April 8, 2019

Statement by Former Combatant Commanders of U.S. Southern Command

PDF of statement available here

April 8, 2019
As former Commanders of U.S. Southern Command, we have seen firsthand that the challenges in the region cannot be solved by the military alone but require strengthening investments in development and diplomacy.

We know that if we invest at the scale of the problem, it works because we’ve seen it work in Colombia, where a sustained comprehensive civilian-military effort helped Colombians end the longest conflict in the Western Hemisphere and transform their country into a key security and trading partner.

Improving conditions in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador is a critical way to address the root causes of migration and prevent the humanitarian crisis at our border. This is a solution to many of the drivers that cause people to leave their country and move north. Cutting aid to the region will only increase the drivers and will be even more costly to deal with on our border.

General Bantz Craddock, USA (Ret.)
Commander, U.S. Southern Command (2004-2006)

General James Hill, USA (Ret.)
Commander, U.S. Southern Command (2002-2004)

General Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)
Commander, U.S. Southern Command (1994-1996)

Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)
Commander, U.S. Southern Command (2006-2009)

General Charles Wilhelm, USMC (Ret)
Commander, U.S. Southern Command (1997-2000)

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.