Small Wars Journal

U.S. Southern Command Head Focused on ‘Day After’ in Venezuela

U.S. Southern Command Head Focused on ‘Day After’ in Venezuela – Associated Press

The head of U.S. Southern Command says military officials are focusing on preparing for “the day after” once “isolated” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro leaves power.

Navy Adm. Craig Faller warned Monday against Venezuela’s “formidable weapon system” and criticized Cuba, Russia and China for assisting Maduro, saying it was important to put “continuous pressure” on the “illegitimate regime” and organize humanitarian efforts.

Faller also shared concern about the growing influence of China in Brazil. China is the South American country’s largest foreign investor.

The commander is in Rio de Janeiro for a multinational maritime exercise this month that partly aims to better coordinate the response to cyber war threats and natural disasters…

Read on.


From the Admiral Faller document to the 116th Congress Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities that I provided in my initial comment below -- in the major section, therein on Page 8, entitled "Outcompeting ESAs" (external state actors): 


Engagements and presence:

We have to be on the playing field to compete.


And yet, from the vantage point of "values, ideas and ideals," the U.S. today clearly IS NOT "on the playing field" -- as I note and confirm in my initial comment below.

This being the case then:

a.  Re: "competition,"

b.  What chance do we have

c.  To "compete," much less to "win,"

d.  In Venezuela and/or elsewhere 

e.  Today and/or "on the day after;" this,

f.  If we have -- very carefully and very formally -- abandoned the "values, ideas and ideas" field of battle?


First, from Page 1 of the statement by Admiral Faller, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, before the 116th Congress Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, July 9, 2019:


As the National Defense Strategy recognizes, the principal problem facing the Department of Defense is interstate strategic competition with China and Russia. I believe an important element of this involves competition for values, ideas, and ideals.


Next, the question I continuously ask:


a.  "Competition" -- as noted by Admiral Faller above -- relates significantly to "values, ideas, and ideals"


b.  How can the U.S./the West be said to be "competing?"


c.  If we have embraced -- and/or have generally stated as being completely acceptable -- the values, ideas, and ideals of others/of everyone else?

Then-British Prime Minister Theresa May:

“It is in our interests – those of Britain and America together – to stand strong together to defend our values, our interests and the very ideas in which we believe,” she said.

"This cannot mean a return to the failed policies of the past. The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over.”

U.S. President Donald Trump:

"We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.”

“Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.”

Bottom Line Thought -- Based on the Above:

With regard to such things as "values, ideas, and ideals" -- which are specifically noted by Admiral Faller above re: "competition" --  one can hardly say that one is "competiting;" this, if one has adopted -- and formally announced to the whole world via media loud-speaker -- that:

a.  EVERYONE'S "values, ideas and ideals" are just fine and

b.  Likewise their related systems of government, etc.

Based on this such observation, then we can we not definitely say that:

a.  While our enemies are, indeed, "competing" -- as to such things as "values, ideas and ideals" -- and indeed promoting same accordingly

b.  The U.S./the West today -- as to either of these such activities (competing; promoting) -- definitely is not?