1998 Congressional Hearings
Intelligence and Security

21ST CENTURY SECURITY THREATS                                    



5 MARCH 1998

Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Committee, thank you
for the opportunity to provide you with my assessment of the U.S.
Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR). I have
used the beginning of my tenure in SOUTHCOM to meet key regional
military and civilian leaders, to build relationships within the
interagency community, and to gain an in-depth, personal
perspective of the region. I will provide a strategic assessment,
review SOUTHCOM's major accomplishments, address our challenges,
and present my vision for the future.

-    Importance Of The Region To U.S. National Interests

President Clinton has stated that the growing economic prosperity
of the Latin American and Caribbean regions is of significant
importance to U.S. national interests. As we enter the new
millennium, U.S. trade with this region is envisioned to exceed
trade with all of Europe. By 2010, U.S. trade with this region is
projected to exceed trade with Europe and Japan

No one questions the strategic importance of the Middle East, but
Venezuela alone provides the same amount of oil to the U.S. as do
all the Persian Gulf states combined. The discovery of major oil
reserves in Colombia, and existing oil supplies in Trinidad-
Tobago and Ecuador, further increase the strategic importance of
this region's energy resources.

During the last decade, the Western Hemisphere has clearly
transitioned to democracy. Of the 32 nations in our theater, Cuba
stands alone as the last bastion of a failed, archaic ideology.
We remain ever hopeful that a peaceful transition to democracy
will eventually occur which will allow for a free government and
increased economic opportunities for the Cuban people. The fact
that the region now has 16 civilian defense ministers also
exemplifies the improving trend of military subordination to
civil authority. However, the roots of democracy are not deeply
anchored and will require support and role modeling to become

These nations are struggling to counter the threats of terrorism,
international organized crime, and drug trafficking. We must
remain actively engaged in this region to deter aggression,
foster peaceful conflict resolution, and encourage democratic
development while promoting stability and prosperity.

Beyond our strong economic ties with the region, we have
important cultural ties. The U.S. has the world's fifth largest
Spanish-speaking population. We share a commitment to peace and
stability with democratic states of this hemisphere. Increasing
regional cooperation and sustaining regional stability remain
the fundamental objectives of U.S. security interests throughout
the hemisphere.

-    Southcom and U.S. National Interests

Peace Through Regional Engagement

SOUTHCOM supports the attainment of national objectives through
our strategy of cooperative regional peacetime engagement. The
strategy is crafted from national objectives and interests, and
embodies the concepts of shape, respond, and prepare now. Using
shared ideals we shape cooperative opportunities with other
countries to create conditions which support the development of
institutions that advance democracy and regional stability.
SOUTHCOM will respond to hemispheric or regional challenges such
as natural disasters, instability, narcotrafficking and other
transnational dangers that threaten U.S. vital national
interests. Ideally, the response will be multilateral, involving
the cooperative participation of other nations within our
hemisphere. SOUTHCOM will prepare now for an uncertain future and
assist regional military and security forces in prudent
preparations to strengthen multilateral commitment against future
shared challenges.

Theater Resources

SOUTHCOM leverages scarce national resources for significant
benefit. In FY97, DOD allocated $566 million to SOUTHCOM. our
small in-theater force structure of approximately 5,700 personnel
- nearly a 50% decrease since 1994 - maximizes the Total Force
concept. In concert with our active duty forces, large numbers of
guard and reserve forces deploy and exercise in the theater.

With the assistance of our National Guard and Reserve Components,
we have been able to accomplish our assigned tasks. Last year,
more than 50,000 National Guard and Reserve Component workdays
supported over 3,000 deployments throughout our AOR.
Additionally, in FY97 the Services provided over 100 work-years
of reserve support to SOUTHCOM and its service components for
counterdrug operations, exercise participation and to relieve

National Guard and Reserve units are fully integrated into
SOUTHCOM's operational and functional plans and provide greater
than 40% of all deployments within the region. Reserve component
leaders serve as Commanders of U.S. Support Group Haiti and the
Military Observer Mission for Ecuador and Peru. Reserve forces
are a critical augmenting and reinforcing element of the Total
Force capabilities that allow SOUTHCOM to attain a substantial
return from a relatively small investment. However, small does
not mean, "'free."

SOUTHCOM requires a balanced forward military presence with a
carefully crafted theater support architecture and balanced
augmenting and reinforcing forces. We must continue to maintain a
modest troop level composed of soldiers, sailors, airmen and
Marines possessing the right skills, performing the right
missions at the right place and time. Current crises facing our
nation must be addressed. However, while we extinguish strategic
brushfires elsewhere in the world it is important that we not
lose sight of the need to make modest investments in people and
resources to shape the future of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Today's small investments in this hemisphere offer the promise of
enormous returns in the next century.

Landmark Year For Change

This past year marked a period of profound change for SOUTHCOM.
The most recent modification to the Unified Command Plan (UCP)
fundamentally altered the character of SOUTHCOM's AOR. The
addition of the Caribbean, its island nations and the ocean areas
surrounding Central and South America changed the AOR from a
land-locked theater to a truly balanced theater with continental,
maritime, and aerospace dimensions. This change has necessitated
a "bottom-up" review of the theater strategy. We are developing a
revised strategy to comprehensively address the missions of
regional cooperative engagement and counternarcotics support.

In the counterdrug arena, the UCP and National Interdiction
Command and Control Plan modifications unified responsibilities
for the transit and source zones under a single, regional
combatant commander. Our regional counterdrug strategy now
combines transit and source zone assets into a focused,
coordinated, theater-wide counterdrug effort.

This is best illustrated by the improved command and control
strategic linkages that have emerged between the two Joint
Interagency Task Forces (JIATFs) now under SOUTHCOM. JIATF-South,
located in Panama, detects, monitors and tracks suspected drug
activity in the source zone with a focus on the Republic of
Panama and the landmass of South America. JIATF-East, located in
Key West, Florida, conducts similar missions in the transit zone
including the Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Pacific, and
the waters surrounding the nations of the Andean Ridge.

As the strategic headquarters for the JIATFs, SOUTHCOM
synchronizes theater counterdrug functions and activities, and
ensures that the counterdrug missions in the region are properly
resourced. This increases the efficiency and economy of
operations throughout the theater, and provides for the seamless
employment of all U.S. and allied counterdrug forces operating in
the Western Hemisphere.

The September 1997 relocation of the headquarters represents
another fundamental change for SOUTHCOM. Miami is the right
strategic location for this command. The move enhances our
ability to address the challenges accompanying our expanded UCP
responsibilities. Additionally, South Florida is the "'Gateway to
the Americas" and the regional center of trade, finance,
education, and culture. Our location at the regional
transportation hub and collocation with the Caribbean and Latin
American consulates facilitates our interactions with political,
economic, and military leadership.


-    Regional Linkages And Engagement

Each nation within our AOR is unique in its level of prosperity,
stability and history. Yet, regional commonalities of geography,
economic environment, and shared regional-specific threats link
countries to regional approaches and security cooperation.
Cooperation shapes the security environment to recognize shared
challenges and to establish a common understanding of the nature
of a future, requisite response.

SOUTHCOM's approach is founded upon hemispheric cooperation. We
have an opportunity to further national interests and strengthen
democratic institutions in Central and South America and the
Caribbean. To do so requires focused effort and teamwork.
Successful initiatives or actions do not occur in isolation, but
are integral parts of a cooperative effort. SOUTHCOM's essential
tasks are to garner thought, ideas, and support through effective
theater engagement.

-    Military Observer Mission Ecuador Peru (MOMEP)

The MOMEP is a result of shared thinking, ideas, and efforts, and
continues to be perhaps the most highly successful peacekeeping
operation in recent history. In an unprecedented move, this
multinational, multi-million dollar peacekeeping operation has
been fully funded by Peru and Ecuador--the nations in dispute.
Recently, SOUTHCOM successfully transitioned the bulk of MOMEP
mission support responsibilities to Brazil, Chile and Argentina.
I believe MOMEP serves as a model for future peacekeeping
situations as the U.S. transitions to a guiding vice leading

-    Exercises and Training

One of the primary vehicles for maintaining and expanding
regional engagement is through our exercise and training
programs. Bilateral exercises have been practically eliminated as
we have aggressively pushed for integrated and coordinated
regional approaches to regional challenges. SOUTHCOM's
multilateral exercises focus on peacekeeping, humanitarian
assistance, disaster relief, counterdrug operations, and medical
training and assistance. These multilateral exercises and
training events allow U.S. military forces and host nations to
train together and exchange skills ranging from medical
assessments and treatment to tactical maneuver and communications
skills. These activities also serve to bring together varied
nations; enhancing military-to-military confidence building
measures, reinforcing respect for human rights and encouraging
support for democratically elected institutions.

An important component of our multilateral exercise effort is the
Distinguished Visitor Program, which brings together regional
government, business and military leaders. Typically, these
influential leaders have the chance to observe an exercise, sit
as panel members in special exercise seminars and participate in
exercise After Action Reviews. This forum provides an
extraordinary opportunity for a high-level exchange of ideas and
enhances confidence building and cooperation among regional

Of special note, this past summer, Honduras hosted an exercise to
coordinate Central America's regional response to natural
disasters and humanitarian operations. The Honduran military
planned, coordinated and executed the exercise. Nicaragua, El
Salvador, Guatemala, and observers from the Dominican Republic
participated. This was the first Central American exercise of its
type to be conducted without U.S. support or participation. This
exercise highlights SOUTHCOM's influence in helping to build
Central American confidence in intra-regional coordination and

-    Security Assistance

Security Assistance is a crucial element of U.S. national
security strategy that fosters and supports cooperative regional
arrangements. Cooperation and trust among traditional rivals is
at an all time high. Military expenditures throughout this region
are the lowest in the world. Nevertheless, Latin American and
Caribbean militaries do have legitimate defense modernization

Against these requirements, the Foreign Military Financing
Program (FMF) shrank from $221.3 million in FY91 to $2 million
per year for FY96 and FY97. This limits SOUTHCOM's ability to
influence the direction and scope of regional military
modernization. We continue to work with the Department of State
in support of the FMF program.

However, one of the most cost-effective means of encouraging
development of democratic values and beliefs while shaping the
region's militaries is through the International Military
Education and Training (IMET) program. In FY97, this program
provided training for 2,400 students from the region. Another
important success story is the Expanded International Military
Education and Training (EIMET) program. Improving civil-military
relations in the region can be traced to the EIMET program. These
programs are providing a tangible contribution to the
professionalization of defense establishments within democratic

-    U.S. Army School of the Americas

The U.S. Army School of the Americas (USARSA) at Fort Benning,
Georgia serves as a vital tool in attaining U.S. strategic
objectives in Latin America and the Caribbean. The school offers
theoretical and practical instruction that promotes democratic
values, respect for human rights, and regional stability. USARSA
provides an opportunity for Latin American military and civilian
leaders to receive, in Spanish, the same instruction we provide
our own defense forces.

Since its inception in 1946, more than 60,000 officers,
noncommissioned officers, cadets and civilians have graduated
from USARSA. The school produces graduates who make positive
contributions to their countries through distinguished military
and civilian public service. Concepts and values taught at USARSA
were reaffirmed over the past decade as Latin American military
governments transitioned to democracies. In many cases, the
interpersonal relationships, forged during a common educational
experience in the school, serve as a valuable tool for regional
engagement while promoting stability.

-    Humanitarian and Civic Assistance Program

The Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA) program helps
maintain our readiness posture, generates goodwill, and improves
quality of life for people of the region.

During FY97, SOUTHCOM constructed or rehabilitated 2 roads, 32
schools, 10 clinics, and 18 water wells. We also conducted 60
medical readiness exercises providing quality medical care to
those who might otherwise receive none. In FY98, deployments to
19 countries will provide similar support.

This year SOUTHCOM will conduct the first in a series of disease
intervention exercises starting with Peru. These multilateral
exercises are designed to address the causes, not just the
effects, of diseases unique to this region.

-    Humanitarian Assistance Program

The Humanitarian Assistance (HA) program provides selected
countries with non-lethal, excess DOD property to meet specific
humanitarian needs. Last year we provided 28 shipments worth over
$13 million to 20 different countries. Primarily medical
and disaster relief supplies, these donations significantly
boosted the limited medical infrastructure in recipient
countries. We also  provided medical care to the Haitian
civilian population and initiated a Regional Medical
Surveillance System in the Caribbean.

In FY98, SOUTHCOM has programmed 28 HA projects for 22 countries.
Our HA budget of $2.1 million includes purchasing equipment for
medical/disease surveillance systems, assisting malaria
eradication efforts, and shipping disaster relief supplies,
medical supplies, and fire-fighting equipment throughout the

-    Human Rights

SOUTHCOM's human rights program is a proactive engagement tool
which has garnered increased support and respect for the tenets
of human rights and international law among the region's security
forces. Last June, SOUTHCOM sponsored a human rights seminar
where representatives from militaries throughout the AOR met with
members of the international human rights community to develop a
consensus document creating a vision o regional militaries'
responsibilities in human rights. Five main areas of
responsibility were identified: (1) human rights and military
doctrine, (2) human rights education and training, (3) internal
control mechanisms (e.g., prevention, investigation,
accountability), (4) external control of the
military/subordination to civilian authority, and (5) clear
delineation of military and police roles. More recently, a
follow-on seminar was conducted to develop specific
recommendations on ways that regional militaries can
institutionalize human rights in doctrine, education, training
and operational practices. Additionally, methods were developed
to assist in measuring progress toward attaining these human
rights objectives.

-    Demining

SOUTHCOM Special Operations forces are assisting Organization of
American States and the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB)
demining operations in Central America. Our goal is to develop
self-sustaining national demining programs in the participating
nations. U.S. forces provide training, technical advice, and
logistical support to the International Demining team located in
Danli, Honduras.

Humanitarian demining operations are being conducted in Honduras,
Costa Rica and Nicaragua. On 5 Feb 1998, the Interagency Working
Group for Humanitarian demining approved Guatemala for demining
operations. The IADB and SOUTHCOM will conduct a resource
determination and site survey in Guatemala during March of this
year. On-site demining operations should commence shortly

As a result of these demining efforts, 1,672 mines have been
destroyed and 73,741 square meters of land cleared in Nicaragua;
1,923 mines were destroyed and 166,637 square meters of land
cleared in Honduras; and 37 mines were destroyed and 33,076
square meters of land were cleared in Costa Rica. Honduras and
Costa Rica should complete their demining programs
during the 2nd Qtr of FY99. To date, the International Demining
Team has cleared mines that were impeding access to a series of
electrical transmission towers in Nicaragua that supply energy to
the central region. In the near future, a series of bridges that
link the populated areas around Managua to the ports on the
Atlantic Coast will be cleared of mines. As a derivative benefit,
the Department of Defense has been actively engaged with the
Nicaraguan military for the first time in over a decade. In
addition, U.S. Marine forces are rapidly clearing our own
minefields inside the confines of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay,

-    Counterdrug

While the progress toward our national objective of a democratic,
peaceful, and prosperous hemisphere has been substantial,
narcotics trafficking remains a major challenge in the region. In
simple terms, the threat posed by drug trafficking is an ambush
in the path toward achieving our national objectives. Fighting
through this ambush with a minimum of capital investment, our
drug interdiction operations are having a significant effect on
the flow of illegal drugs throughout the hemisphere. Coca
cultivation has decreased more than twenty-seven percent in Peru
and five percent in Bolivia. Additionally, our airbridge
interdiction efforts are disrupting the aerial shipment of coca
thereby forcing the narcotraffickers to adapt by moving to
alternative air, ground and water transportation modes, and by
relocating coca cultivation and laboratory processing sites. The
opportunity exists to counter these new methods of growing,
processing, and shipment, and ultimately affects
narcotraffickers' motivation--profit. Enhanced engagement with
national security forces will serve to constrict the ends of the
drug pipeline. At the same time, the entire region must be
postured to close down cross border support for narcotrafficking,
stem the erosion of national sovereignty, and achieve a regional
response to a shared threat.
The nations of the Hemisphere are recognizing narcotrafficking as
a shared threat and a threat to national sovereignty. Regional
law enforcement forces, which have the lead role, are progressing
in the struggle against narcotrafficking within their borders.
This is largely the result of successful engagement by various
U.S. agencies with host nations. The threat to national
sovereignty is largely unchallenged as a regional effort.
Regional militaries should assist civilian law enforcement
agencies in the protection of their national sovereignty against
a threat which knows no borders. SOUTHCOM's engagement must
support these efforts. Where we are conducting military
engagement, we are seeing success. Where our military engagement
is limited, progress is limited.

In the source zone, Operation LASER STRIKE, our airbridge
interdiction effort, continues to have a significant impact in
deterring illegal air traffic along the Peru-Colombia airbridge.
In combined operations with Peru and Colombia, aerial and ground
assets continue to degrade the narcotraffickers' ability to move
coca base from cultivation areas in Peru to processing sites in
Colombia. Last year alone, 27 narcotrafficking aircraft were
either shot down, strafed, or seized by Peruvian and Colombian
end-game forces.

Riverine interdiction programs have been developed for Peru and
Colombia that will significantly improve the riverine
interdiction capabilities of those nations. Key elements of the
Peru plan include establishing a Joint Riverine Training Center
in Iquitos; training and equipping twelve operational Riverine
Interdiction Units; and procuring and outfitting three Floating
Support Bases. The training center will commence operations this
summer with the first operational unit coming online during the
4th quarter of FY98.

We are initiating a similar program to enhance the existing
Colombian Riverine program. Key elements of the Colombia plan
include improving infrastructure, providing spare parts,
upgrading existing communications and navigation equipment,
enhancing personnel protective equipment, sourcing additional
riverine patrol craft and improving the quality and depth of

These riverine initiatives are designed to provide Peru and
Colombia unilateral capabilities to apply pressure along critical
avenues where the narcotraffickers currently enjoy almost
uncontested freedom of movement.

In the transit zone, there has been a notable increase in the
willingness of Caribbean and Central American nations to
participate in combined interdiction operations. Operations
SUMMER STORM and BLUE SKIES are excellent examples. operations in
the eastern Caribbean have effectively teamed U.S. helicopter and
transportation support with participating nation forces and
surface assets.

Due to limited resources, transit zone maritime
interdiction operations have been focused on the Caribbean where
cooperation from all nations including France, the United Kingdom
and the Netherlands has produced positive results.

Transit and source zone radar networks play a critical role in
interdiction operations. The Puerto Rico ROTHR site, to be
activated next year, along with source zone radar
commercialization will enhance capabilities while reducing
overall costs and personnel tempo.


While there is justification for optimism based on the wave of
democratic reform that has swept through our region, we recognize
that many of these emerging democracies are fragile and will
require our continued support, assistance and nurturing as they
mature. While insurgencies and border disputes continue to
undermine stability in some countries, the greatest threats that
confront the region are transnational in nature. They include
international organized crime, drugs, terrorism, illegal
migration and arms trafficking.

-    International Organized Crime

International criminal organizations threaten stability, corrupt
government officials, and hinder some governments' abilities to
protect their citizens. Crimes include drug and arms trafficking,
theft, smuggling of illegal migrants, kidnappings, and money
laundering. Many governments lack the resources to counter these
threats. Insofar as international crime erodes national
sovereignty, regional militaries can play an appropriate role in
support of law enforcement efforts. SOUTHCOM engagement helps
regional militaries to assume and perform these roles and
missions within a democratic context.

-    Drugs

Though we have enjoyed some success in reducing production in the
source zone, and our interdiction efforts have led to the
interception of appreciable quantities of illegal drugs destined
for the United States, supply continues to match demand and we
see a number of challenges before us. The three most significant
are: (1) obtaining sufficient detection, monitoring and tracking
assets to cover all transit routes; (2) developing the common
operating picture required to coordinate and orchestrate
hemispheric counterdrug operations, and (3) sustaining
counterdrug operations at current levels.

During 1997, we were provided sufficient DOD and
interagency resources to cover approximately 1/5th of the transit
and source zones, 1/5th of the time. Through judicious
application of assets and sound intelligence cueing, we were able
to provide generally effective coverage of the source zone and
the transit routes through the Caribbean. We have been unable,
however, to mount effective detection, monitoring and tracking
operations in the Eastern Pacific, a pipeline which feeds Mexico
and ultimately the U.S. Due to worldwide competition for
resources, we found it necessary to postpone the execution phase
of CAPER FOCUS, an operation which promised to make substantial
inroads into trafficking along the Eastern Pacific littorals.
SOUTHCOM is working with the Joint Staff and interagency
community to identify the detection, monitoring and tracking and
other capabilities needed to execute CAPER FOCUS. Our inability
to initiate this operation is yet another indicator of how thinly
stretched our increasingly sparse DOD assets have become.

The development of a common operating picture or system that will
enable us to display simultaneously and in real time data
developed by multiple collectors and operating agencies will
improve the efficiency and effectiveness of both U.S. and
multilateral counterdrug operations. Absent this capability,
seams are created which are exploited by traffickers, and
handoffs of tracks of interest and prosecution of end game
operations are significantly impeded. We have stressed to our
neighbors that drugs are a hemispheric problem, which demands a
hemispheric solution. Development of the common operating picture
will remove one of the major obstacles to hemispheric

In the face of continued reductions in forces and budgets, we
will be hard-pressed to sustain operations during 1998 at the
same levels as 1997. Ongoing, long duration contingency
operations in Bosnia, continued support for the Government of
Haiti, increased emphasis on demand side strategies, and the low
priority accorded counterdrug operations in the Global Military
Forces Policy all have impact on the kinds and quantities of DOD
and non-DOD assets available to SOUTHCOM.

To sustain the progress that has been made in the source zone
countries of Peru and Bolivia, to continue our successful
interdiction of the Andean Ridge air bridge, to close the Eastern
Pacific "backdoor" and to improve the efficiency and
effectiveness of hemispheric counterdrug operations will require
interagency consensus and continued emphasis on CD operations
within the context of threats to our national interests and

-    Terrorism

Regional insurgent groups such as the Sendero Luminoso, Tupac
Amaru, FARC and the ELN pose credible threats to the governments
and citizens of the nations in this region. In recent years,
major international terrorist groups, including Hizballah, have
turned to Latin America as a safe-haven for support bases to
sustain worldwide operations. Though U.S. Personnel and forces
have not been the subject of attack, we are sensitive to their

To combat terrorism, SOUTHCOM has developed an active anti-
terrorism program. Individual awareness is the primary weapon in
our anti-terrorism arsenal. We require full compliance with
SOUTHCOM and CJCS-directed anti-terrorism awareness training
requirements before allowing any forces to enter the region. In
addition, SOUTHCOM assessment teams review force protection/anti-
terrorism programs and facilities of DOD and non-DOD activities
to identify and correct vulnerabilities. Force protection/anti-
terrorism responsibilities have been clearly delineated, and we
work closely with country teams to help eliminate gaps and seams
in this shared responsibility.

Several efforts are ongoing to strengthen our antiterrorism
posture. Procurement and upgrading of light armored vehicles for
personnel transportation and enhanced communications capabilities
are high priority initiatives throughout the region. Acquisition
of the land surrounding the Headquarters is required to achieve
adequate force protection standoff distances, while acquisition
of the Headquarters building is the most cost effective means to
support SOUTHCOM mission requirements. Physical security upgrade
projects are being pursued for the U.S. Support Group - Haiti,
JTF-Bravo in Honduras, source zone radar sites, and Guantanamo
Naval Base. SOUTHCOM is sensitive to the imperative requirement
for an effective force protection posture. We monitor closely the
activities of our deployed personnel and units and move
proactively when any change or intensification of threats is

-    Illegal Migration

The SOUTHCOM AOR has become a major avenue for both intra-and
inter-hemispheric illegal migration. This migration places a
strain through economic and social imbalances on the governments
of the region. If unchecked, these imbalances can threaten a
nation's sovereignty and internal stability. Only through a
cooperative approach between governmental agencies, non-
governmental organizations, and private voluntary organizations
can we fashion an effective response. While the responsibility of
routine migration operations resides with the Immigration and
Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice, mass
migration poses a particular challenge for SOUTHCOM. The
capabilities required to conduct emergency mass migrant
operations, if and when directed by the President, reside within
our Service components. These Service component capabilities are
important, and given regional political and economic
uncertainties, may well be required in the future just as they
were during the 1994 Caribbean migration crisis. While we remain
poised to mitigate the effects of major illegal migrations, first
emphasis is on prevention. Through proactive regional cooperative
engagement, and in cooperation with other U.S. Government
agencies, we seek to help identify and eliminate the causes for
population displacement before they occur.

-    Illegal Arms Transfers

In Latin America and the Caribbean, illegal arms transfers pose a
serious threat. Arms caches from civil wars, black markets,
military weapons captured by insurgents, and illegal seepage from
military armories severely complicate the regional governments'
abilities to maintain law and order. For example, well-armed
guerrillas, paramilitary organizations, and narcotraffickers
challenge governmental control in Colombia. If these
organizations acquire more technologically advanced systems,
governments will face an even greater threat. SOUTHCOM's
challenge is to develop a cooperative approach with regional
security forces to identify, stem and ultimately stop the illegal
flow of arms within the region. A good first step was the passage
in the Organization of American States of the Inter-American
Convention Against Illicit Production Of and Trafficking in
Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Related Materials, now
awaiting Senate ratification.

-    Legal Arms Transfers: Modernization

Politically and militarily, Latin America is in
transformation. Though the region is at peace, Latin American
militaries have legitimate modernization requirements. By
following a rational and responsible, case-by-case review process
for the sale of advanced weapon systems, the U.S. has the
opportunity to shape modernization efforts of Latin American
security forces. Our nation has made great strides in creating an
atmosphere of mutual trust and cooperation. We are now witnessing
a new era of trust, confidence and defense transparency between
nations that only recently viewed their neighbors as adversaries.
Some striking examples of this changing atmosphere are the
Argentina-Brazil joint exercises, possible Argentina-Chile joint
exercises, the multilateral exercises conducted by SOUTHCOM in
Central and South America, and Chile's recent public release of
its Defense Strategy--a first for Latin America.

The progress of regional democracies in maintaining open and
amicable relations with neighboring states is influenced
primarily by domestic conditions and the conviction that national
sovereignty is assured. Latin American nations are taking steps
to modernize their militaries. Purchasing weapons systems from
the U.S. brings with it full multi-year support and the desirable
element of transparency. Most importantly, the U.S. is able to
influence the employment of these weapon systems through
training, doctrinal development, and levels of technology
release, while enhancing hemispheric cooperative

-    Radio Frequency Spectrum Usage

The radio frequency spectrum is a finite resource that must be
shared by the public and private sectors. Current proposals
assume significant revenue generation from the sale of the radio
frequency spectrum now reserved for military use. However,
spectrum reallocation legislation should contain appropriate
consideration for future warfighting requirements. We are fully
supportive of efforts to balance the federal ledgers, but believe
the loss of certain critical spectrum segments may have
unintended consequences. The expense to refit communications,
navigational and weapons systems on key military platforms might
negate the anticipated revenue gains from spectrum sales.
SOUTHCOM fully supports the development of a National Spectrum
Strategy. This approach will minimize the risk to future military
operations while protecting national security. Spectrum sharing
in both the public and private sector can be accomplished
effectively and affordably if appropriately

-    Specific Country Challenges


Paraguay's May 1998 presidential election will represent that
nation's first democratic transition from one civilian president
to another in 50 years. However, the election is threatened by a
weak process. General Oviedo's influence further complicates the
issue. In April 1996, then Army Commander General Oviedo
challenged President Wasmosy's control of the military by
initially refusing to obey a presidential order to retire.
Although currently under house arrest, General Oviedo enjoys
strong public support and is the presidential nominee of the
Colorado Party that has dominated Paraguayan politics for the
past 50 years. Paradoxically, he could be the next
constitutionally elected President. our concerns in Paraguay
center on persistent indications that some national leaders, to
include the military, might consider extra-constitutional
measures to block General Oviedo's candidacy thereby undermining
the integrity of the nation and its democratic processes.


Political adversities in Haiti have hindered progress toward
achieving a self-sustaining democratic process that is capable of
advancing political and economic reforms. President has assigned
SOUTHCOM the mission of maintaining a periodic exercise presence.
U.S. Support Group, Haiti, will remain in country to provide
command, control and logistical support to U.S. forces conducting
port calls and exercises. The Support Group has no security
mission beyond force protection.

In FY98, six schools will be built or renovated, five wells will
be drilled and 130 separate medical site visits will be
conducted. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard will conduct nine port-
calls each involving a civic assistance project in Port Au
Prince. Construction of the maritime operational facility in
Jacmel will commence in mid-summer 199g. This project will
enhance the u-S- and Haitian Coast Guard's ability to combat the
illegal flow of drugs from South America into Haiti.

We have aggressively sought to cut costs for Haiti operations.
Our initial cost savings measure reduced the U.S. military
footprint in Haiti through a reduction in the Support Group
staff. Other reductions will be implemented in the 3 d quarter of
FY98, without sacrificing our program of activities. SOUTHCOM is
committed to supporting interagency efforts that nurture the
democratic process. Ministerial Advisory Teams, attached to the
U.S. Embassy, provide advice and assistance at the highest levels
of the Haitian government on issues such as prisoner registry,
enforcing customs laws and contraband control. U.S. military
forces provide a visible and stabilizing presence, while periodic
exercises are focused on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance and
Humanitarian Assistance projects that enhance the Haitian quality
of life.

Colombia continues to be a troubled state plagued by violent
insurgencies, paramilitary forces, and drug trafficking. While
most of the region's insurgents have disappeared due to a lack of
international sponsorship, two groups, the Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN),
survive. Both use narcotrafficking, kidnapping and extortion to
bankroll their operations. Their existence seriously jeopardizes
peace and economic progress. Insurgents and rogue paramilitary
forces continue to violate the rights of innocent citizens. The
FARC and ELN are not only dangers to Colombia, they also threaten
bordering countries. To combat these insurgents, regional police
and military forces must increase coordination and cooperation.
The Colombian Army is currently on the defensive. As part of a
comprehensive approach to both the narcotrafficking and
insurgency problems, our engagement with the Colombian military
will address deficiencies that Colombian security forces have
shown in performing their counternarcotics mission.

SOUTHCOM just concluded a very successful Andean Ridge Chiefs of
Mission Conference in which Andean Ridge Ambassadors, DOS, NSA,
JS, DOD, CIA and DIA reviewed Colombia's instability and its
effect on the region. Discussions were fruitful reaching
consensus on a wide range of issues including developing
initiatives for a regional approach, promoting European
involvement, and increasing engagement opportunities.


-    Vision

SOUTHCOM's vision is a community of stable, democratic nations
with professional, modernized, interoperable security forces that
embrace democratic principles and human rights, that are
subordinate to civil authority, and are capable and supportive of
multilateral responses to regional challenges.

Success in our theater requires a balanced approach to conducting
regional engagement and counterdrug operations. A strategic link
exists in varying degrees between these two missions in each
country in our region. We seek to establish the correct balance
between these missions in each country to meet that country's
specific requirements. Our strategy requires a well thought out
and carefully crafted theater architecture to ensure that our
numerically small forces are positioned in a way that will enable
them to engage continuously and conduct efficient and cost-
effective regional engagement and counterdrug operations.

SOUTHCOM must prepare now. The command will continue to leverage
efficiencies by capitalizing on emerging technologies and
revolutions in business and military affairs. However, as we
integrate the concepts of Joint Vision 2010, the command must be
vigilant to maintain interoperability with legacy systems
employed by regional security forces. Therefore, SOUTHCOM must
assist in modernizing and improving the interoperability of
regional security forces. As we prepare to meet future
challenges, special emphasis must be given to consequence
management and the activities that must be accomplished
following crisis termination. Throughout this process, force
protection and quality of life of the force will be emphasized
and sustained. Refined and coordinated country-specific force
protection programs, coupled with enhanced threat acquisition,
analysis and capabilities, will reduce the vulnerability of our
personnel and facilities while advancing mission accomplishment. 

-    Theater Architecture & Forward Presence

Central to the effective execution of our mission is a properly
structured theater architecture and an appropriate level and
balance of forward military presence. These essential elements
support theater engagement activities, counternarcotics
operations, and will allow a rapid response to theater crises.
The infrastructure in Panama provides a secure gateway to South
America. While we hope negotiations with Panama for the
establishment of a regional Multinational Counternarcotics Center
(MCC) will come to a successful conclusion soon, the outcome of
negotiations is uncertain. Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras
continues to be an effective and efficient anchor point to
support operations and exercises in Central America. Fort
Buchanan, Puerto Rico, will grow to serve as the gateway to
support theater engagement and counternarcotics operations in the

In a region where the army historically dominates military
forces, our partners view the relocation of United States Army
South (USARSO) to Puerto Rico as an important signal of our
continued commitment to them and to their security needs. Manned
by soldiers who possess long-term experience and sensitivity to
regional issues and cultures, USARSO is expert at shaping
regional militaries, responding to regional crises and supporting
our regional partners' preparations for an uncertain future. The
relocation to Puerto Rico will permit us to capitalize on an
existing, robust partnership and achieve the full and
complementary integration of USARSO and Puerto Rican National
Guard and Reserve components, thereby fully exploiting the unique
capabilities of the Total Force.

To further enhance SOUTHCOM's naval activities in regional
engagement, I urge U.S. ratification of the UN Convention on the
Law of the Sea (LOS). The Convention embodies the concept of the
rule of law with regard to the use of the world's oceans and is
consistent with U.S. national interests. The freedom of
navigation and over-flight rights reflected in the Convention are
of utmost importance to maintain operational flexibility of U.S.
forces to protect U.S. vital interests. In the SOUTHCOM AOR there
are several nations with excessive maritime claims or
restrictions inconsistent with the Convention. The U.S. is
engaged in diplomatic and operational initiatives to encourage
these nations to conform their maritime claims to the provisions
contained in the Convention. As non-Parties to the Convention,
the authoritative weight of U.S. efforts is diminished. By
joining the other 120 nations, which are Parties to the
Convention, the U.S. will be better postured to further U.S.
interests in the hemisphere.


Looking to the future, the United States Southern Command faces
an intriguing mixture of challenges and opportunities. By and
large this is a "good news" theater. . . nowhere have the
objectives of our national strategy of engagement and enlargement
been more widely achieved. This is also an economy of force
theater, and it is our intention to keep it so. We do not need
armor brigades, carrier battle groups, fighter wings, or Marine
Expeditionary Forces. Rather, as asserted in the body of this
posture statement, we simply need modest numbers of the right
kinds of troops, with the right skills, performing the right
missions, in the right places, at the right times. This is not a
theater built on treaties, formal alliances, standard written
agreements, or protocols. Instead, it is a theater and a region
that runs on handshakes and personal relationships. An
indispensable ingredient for our future success will be an
adequate theater architecture. In very simple terms, our
interests in Latin America cannot be superintended from North
America. We must maintain a compact but visible presence in the
region. I consider it imperative that when United States Army
South leaves Panama, as it must under the terms of the Canal
Treaties, that it relocate to Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico.
There, our active component planners and programmers can join
forces with nearly 15,000 aggressive, hard-charging, bilingual
Guardsmen and reservists. The result will be a unique total force
team, focused on the region and sensitive to its cultures. With
the SOUTHCOM Headquarters at the strategic hub in Miami, USARSO
in Puerto Rico, Joint Task Force Bravo minding the store in
Central America from Soto Cano, and with JIATF South as the
United States element of a Multinational Counterdrug Center, in
Panama or elsewhere, we will be well-postured to execute our
theater strategy and prosecute the war on drugs as we enter the
third millennium.