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tv   Mexico and Homeland Security  CSPAN  October 20, 2015 4:23am-5:35am EDT

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the, in the audience today, so i just want to thank you for your level of interest on what is an important topic, and we look forward to continuing the conversation during the remapd irof the cremapder of the conference. so please, join me in thanking the panel. [ applause ]
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president obama has promised to veto the defense programs bill passed by congress earlier this month. it funds military pay. senator mccain the chairman of the house and senate committees will talk at the brookings institution, live on tuesday at 8:00, on c-span 2. later this week, hillary clinton testifies before the house committee on benghazi. the democratic presidential candidate has said the investigations that turned political. focussing on her use of a private e-mail server. the hearing is live thursday at 10:00 eastern here on c-span 3 and also on c-span radio and
4:25 am more from the association of the army. this pan the discusses a framework between the u.s. and mexico on security. it's an hour and ten minutes. all right, well, good afternoon. i'm not guy swann. he got tied up handing out some awards. my name is george cohen. i work on the national staff.
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it's an honor and privilege to be here with you. i want to thank you very much for your time. we have a great, great panel for you today. thank you for joining us for a third and final breakout session. this session is entitled the importance of mexico to homeland security. of course, one of the goals of our association and the institute of land warfare is to foster an understanding of the emerging security environment. and as your professional organization, association, we are proud to provide events like this one that broaden the knowledge base of army professionals and those who partner with our army in our nation's defense. these presentations are our way of amplifying u.s. army's narrative to audiences inside the army and help to further the association's mission to be the voice for the army and support
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for the soldier. of course, we can't do this alone. we rely on our members to help tell the story, tell the army's story and to support our soldiers and their families. a strong membership base is vitally important for advocacy efforts in congress with the pentagon and the defense industrial base. as well as the public and communities across the country through our 120 local chapters. so, for those of you, army and homeland security professionals and your comrades in arms who are not yet members of the association of the u.s. army, we encourage you to join with a special introductory offer. you'll find the invitation on your chair. card looks something like this. just bring it to the ausa membership booth, booth 407 in exhibit hall "a." if you are already a member,
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thank you for staying with us. you're very important to us. so, please give your invitation to a fellow professional so he, too, can enjoy what you enjoy with your membership. you'll be doing a service to the association, to the united states army and to the nation. so, i'll finish banging on about that. and now turn the floor over to dr. richard downing executive vice president for global strategies omni-true technologies. >> thank you, richard. >> thank you. >> well, thank you very much, george. good afternoon. you know, it's great to be an audience where there's actually interaction, but, you know, it's -- this is an army -- this is the ausa. this is normally, you know, the kind of spirit we expect. we have our partners from mexico are here down below. so, if you would help me one more time, good afternoon. >> good afternoon.
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>> oh, thank you so much. that's much better. much better. well, as george mentioned, i'm richard downey, and it's really a pleasure for me to be here today as your moderator on this panel on the importance of mexico for u.s. homeland security and it's an honor to be with this very distinguished panel and also with this distinguished audience, so thank you very much for all of you joining us today. when we talk about threats to the united states, typically we tend to immediately think far away, iran, north korea, al qaeda, although they certainly are here. but, you know, when you look at a map and we don't have maps to project today. but you've all seen those maps of the arrows coming up from the south of the roots of trafficking from south america through central america through the caribbean through the eastern pacific and they all come up these arrows show how these -- the traffickers take drugs, pirated material, people, and usually the arrows stop at
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the u.s. border. but we all know the arrows don't really stop at the u.s. border. they continue on. other maps will show you they continue on to los angeles and seattle, dallas, chicago, atlanta, washington, d.c. and they continue on up to canada, too. and the point is that if these -- if these traffickers can take illegal drugs and pirated merchandise and people successfully into these areas, what else can they bring? and the problem is we see as a result how closely intertwined our security is with that of mexico, because all those roots coming from the caribbean, eastern pacific, central america, they all converge in mexico going through. and it is so important for us to work with our mexican partners in this.
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and we have a terrific panel today to address this issue. of what are those things that can pass through our security, that we need to work so closely with our mexican counterparts with. what we'll do today, we'll have -- we're going to have -- this panel will speak, each of them will speak seven or eight minutes or so. we want to leave time for questions because that will be the richest part of this dialogue. we want to make it a dialogue. i ask you, please, as you listen to each of the speakers, to be thinking about what you want to ask them. and don't be shy. because they're happy and we want to engage with you on this. so, first up, on the speakers today, will be general -- brigadier general j.t. taylor who is the deputy director for plans, policy and strategy at the u.s. northern command and norad which is the unfied command that focuses on mexico.
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and he's going to give a strategic overview to start things off. he'll be followed by michael houston who is the principal director for the americas in the policy directorate of the department of homeland security. and he will address -- he actually has spent a lot of time focusing in homeland security on mexico, so he'll be giving us the framework that department of homeland security uses to address this. he'll be followed by dr. duncan wood the director of the mexico institute at the woodrow wilson center here in washington, d.c., who has spent tremendous time in mexico as a professor here and has a great overview of all issues related to mexico and particularly our relationship with mexico, and our cleanup batter will be lieutenant general parry wiggins who is the commander of u.s. army north and amongst his many
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responsibilities army north is the -- the army component that focuses on the relationship with mexico. and during his time he's actually spent six years ago at army north in a variety of positions, so he's seen not only during this administration under the current president of mexico but also on the previous administration felipe calderon he has a tremendous appreciation for how this relationship has gone. and he'll be addressing some of the strategies -- one of his very close relationships is with general salvador fuegos who is the defense minister of mexico and then we'll get an overview and then your questions. again, be thinking about what you'd like to ask our panelists and let me turn it over to general taylor, please, thank you. >> thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen, i appreciate the opportunity to share a few insights to you of
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the absolute necessity of mexico to the security of north america from the perspective of u.s. north command, and i'd like to start with a little strategic context from a north american continental perspective writ large. because i think it's essential to understand the role that mexico plays in our security by comparing it a little bit to the role that canada plays in our security. now, history has shown that if you want to threaten the united states, there's a number of approaches that you can take to get to north america. you can take an equatorial approach where you come from the east or west coast from the sea. that's a hard approach because there's great distances involved or you can take a polar approach where you go over the north pole. there is less distance involved with that in the aerial domain. that's absolutely inhospitable in the land domain. but our aerial domain threat
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over the pole is an existential threat, so over five decades we have cultivated a very close relationship with canada to address the existential threat that exists coming over the poles that has served north america very well. in fact, our chairman recently articulated four nation-state threats to north america and of those four three of them can reach us in the aerial domain over that polar approach. and so we learned of the absolute necessity of a close relationship with canada. we learned that that was in our national interests. and that relationship that we have with canada has enabled us to truly be able to provide aerospace control and maritime warning. that relationship is critical to the security of the united states and canada. both our countries benefit from
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that against existential threats. that relationship we have with canada is a model that is worthy of emulating. but an aerial threat over the poles is not the only threat that north america faces. the security landscape is evolving and north america faces a threat from the south. now, our threat from the south is not presently an existential threat, but it is a security threat nonetheless. and this threat that is transnational in nature exploits seams between countries. it's an organized threat. it is a networked threat. it is agile. it's adaptive. and it can reach the point to where it actually destabilizes regions and it can also challenge sovereignty. and so we broadly describe that threat as transnational organized crime. now, this threat enters the united states through the land domain transiting through mexico
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and through the maritime domain coming up through the caribbean. and like i said while that threat is not as of yet existential it is a national security matter. and mexico is postured to play every bit an important role against that kind of threat that canada plays against the aerial domain threat that we face from the poles. and so these kinds of threats include such things as special interest aliens, the potential smuggling of weapons of mass destruction, the trafficking of drugs and persons moving north or weapons and money moving out of the united states and south. and from a safety or a human rights perspective, the migration of unaccompanied children. so, supporting mexico's southern border strategy is in our national interest in the united states. because the threats that mexico sees on their southern border, if not checked, we see then on
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our southwest border. so, we're working with mexico to provide a cooperative plan that supports the implementation of their strategy. and in the near term we're focusing on providing them with some needed capabilities like biometrics or tactical communications and in the long term we're working on helping build sustainable capacities that will improve what we're terming as regional interoperability, enhancing equipment commonality between our forces so we can work together. there's a leadership role that mexico can play in the region to address this kind of a threat and that is something that we are seeking to foster. and what we consider to be a very historical event, we've had the leaders in the staffs from the trilateral meeting of north american defense ministers, that's our defense minister in the united states, the canadian defense minister, mexico's defense minister, they all got together in a meeting and they
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acknowledged that they share many of the same threats and they've been actively developing what's being termed the continental threat assessment. and that correlates all of the common, shared threats that are facing north america as a continent and so we're already moving closer to recognizing a shared responsibility and collective security and we're working with mexico in the development of an externally focused security cooperative capability in our partner capacity development work that we're doing with them. and so right now i'm very pleased to say that from northcom's perspective, we have an unprecedented level of security cooperation with mexico and it continues to increase annually in kind of the four main areas that are necessary for interoperability, training, exercises, engagement and equipment. and this really began a number of years ago with president
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calderon's mexico's former president's decision to begin fighting transnational criminal organizations and it's really evolved holistically since then. and now as we interact with the leadership of sudana, that's mexico's army and air force and somar, that mexico's navy and marine force, their leadership is voicing an interest to be interconnected with the united states and they routinely talk of collective defense of north america. and these are good words to be saying. and so we're routinely interfacing at the tactical and at the senior levels. mexico has requested in our work with them that we begin interfacing with them at the operational level. and this kind of capacity development that we're working with them from northcom's perspective promotes interoperability and that's our objective.
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the cooperative defense of north america against all threats in all domains. and if we can attain unto mexico and the united states and canada all working together in an integrated and cooperative defense of north america, we will increase security on our continent and we'll decrease risk in all domains against both existential threats and national security threats. so, from our perspective, it's not inconceivable that we'll one day be able to reach the kind of bilateral structure with mexico that we enjoy with canada. our cooperation on our southwest border and with -- on the mexican southern border has been expanding. northcom sponsors two exercises with mexico that focus on cooperative defense. one is called the eagle and it concentrates on cross-border air
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interdiction coordination and the other focuses on defense support to civil authority and humanitarian assistance. we have information-sharing agreements in place. we're working on acquisition cross service agreements. and we're also working toward commonality of equipment, communications systems, aircraft, radar, common operating pictures, everything that we need to be able to work together interactively. and our cooperative efforts with mexico on regional security are increasing. so, from the perspective of the united states northern command, a security partnership with mexico is necessary given our security situation. and it's possible and the timing is right to make the investment now with mexico just like we did with canada over 50 years ago. i look forward to your questions. >> thanks, general taylor. michael? >> hello, everyone, thank you
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for letting me come. i appreciate it. so, i'm talking about this from -- i'm going to talk about the u.s.-mexico relationship from a homeland security perspective. we're relatively new players in the world right now. we've been around a touch over a decade, we're still learning who we are and frankly the concept of homeland security as a framework for engagement is still maturing. if you look at the difference between the original quadrennial homeland security review done in 2004 and the most recent one you'll see there's been a lot of growth and we anticipate that the next quadrennial homeland security review which will be out in a couple years will continue to reflect the maturation of our department. we're also fortunate to have as our head now a man who comes out of the department of defense and who brings a significant amount of expertise and who has been working very hard to help dhs, the department of defense and our partners abroad more closely collaborate. i'll get to that in a moment. i want to start by saying that
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the story of the u.s.-mexico relationship is in many ways a story about a border. it's a border story. it started roughly you might want to suggest in 1848 at the treaty of guadalupe hidalgo where we delineated the current line that separates our two countries. for a long time that line was viewed -- it carried all sorts of baggage.
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