February 15, 2018
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), discussed the U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command with witnesses at a SASC hearing this morning. Witnesses included General Lori Robinson, Commander of the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command; and Admiral Kurt Tidd, Commander of the U.S. Southern Command.
As prepared for delivery:
The Senate Armed Services Committee meets this morning to receive testimony from General Lori Robinson, Commander of the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command; and Admiral Kurt Tidd, Commander of the U.S. Southern Command.
The new National Defense Strategy (NDS) identifies protecting the homeland and sustaining American advantages in the Western Hemisphere as key priorities, even as the DOD focuses on the rising challenge of great power competitors.
As we have seen from increasing economic and military efforts by China, Russia to gain a foothold in the Americas, the boundaries between great power competition and unconventional threats are increasingly blurred.
I look forward to hearing how our witnesses view their roles given the priorities laid out in the NDS, how they plan to accomplish their missions with greater efficiency, and what new resources or authorities they may need from us.
General Robinson, you are tasked with addressing the missile and nuclear threats we face. While I am encouraged by recent efforts to bolster our homeland missile defense system, more needs to be done to address the ballistic and cruise missile threats.
Admiral Tidd, in SOUTHCOM you are on the frontlines combatting illicit networks that smuggle drugs, people, weapons, and money—and destabilize every country along the way. You also face involvement by external actors that presents unique challenges in a theater that consistently lacks sufficient resourcing.
Critical to both of your success is greater security cooperation across your two theaters. Doing so will help maintain a favorable balance of power in the region as we promote peace, prosperity, and security while demonstrating our reliability as partners.
I look forward to hearing from both of you. Thank you for being here today.