“Five key challenges for SOUTHCOM”–Military Times


Photo:  Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, SOUTHCOM 

Since pretty much all of SOUTHCOM’s ships are Coast Guard, might be good to know what he is thinking. Military Times reports on Admiral Tidd address before the Association of the United States Army’s forum on June 6. He talked about five key concerns:

  1. Great power competition is happening down South.
  2. Terrorist groups are fundraising in our backyard.
  3. Terrorist recruiting and attacks are happening in the Caribbean.
  4. SOUTHCOM has responsibility for one of the world’s key transit points, the Panama Canal.
  5. The Syrian refugee crisis isn’t the only such crisis having regional effects. Just look at Venezuela.

Read the full article linked above for more detail.

27 thoughts on ““Five key challenges for SOUTHCOM”–Military Times

  1. First “Terrorist Attack” in the Caribbean was on 6 October 1976 on Barbados by Guyanese youths. How does that apply to Islamic Terrorism…

    • @Secundius, Not sure what you are referring to? He referred to attacks in Argentina in the 1990s and to an apparent plot in Trinidad & Tobago that occurred recently (although a friend in Trinidad tells me it was really a non-event).

      • First attack on Argentina took place in 1806, by the British. Don’t see the Relevance in this case. Attacks take place 24/7/365 on a Global Scale. And I’m aware of the T&T “brouhaha”. I also read the US Department of Justice Newletter posted every day, which claim nearly a Half Dozen arrests daily on American Citizens. Being arrested for Suspected ties and/or dealings with those suspected to be ISIS or Hezbollah members…

      • @Secundius, I still don’t see the point your are trying to make. Incidentally Argentina was still part of the Spanish Empire until 1816.

      • It seem to me that the USCG is Jumping At Shadow’s, or perception of Shadows by our current President! By making statements that don’t make any sense. There has been Terrorist Groups operating in the Caribbean since at least 30 October 1950 with the “Puerto Rican Nationalist Party”. Venezuela is Venezuela. Brazil has the Highest Homicide Rate in the Region, yet nobody is overly concerned about it, including the United States. The first act of Smuggling with Mexico was in 1801, when the Mississippi River divided the United States from Mexico. The first known case of Drug Smuggling was in 1870, too the United States by the United States to obtain Opium to Manufacture “Laudanum”…

      • @Secundius, Thanks, that is much clearer, although I think you could state it even more clearly. You think we are overreacting to the terrorist threat, and that the drug smuggling is something that will never go away.

        I felt we really over reacted after 9/11 and the second Gulf War was really a mistake. On the other hand, there are those who wish us ill and we need to be ready to respond.

        On the other hand this is not a change to what the Coast has been doing so there really isn’t much jumping. For a long time I felt that our drug interdiction efforts have been futile, but the Admiral Zukunft made a good case that it is necessary as a means to gather intelligence. Do we need to do more to decrease the demand that drives the drug trade–sure, but that is not in our wheelhouse–that is someone else’s job, and they are failing.

      • Other Countries have Trying to us (i.e. the United States) ill since 1914. And we’ve been reasonably handling it with some success ever since…

      • Secundius,

        “Other Countries have Trying to us (i.e. the United States) ill since 1914. And we’ve been reasonably handling it with some success ever since…”

        Would you like to rewrite that?


        “And the United States CURE for Brazil’s Ill’s is exactly WHAT…”

        I would say

        1. Not our job.
        2. We have higher priorities
        3. That would be very difficult.
        4. We can’t fix everything.

      • I.e. Imperial Germany aiding the Mexican Government to “Try” to Retake Texas, to keep the United States from entering WWI. No I don’t think so…

      • And what the Role of the USCG in the Caribbean and Latin/South America “Again”…

      • @Secundius,

        “And what the Role of the USCG in the Caribbean and Latin/South America “Again”…”

        The US does have an interest in stopping the influx of migrants and drugs which does make the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific more relevant for the US than fixing Brazil’s murder rate.

      • @ Chuck Hill.

        As I said before, the US Government has been trying to Stem the Flow of Terrorism since at least 1950, and if you include “Piracy” since 1817…

      • @Secundius,
        “As I said before, the US Government has been trying to Stem the Flow of Terrorism since at least 1950, and if you include “Piracy” since 1817…”

        So you would suggest, what?

      • @ Chuck Hill.

        Unfortunately WE the World don’t live in a “Psychocivilized Society” (i.e. THX-1138). So there always going to be “Loopholes” in the Best of National Security Plans…

  2. This sounds a little like SouthCom trying to appear relevant given defense budget demands around the world, but I don’t think he is wrong, either. America often forgets the Western hemisphere has a half below the equator…

  3. Gents having seen the threat briefing for that AOR. I think you are underestimating the issues. There are terrorist, there are refugees and most of all there is massive amounts of drug running on both Pacific and Atlantic sides. The soft underbelly of CONUS extends out into the oceans. The trade going through the PC is enormous.
    And Fourth Fleet has limited surface assets

    • Leesea, was not saying SOUTHCOM’s points were not valid. Unfortunately we ignore Latin America. It is taken for granted, and it should not be. We have great friends there, but we also have many people who resent or hate the US and not without some valid reasons.

    • I mirror what Chuck said. I said “I don’t think he’s wrong…” I more lament how this AOR is ignored / de-emphasized…

  4. FYI: 11 June 2018, according to “Marine Log” Metal Shark of Jeaneretta, LA. just acquired Horizon Shipyards of Baylou La Batre, AL…

    • Five former US Military Chiefs condemn Trump’s decision to cut Central American aid

      ( https : // www . vox . com / 2019/4/8/18300809/trump-immigration-el-salvador-guatemala-honduras-military )

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