The United States is also investing heavily in HIV/AIDs prevention, military education and training, advancing economic development and trade, and promoting social inclusion for marginalized groups.
More information regarding U.S. assistance to the Caribbean and the CBSI partnership is available at www.state.gov/p/wha/rt/cbsi/.