U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), visited Argentina in late June. Adm. Faller met with Argentine Army Lieutenant General Bari del Valle, chairman of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Minister of Defense Oscar Aguad, as well as other Argentine military leaders.
The senior leaders discussed regional security and cooperation to strengthen the relationship between both countries. During his stay in Buenos Aires, Adm. Faller also gave a presentation at the Joint War College (ESGC, in Spanish) and toured the facilities of Argentina’s Joint Training Center for Peacekeeping Operations.
“It was an excellent meeting. We had an honest exchange of viewpoints about some issues and shared our opinion about the security environment and opportunities to work even more closely in the near future,” Adm. Faller told the press about the reunions with Argentine defense and military authorities.
During his presentation with ESGC cadets and officers, Adm. Faller warned about the threat that some countries pose to the region. “Unfortunately, Russia, China, and Iran don’t share our values on matters such as democracy and human rights.” Adm. Faller also pointed to Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua for their lack of democratic values.
The SOUTHCOM commander emphasized the crisis in Venezuela and the regime of Nicolás Maduro that promotes narcotrafficking and terrorism, representing a threat to the region. Adm. Faller stressed that transnational criminal organizations seek to undermine legitimate governments, which have to cooperate to preserve stability.
Argentine Army Colonel José Colombo, head of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Department of Institutional Communication and Public Affairs, praised the bonds of friendship between the United States and Argentina. “With the United States, and particularly with SOUTHCOM, there is a solid relationship based on mutual trust and on the fact that we have threats in common, just like with the rest of the hemisphere,” the officer told Diálogo.
During an interview with the Argentine magazine DEF, Adm. Faller said the relationship between both nations was strong. “In any case, here we work on solid foundations, consisting of shared values, such as mutual trust, and educational, joint exercises, and equipment exchange activities. When you trust, you’re able to share […]. When we work jointly and share information, we provide the most effective responses to these threats.”