Small group of Marines, sailors complete ‘first step’ in building long-term Latin America task force
The U.S. is slowly strengthening a multinational task force in Latin America whose role spans from natural disaster to security responses. 2018’s exercises saw the first time officers from foreign partner countries were integrated into the command staff, when a Colombian officer served as deputy commander of the task force. A Chilean and a Honduran officer were also embedded within the group. Speaking about the exercises, a leader stated that “our view was that we were the first step in a long process that would result in a Multinational Maritime Task Force that had many partners, with many types of resources, including the US.” The US Southern Command’s leading challenges in the region include influence-buying by both China and Russia, and the US hopes that these kinds of partnerships can help maintain close relationships and stability in the Western hemisphere in the face of crisis like the Venezuelan economic, political, and refugee crisis.