Small Wars Journal

Winning the Choice: Problem-focused Marketing for Military Partnership

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 8:12am

Winning the Choice: Problem-focused Marketing for Military Partnership

Chris Telley

A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.

-- John D. Rockefeller[1]

U.S. military leaders, at home and abroad, champion the idea that the United States military is the “partner of choice” for security relations in its competition with revisionist actors like Russia and China.[2] But, is it, really? Across the globe, emerging rifts with old friends, like Turkey, and developing partners, like Cambodia, suggest that the United States might not be as adored as the catch-phrase suggests.[3] In Latin America, as trade balances shift, trusted partners recognize the PRC over Taiwan, Huawei infrastructure proliferates, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) grows, and China increases its arms sales, the US position looks threatened.[4] For the first time in thirty years, a peer competitor is challenging US influence in the western hemisphere; hard questions and innovative actions are required to ensure that security customers in the region choose us.

The prolific talking point in question, a core element of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) strategic communication, acknowledges the choice that partner nations make in an ever more diverse and chaotic security market. If the United States military expects countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to choose its services, over those of a variety of competitors, SOUTHCOM must design an approach which, in reality and promotion, substantively serves the needs of the customer—the partner nation. This evolution starts with a full understanding that the United States’ market share in the security sector is challenged and that it must find adjacent segments in which to compete for customer loyalty. With this understanding, the command can develop new product offerings, beginning with problem focused contact groups. Such experimentation is aimed at providing actions that strategic communication can offer rather than simply promoting what we think.

To start off, why term partner nations “customers?” Generally, a customer is defined as an individual or business that buys another entity's good or service. Businesses compete for customers by either advertising, lowering prices, or offering different products. Characterizing partners as customers, for the sake of design, allows us to model an actor’s choice more accurately. A market metaphor simply enables exploration of what will motivate partners to “sustain their commitment to achieving common objectives.”[5] The U.S. offers and advertises a range of physical, service, as well as ideological goods—the customer/partner purchases these goods by either cash or acquiescence to policy needs. The U.S. needs cash for economic well-being, sure; but, compliance to policy needs—some would call it partnership—is the lifeblood of the American security enterprise and the payment rendered for SOUTHCOM’s services. Though SOUTHCOM leaders understand, "Our great-power competitors have perfected the art of transactional diplomacy" the strategy for countering it is still taken from global Department guidance focuses away from Latin America.[6]

The language of U.S. strategic documents tends to focus on things like “trust” and “relationships”—the language of friendship. Perhaps this is an example of egocentrism and overconfidence bias.[7] Statesmen of great powers have often maintained that their nations had interest not friends, why would this not be true of the partners the U.S. seeks. [8] Why would those nation’s leader believe the American rhetoric? Despite a the colorful history of interventions, Latin America showed solidarity with the United States after 9-11; but the War on Terror saw the U.S. largely turn its back on the region and remain focused on narcotics shipments or immigration flows.[9] As trade proportions and foreign direct investment percentages start to favor our competitors, SOUTHCOM must recognize that the customer has a vote, and a malleable one at that.

A Contested Market

China is the primary market challenger for U.S. security exports as it is now clear that BRI framework comes with an assumption of deepening military relations.[10] Senior Latin American defense officials are routinely invited to China. [11] Military officers from Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela have attended China’s senior defense colleges and institutes, as well as periodic military forums.[12]  There is a rising level of bilateral exercises and school exchanges, headlined by cooperative training at Latin American institutions, in places like Tolemaida, Colombia and Manaus, Brazil. There is also, of course, the periodic visits the hospital ship, the Peace Ark.[13] Unfortunately for the buyer, China’s moves are not necessarily mutually beneficial. The PRC’s unique brand of engagement also comes with authoritarian overtones of a surveillance state, support to dictators, and suppression of ethnic minorities. The product is also sub-par. The Chinese Army admits, internally, that it is not trained, led, or equipped well enough for waging modern warfare.[14]

If the product is lousy and comes with strings attached, why do Latin American’s still buy? Simple: the product is cheap and responsive. While U.S. leaders are quick to point out that “our stuff is better — it's just better,” they fail to ask if the partner needs what is essentially a luxury good.[15] China’s arms exports have risen sharply over the last decade with offerings that feature “soft” financial arrangements and much lower cost than western products.[16] As told by the SOUTHCOM commander: where U.S. leaders are offering a few million dollars in security assistance, Chinese are offering up tens of millions in cash.[17]  For China, export revenue is simply not a primary goal - strategic influence is the price.[18] The PRC also takes a view that the customer’s human rights record lies outside of contractual arrangements, a convenient ‘no questions asked’ policy also allows a state to reduce its vulnerability to arms embargoes.[19] Low cost and low morals are not things the U.S. can afford to cut, but this is the trend in the market, with China and other actors.

There are also non-traditional competitors to contend with; like automakers grappling with car-sharing the US must now content with ancillary networks that threaten its market share.  Non-state actors, private firms and narco-traffickers, can easily steer the customer’s choice.  Private firms can offer many of the high-end services that a smaller nation might have looked to U.S. markets to provide, without the baggage of past military interventions or foreign legislative oversight. If the American military can buy surveillance services in Africa, the UAE can contract offensive cyber capabilities and special operations forces, or the Wagner Group can train militias or crush dissent; what do partner nations need SOUTHCOM for?[20] Narco-traffickers are also getting into the governance and security business, establishing seemingly legitimate rule over entire polities. Their “plato o plomo” enforcement measures cannot coexist with western rule of law but the U.S. has found little reason to intervene.[21] So, these other security actors’ presence will remain and, essentially, deny that space to U.S. foreign policy entities. Even if the U.S. can get trainers there, history shows that efforts to build up local militaries are often an expensive halfway measure which often falls short of expectations.[22]

Business Innovation

It is clear that the U.S. security business model in Latin America is under threat. Change is clearly needed, but what to do? These sorts of market competition problems are a perennial affair for commercial endeavors. Companies regularly face great uncertainty in deciding whether to bet big, hedge, or go with the status quo. What they’ve found is that traditional strategic-planning processes don’t help much.[23] In very uncertain environments, corporate managers too are risk-averse, fail to trust their instincts, and suffer from decision paralysis as much as any other large institution. Instead of attempting critical course correction, they focus on tinkering, quality control, or internal efficiency seeking. For SOUTHCOM this looks like requesting a couple more surveillance platforms, bringing more partners into exercises, adding a Littoral Combat ship, or “messaging” about why China is bad and the U.S. is good.[24] Although useful, these steps are no substitute for decisive action. [25] This is where SOUTHCOM can learn from industry.

According to the Harvard Business Review, in such a situation companies must choose to be either shapers, adapters, or reserve the right to play. The SOUTHCOM area of responsibility is too big for the command to be a “shaper,” as it cannot realistically drive its industry toward a new structure of its own devising.[26] Similarly, SOUTHCOM cannot be a true “adapter” as their lack of control over strategic positioning—that is, from policy makers—eliminates such a path.[27]  However, “reserving the right to play” is a special form of adapting, involves incremental investments, “that provide a privileged position, through either superior information, cost structures, or relationships between customers and suppliers.” [28] In an uncertain environment, SOUTHCOM can commission “intelligent forays” into the unknown—experimental product lines—to create the future of security cooperation.[29] A reserving the right to play outlook allows SOUTHCOM to both maintain status quo activities and seek new positions of advantage. After all, the command has an economy-of-force theater and must assume that this will not change; so, it can neither commit extensive resources to new services nor radically divest of any particular activity.

The SOUTHCOM commander knows this, having recently informed a congressional committee that “we’re not going to compete in volume. We have to compete in quality and speed of relevance.” [30] He’s absolutely right! SOUTHCOM needs to include an “Outside-In” approach in its planning, this means delivering a superior customer experience that is focused on the client.[31] This requires a bit of a cognitive leap—we have to use the narrative of customer-need to drive actions, first, and then communicate about those actions. For instance: instead of just talking about how China is a malign actor, SOUTHCOM should actively and publicly seek to assist countries like Barbados, Costa Rica, Guyana, as well as St. Kitts and Nevis to stop illegal fishing by Chinese vessels, as they are unlikely to take a frontal approach alone.[32] Successful support actions could then be promoted, with the customer as the central figure, to much more acclaim than our current rule-of-law refrains in strategic communication.

There are many more asymmetric threats that offer diversification from our normal counter-narcotics and counterterrorism lines. Past examples of customer-centric but not entirely doctrinal problem solving, include engagement with Honduran army brigades to protect archaeological sites from looting and, in Africa, Civil Affairs troops training game wardens in Tanzania and Gabon.[33] For USSOUTHCOM, the Caribbean Region Information Operations Council (CRIOC) produced collaboration on IO targeting against real transnational threat networks operating in the Caribbean region, rather than just conducting exercises.[34] One of their success stories is Operation Marlin Spike which was a combined Information Operations effort, with the Bahamas, against illicit flows and illegal fishing.[35]  All of these problems involve transregional networks that are larger than an individual partner nation’s capability or capacity. The customer is already telling us they need more help, as the Commander of the 12th Air Force discovered: “I think we almost can’t do too much in the transregional transnational threat network. Every one of the Air Chiefs is concerned about that, whether it’s a gang or cartel.” [36] So called intelligent forays into new security services must meet these asymmetric customer needs; the U.S. military has the resources to do so.

Consulting the Consumer

The SOUTHCOM commander maintains that, “the single best investment the U.S. makes is sending partner military officers to U.S. training and professional military schools, like the Army War College.“[37] This works for the US, because those trained officers, theoretically, go back as friendly network nodes and marketers American ideals. However, if we flip the metaphor around and ask why they want to come, there is a different piece of knowledge to be had. The key advantage of the United States are its trained operators. This is seen in the high return on investment shown in senior leader engagements within immature theaters.[38] Countries with defense budgets less than the cost of a Joint Strike Fighter, similarly, do not have the institutional capacity to reliably grow the sort of in-house expertise that the United States takes for granted. Yes, foreign officers want to come to the United States to train but that quasi-tourism resource should also be a key export.

Essentially, SOUTHCOM should be “selling” U.S. military problem solving. For those in the institution, this may sound laughable but we clearly have a good product. Remember, the customer sends its best officers to learn U.S. military decision making processes. The customer is also much more resource constrained and therefore more in need of cost saving solutions; why can the U.S. not export the experts and lessons of the last five years of DIUx, SOFWERX, and other transformational innovation efforts? The McChrystal Group gets the moniker “combat consultant” because of the CEO, and former-General’s recruitment of military talent.[39] Even just running wargaming sessions can have problem solving, messaging, and marketing potential. If Fortune 500 companies need this help, why not national security institutions? Hiring "the SOUTHCOM team" is cheaper for a partner than McKinsey & Company and comes connected to the vast network of U.S. security and industrial resource networks, without a retainer for time not spent dwelling on the relevant problem.

The perfect example of this sort of customer focused activity is the Allied Information Technology’s (AIT) office at the Army’s Program Executive Office - Enterprise Information Systems. Since 2016, AIT has been delivering non-standard Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber and Intelligence (C5I) capabilities that are tailored according to host nation requirements, not limited to just the products and services also-ordered by a $718 billion-dollar US joint force.[40] As part of foreign military sales in the Defense Security Cooperation and Assistance program, a small team with a flexible budget has strengthened bilateral partnerships, enhanced coalitions, and increased partner readiness in uncertain and complex environments. AIT’s most recent accolades come from building custom mission command, cybersecurity, and defense business systems for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.[41] Ground level contact teams, that are partner focused, show us how to increase a nation's capacity to contribute to regional security regimes and defend their national sovereignty, while meeting broader US policy aims.[42]

Finally, our strategic communications must focus on promote our actions, not just our desires for national policy change; our American ideals will follow in the footsteps of our Soldiers’, Sailors’, Airmen’s, and Marines’ actions. Partnerships provide “an edge that no competitor can match,” but, conversely, military success now depends the viability of those partners’ relationships.[43] The proposed approach is not meant to be transactional, but to simply acknowledge convincing a nation state to align its behaviors with the US requires more than just the talking points of a strategic messaging campaign.  As China continues its “silent war” on our partners, across the globe, the US cannot simply sit back and do things as we always have.[44]

Conclusion

We generally assume the future is going to look like yesterday and though “strong partnerships… are our primary bulwark against the influence of malign actors in the hemisphere,” the US cannot assume that its partners will come along just because they are asked.[45]  All of America's partner nations have a choice in where they go for services and goods an ever more diverse and chaotic security market. If the United States military expects countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to choose its services, over those of a variety of competitors, SOUTHCOM should be looking for different problems to solve. Solutions that ensure the “increasing stability and security” which the command professes to desire and then also provide promotable actions that capture the undivided attention of customers with which it expects to partner are out there but are not in any existing doctrine. [46]

The US comparative advantage—over China, Wagner, or mafia-state actors—is our honest people, our operational budgets, and transparent global networks. However, there is work to do before trying out some of these intelligent forays. The institution needs to get really good at bringing outside experts to bear; it is administratively difficult to pay for academics, business leaders, or other experts to travel on the US dime, even if their work is pro bono. Also, theater security cooperation resourcing can take up to eighteen months from request to activity; there are lots of partner needs which might fall in the time horizon between crisis action and an approved unit deployment.[47] We must develop flexible operational authorities and techniques to augment traditional commander’s activities, so small groups of leaders can operationally advise on novel problems. Press releases and talking points about democracy and interoperability are not enough. The U.S. needs a customer-centric focus, more than perhaps it has had in the past, to reconcile the differences between American counter-drug or counter-terrorism wants and partner nation needs against other illicit flows, from fish to minerals to antiquities.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Department of Defense.

End Notes


[1] Ed. Bill Ridgers The Economist, Book of Business Quotations, Wiley, Hoboken, N.J.  2012. It should be noted that though this quote is widely attributed to Rockefeller, it may also be attributed to his business partner, Henry Flagler, co-founder of Standard Oil.

[2] Carla Babb, “US Wants to Remain ‘Partner of Choice’ in South America” VOA News, August 13, 2018, https://www.voanews.com/americas/us-wants-remain-partner-choice-south-america : C. Todd Lopez,  “U.S. to Remain Partner of Choice for Military Hardware, General Says” Defense.Gov,

June 5, 2019, https://www.defense.gov/explore/story/Article/1867206/us-to-remain-partner-of-choice-for-military-hardware-general-says/

[3] VoA, “Cambodia Cancels Military Exercise with US,” January 16, 2017, https://www.voanews.com/east-asia/cambodia-cancels-military-exercise-us

[4] George Gurrola, China-Latin America Arms Sales, Antagonizing the United States in the Western Hemisphere?” Military Review, July-August 2018, https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/July-August-2018/Gurrola-China/

[5] Laurie W. Rush and Amanda Hemmingsen, “Partner of Choice, Cultural Property Protection in Military Engagement” Military Review, November-December 2018, https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/November-December-2018/Rush-Cultural-Property/

[6] Aaron Mehta , “What the US needs to counter ‘unprecedented’ Chinese influence in South America,” Defense News, 09 July 2019, https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2019/07/09/what-the-us-needs-to-counter-chinese-influence-in-south-america/ : Department of the Army, DA PAM 11-31 Army Security Cooperation Handbook, Government Printing Office Washington D.C. February 6, 2015; 4 : Aaron Mehta, “National Defense Strategy released with clear priority: Stay ahead of Russia and China” Defense News, January 19, 2018, https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2018/01/19/national-defense-strategy-released-with-clear-priority-stay-ahead-of-russia-and-china/ 

[7] Hugh O'Niell, Lecture: "Scenario Planning," UNC Chapel Hill, July 19, 2019

[8] This group includes Lord Palmerston, Charles de Gaulle, and Henry Kissinger.

[9] Coletta Youngers, “The U.S. and Latin America After 9-11 and Iraq” Institute for Policy Studies, June 6, 2003, https://ips-dc.org/the_us_and_latin_america_after_9-11_and_iraq/

[10] Xinhua, “China to deepen military cooperation with Caribbean countries, Pacific island countries: defense minister,” July 09, 2019, http://en.people.cn/n3/2019/0709/c90000-9595563.html

[11] Gabriel Marcella, “China's Military Activity in Latin America” Americas Quarterly, Winter 2012, https://www.americasquarterly.org/Marcella

[12] Ibid : Ouyang, “China-Latin America military logistics forum opens in Beijing,” China Military Online, July 21, 2017, http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2017-07/21/content_7685348.htm

[13] Evan Ellis, “It’s time to think strategically about countering Chinese advances in Latin America” Global Americans, February 2, 2018, https://theglobalamericans.org/2018/02/time-think-strategically-countering-chinese-advances-latin-america/

[14] Dennis J. Blasko, “The Chinese Military Speaks to Itself, Revealing Doubts,” War On The Rocks, February 18, 2019, https://warontherocks.com/2019/02/the-chinese-military-speaks-to-itself-revealing-doubts/

[15] C. Todd Lopez,  “U.S. to Remain Partner of Choice for Military Hardware, General Says” Defense.Gov,

June 5, 2019, https://www.defense.gov/explore/story/Article/1867206/us-to-remain-partner-of-choice-for-military-hardware-general-says/

[16] Mizan Rahman, “China biggest weapons supplier to Bangladesh” Gulf Times, Dhaka, March 19 2014, https://www.gulf-times.com/story/385209/China-biggest-weapons-supplier-to-Bangladesh

[17] Aaron Mehta , “What the US needs to counter ‘unprecedented’ Chinese influence in South America,” Defense News, 09 July 2019, https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2019/07/09/what-the-us-needs-to-counter-chinese-influence-in-south-america/

[18] Ron Matthews Xiaojuan Ping, “Why the World Should Fear China's Military (Exports)” The National Interest, September 27, 2017, https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/why-the-world-should-fear-chinas-military-exports-22494 

[19] Ibid.  

[20] David Isenberg, “Africa: A Goldmine for Security Contractors” LobeLog, November 30, 2016, https://lobelog.com/africa-a-goldmine-for-security-contractors/ : Christopher Bing and Joel Schectman, “Inside the UAE’s Secret hacking team of American mercenaries,” Reuters, Jan. 30, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-spying-raven/ : Aram Roston, “A Middle East Monarchy Hired American Ex-Soldiers To Kill Its Political Enemies” This Could Be The Future Of War,” BuzzFeed News, October 16, 2018, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aramroston/mercenaries-assassination-us-yemen-uae-spear-golan-dahlan : Kyle Rempfer, “Why this US general says Russian Wagner mercenaries in Africa ‘concern me greatly,” Military Times, April 4 2019, https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/04/04/why-this-us-general-says-russian-wagner-mercenaries-in-africa-concern-me-greatly/

[21] Chris Telley, “Narco-lonization: The Growing Threat of Narco-Municipality in Latin America“, (Small Wars Journal, July 2018) http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/narco-lonization-growing-threat-narco-municipality-latin-america

[22] Mara Karlin, “Why military assistance programs disappoint, Minor tools can't solve major problems” Foreign Affairs, November/December 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/articles/why-military-assistance-programs-disappoint/

[23] Hugh Courtney, Jane Kirkland, and Patrick Viguerie, “Strategy Under Uncertainty,” Harvard Business Review, November–December 1997, https://hbr.org/1997/11/strategy-under-uncertainty

[24] Meghann Myers, “4-star: Ship deployments, more high-level exercises could help stabilize Latin America,” MilitaryNews, 09 July 2109, https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/07/10/4-star-ship-deployments-more-high-level-exercises-could-help-stabilize-latin-america/

[25] Hugh Courtney, Jane Kirkland, and Patrick Viguerie, “Strategy Under Uncertainty,” Harvard Business Review, November–December 1997, https://hbr.org/1997/11/strategy-under-uncertainty

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Hugh O'Niell, Lecture: "Scenario Planning," UNC Chapel Hill, July 19, 2019

[30] Aaron Mehta , “What the US needs to counter ‘unprecedented’ Chinese influence in South America,” Defense News, 09 July 2019, https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2019/07/09/what-the-us-needs-to-counter-chinese-influence-in-south-america/

[31] Harley Manning, Kerry Bodine, Josh Bernoff, Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business, New Harvest Publishing, New York, August 28, 2012: 11, 17

[32] Jewel Fraser, “Chinese fishing fleets a growing presence in Latin American waters” Seafood Source,

December 4, 2017, https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/chinese-fishing-fleets-a-growing-presence-in-latin-american-waters

[33] Laurie W. Rush and Amanda Hemmingsen, “Partner of Choice, Cultural Property Protection in Military Engagement” Military Review, November-December 2018, https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/November-December-2018/Rush-Cultural-Property/ : Timothy Ahearn, “Civil Affairs Soldiers enhance Tanzanian operations to counter poaching, illicit trafficking,” Army Press Release, August 20, 2018, https://www.army.mil/article/210077/civil_affairs_soldiers_enhance

_tanzanian_operations_to_counter_poaching_illicit_trafficking

[34] Geraldine Cook, “Caribbean Nations Synchronize their Information Operations Capabilities,” Diálogo, 20 March 2019, https://dialogo-americas.com/en/articles/caribbean-nations-synchronize-their-information-operations-capabilities

[35] Geraldine Cook, “The Bahamas, a Regional Partner to Counter Illicit Networks,” Diálogo, 9 February 2019, https://dialogo-americas.com/en/articles/bahamas-regional-partner-counter-illicit-networks

[36] Geraldine Cook, “We Are the Partner of Choice” The new commander of the 12th Air Force, Air Forces Southern Command engages with Latin America as equal partners,” Diálogo, 22 December 2016, https://dialogo-americas.com/en/articles/we-are-partner-choice

[37] Meghann Myers, “4-star: Ship deployments, more high-level exercises could help stabilize Latin America,” MilitaryNews, 09 July 2109, https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/07/10/4-star-ship-deployments-more-high-level-exercises-could-help-stabilize-latin-america/

[38] Center For Army Lessons Learned, Bulletin 16-09 Security Cooperation, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth KS, March 2016; 23

[39] Rich Karlgaard, Combat Consultant: Q&A With Retired General Stanley McChrystal, Forbes, Oct 3, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/richkarlgaard/2017/10/03/combat-consultant-qa-with-retired-general-stanley-mcchrystal/#775944512f44

[40] ALLIED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, Official Website, https://www.eis.army.mil/programs/ait : US Department Of Defense, FISCAL YEAR 2020 BUDGET REQUEST, https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2020/fy2020_Budget_Request.pdf

[41] U.S. Embassy Kyiv Ukraine, Facebook, Ukraine https://www.facebook.com/peo.eis/posts/1259111804241994/.

[42] ALLIED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, Official Website, https://www.eis.army.mil/programs/ait.

[43] Craig S. Faller, "United States Southern Command Strategy 'Enduring Promise for the Americas," SOUTHCOM, 08 May 2019, https://www.southcom.mil/Portals/7/Documents/SOUTHCOM_Strategy_2019.pdf?ver=2019-05-15-131647-353 : Air Force Future Operating Concept, Department of the Air Force, 2015, https://www.ang.af.mil/Portals/77/documents/AFD-151207-019.pdf

[44] “China is Winning the Silent War to Dominate the South China Sea,” Bloomberg, July 10 2019.

[45] Hugh O'Niell, Lecture: "Scenario Planning," UNC Chapel Hill, July 19, 2019 : Aaron Mehta , “What the US needs to counter ‘unprecedented’ Chinese influence in South America,” Defense News, 09 July 2019, https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2019/07/09/what-the-us-needs-to-counter-chinese-influence-in-south-america/

[46] Craig S. Faller, "United States Southern Command Strategy 'Enduring Promise for the Americas," SOUTHCOM, 08 May 2019, https://www.southcom.mil/Portals/7/Documents/SOUTHCOM_Strategy_2019.pdf?ver=2019-05-15-131647-353

[47] Center For Army Lessons Learned, Bulletin 16-09 Security Cooperation, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth KS, March 2016; 23

About the Author(s)

Major Chris Telley serves as an Army Information Operations officer for Special Operations Command-South. Chris is also a graduate of Industry-based Broadening with the Institute for Defense and Business. His past writing covers technology integration for competitive influence and future combat, as well as Latin American affairs. He tweets at @chris_telley.