Weak State as a Security Threat: Study Case of El Salvador (2014-2019)


  • Daphne Andrea Universitas Katolik Parahyangan
  • Theresa Aurel Tanuwijaya Universitas Katolik Parahyangan




The World Trade Center Attack or 9/11 tragedy has awakened the international community, particularly the United States (US) to sharpen its foreign policy in facing security threats coming from ‘weak states’. One of the most prominent weak states examples that  pose a grave threat to other countries are the Northern Triangle Countries of Central America that referred to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Hence, this paper will discuss the rationale behind US initiatives in dealing with security threats in El Salvador as one of the Northern Triangle Countries. In analyzing the case, the writers will use the weak state concept and national interest concept. The result of this paper finds that El Salvador corresponds to the elements of a weak state and further poses security threats by giving rise to transnational criminal organizations, drug trafficking, and migrant problems in which overcoming those security threats has become US vital national interest. However, we also find that although decreasing security threats and strengthening El Salvador government capacity is highly correlated, strengthening El Salvador governance through the providence of aid and assistance is actually classified as US important national interest.

Keywords: Security threats; Northern Triangle; weak state; El Salvador; national interest



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