How to defend and enhance a Small State National Security within the sphere of influence of a hegemonic state. It addresses the degree of state sovereignty and relative autonomy Panama has. First and foremost it is required to understand Panama's history, economy and society and the region within which Panama is located. Second, it is essential to understand U.S.interests in the Panama Canal, especially after the events of September 11th, 2001, which not only framed but dictated the security agenda of the region and of Panama specifically. Third, this study looks at three issue areas- the Panama Canal, Panama's Border with Colombia, and the Colon Free Trade Zone and the banking sector as cases of securitization.