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Contemporary Military Forum #5: Defense Partnerships and Security of North America

Contemporary Military Forum #5: Defense Partnerships and Security of North America


– Well, good morning. Welcome. Please feel free. Open seating. Please sit anywhere you like. It’s an honor and a privilege for me. I’m George Cohen, part of the AUSA National Headquarters. And I wanna welcome you to Tuesday of the annual meeting. I had the Army senior leadership discuss this morning at the Congressional Breakfast. You’ve got the chief at the Eisenhower Luncheon. This is at noontime. Such a great day. And this is a great panel, a very timely topic, so we’ll get into it right away. We really wanna thank you for joining us. This contemporary military forum, homeland defense, entitled Defense Partnerships and Security of North America. And again, I can’t think of a more timely topic, and we’re honored to have you in our presence. As your professional association, the Association of the United States Army and its Institute of Land Warfare, are proud to provide forums like this one throughout the year that broaden the knowledge base of Army professionals and those who support our Army. These professional development seminars are AUSA’s way of amplifying US Army’s narrative to audiences inside the Army and help to further the Association’s mission to be voice for the Army and support for the soldier. Of course, we cannot do this alone. AUSA relies on its members to help tell the Army story and to support our soldiers and their families. A strong membership base is vitally important for our advocacy efforts in Congress, the Pentagon, the defense industrial base, as well as the public in communities across the country through AUSA’s 121 local chapters. For those of you Army professionals who are not yet members of your professional association, we encourage you to join with a special introductory offer. On your seats, you’ll see a little card, red card. You’ll find you just take that card. You got two ways to bring it to the AUSA membership booth, which is Booth 307 in Exhibit Hall A. Or you can sign up online at AUSA.org/membership If you’re already a member of AUSA, we thank you very much for staying with us. And please give your invitation to a fellow professional. You’re doing a service to the Association and to the United States Army. So without further ado and any more banging on by me, I’d like to turn the floor over to Mr. Eric Olson of the Wilson Center. Please, sir, come. – Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here this morning. My name is Eric Olson, and I am the deputy director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center. I’m delighted to be here. The original plan was for I think General Buchanan to be in this hall, and as you may know, he has been deployed to Puerto Rico on a mission that’s probably a little more urgent than being here this morning. So we are glad he’s there, and I am delighted to not replace him, I could never replace him, but to fill in briefly for our panel this morning. The title of our panel, the theme, is Defense Partnership and Security of North America. And as we know, North America has become an increasingly important factor in global affairs. It’s an important economic region, a driver of great growth and commerce and trade. It’s increasingly important for all three nations, but also the rest of the world. But North America is also a sensitive and challenging operational environment for those working on security issues. While relatively safe from nation state attack, it remains vulnerable to an array of natural and manmade threats and hazards, many of which strike with short and no notice. And we saw that, obviously, throughout the last weeks as people in Mexico and the United States and other nations have struggled with hurricanes and earthquakes and the importance of responding to these manmade hazards is always ever more evident. So the efforts toward cooperative defense provides each partner nation, The United States, Canada, and Mexico, an increased awareness of the emerging threats and improved ability to limit adverse influence in the region as a whole and a greater capacity to promote stability throughout the Western Hemisphere and project globally beyond this hemisphere. Interoperability, relationships, and a professional appreciation of the contribution of all are paramount to achieve a safe and secure North America. It’s a region with great potential, and also facing great challenges. And so it’s important as we strive to greater cooperation and working together to address these issues that we reaffirm what President Kennedy said in Ottawa in 1961. What unites us is far greater than what divides us. The issues and irritants that inevitably affect all neighbors are small deed in comparison with the issues that we face together. Important to focus on the potential benefits of working together to secure our area. We are joined today by a stellar panel of experts who have firsthand and direct knowledge of these issues. I’m going to introduce them in the order in which they will speak. They will all speak about 15 minutes, and then we will have time for some questions with them, and I will open it up. I promise to leave time for audience participation, as well. We have some mics set up so people can queue up there and we can get some questions. We’re gonna hear first from Lieutenant General Reynold Hoover. He’s the deputy commander US Northern Command. And he’s also from the Alabama Army National Guard. He has over 34 years of military service in active duty and in the National Guard as a traditional guardsman. He’s deputy commander of US Northern Command, as I mentioned. He was commanding general Theater Sustainment Command and Joint Sustainment Command in Afghanistan and director of J26 National Guard Bureau. He was a special assistant to the President for homeland security, responsible for nuclear defense and continuity of government policy. He’s a member of the Senior Federal Service Executive with over 32 years of federal civil service experience. He’s also been in the private sector as a corporate chief council in a private law firm with private law firm experience. So we’re delighted that General Hoover will join us, and he will speak first. And then we’ll turn to Lieutenant General S.J. Bowes. He is the commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command. He enrolled in the Canadian forces in 1984 and become Lieutenant General, was promoted to his current position with the Canadian Joint Operations Command in June of 2016. After General Bowes speaks, we’ll hear from Lieutenant General Roble Arturo Granados Gallardo. (George speaking Spanish) He will speak in Spanish and there will be some translation. Just to highlight a few of his important roles, he is the chief of staff of the National Defense, or SEDENA in Mexico. He is general coordinator of Chief Clerks Office at the National Defense Secretariat. He has been chief of staff in several military zones in Mexico, Baja California, Veracruz, Chiapas, and others. And we’re delighted to have General Granados with us, as well. Next, we’ll hear from Sergio de la Pena. Mr. de la Pena is deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere affairs. He is responsible for security, defense, and policy issues in the region, as well as overseeing the funding of defense cooperation programs for US Northern Command and US Southern Command. And I’ve had the privilege of knowing Sergio for a number of years, and I can’t recommend him highly enough. A great patriot and hardworking member of the military. And then last but not least, we’ll hear from Ronald Vitiello, Vitiello, excuse me. He’s the acting deputy commissioner US Customs and Border Protection. Chief Vitiello entered the duty, entered duty with the Border Patrol in 1985, and since February, 2017, he has been chief of the US Border Patrol. As its chief operating officer, he is responsible for the daily operations of US Border Patrol and reported to the commander of CBP, assisting in planning and directing nationwide enforcement and administration operations. So we have a stellar panel with vast amounts of professional experience and knowledge about not only their own areas of responsibility but cooperation and collaboration with partner nations. And so we are delighted to welcome all of them. I will invite General Hoover to begin, and then we’ll proceed down the panel. Thank you, General. – Thanks a lot. Thanks, everybody, for being here. I will give you one important safety tip. You heard about joining AUSA and the little red card on your table there, on your seat. I found that when I joined, part of the requirement is they’re gonna call you up for speaking engagements, so be ready for that. I think it’s in the fine print somewhere on the bottom. Thanks, everybody, for coming today, and on behalf of General Robinson, my boss, the commander of US Northern Command and NORAD who would’ve been here today but we have a things going on at NORTHCOM, so I think you’re stuck with me. I’m not sure stellar I am. I have a few classmates in the audience who will tell you war stories, so don’t believe any of that stuff, either. I do wanna say, Mr. de la Pena, thanks for coming. It’s great to see you again. Your support to Western Hemisphere and the things that we’re doing at NORTHCOM and our theater security cooperation is really greatly appreciated, and it is great to see you again. And Steve, thanks again for coming. – [Steve] Thank you. – And our Canadian partners to the North as part of both NORAD and CJOC and NORTHCOM have a great, great relationship, and I hope this morning we can share some of that and get a flavor, you all can get a flavor for the relationship that we do have. And so thanks, Steve, for coming in for this. Really appreciate it. And General Granados, always great to see you. General Granados and I were together in Mexico City back in July. We have, over the last year that I’ve been at NORTHCOM, have really developed I think a very close relationship, and it’s great to see you, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again in January, I think, when we’re gonna get together. I’m sorry I can’t come to the football game in December. – [Roble] Thank you. – Chief Vitiello, thanks for coming. We’ve not met before, but CBP has been a great partner with us and in our headquarters at NORTHCOM, and certainly down at JTF North, so we appreciate you coming, as well. – [Ronald] Thank you. – Thanks a lot. Just a couple of things I do wanna touch on, and then I’ll pass the microphone over. First is the NORAD NORTHCOM mission set. I’ll focus primarily on NORTHCOM. We are two commands out in Colorado Springs, two commands united in a singular purpose, and that is defense of North America. The NORAD side is focused primarily on the aerospace and maritime environments, Operation Noble Eagle and looking at Russian long range aviation, thinking about civil aircraft and people doing bad things in a 9/11 scenario, looking at the maritime approaches to North America and providing warning so that we can take action if necessary. And the challenges there are immense. We focus on keeping the sky safe, and we do that through the interagency community and in partnership with the NORTHCOM mission set. On the NORTHCOM side of the house, we have three missions. Homeland defense, which is primarily our ballistic missile defense program. And then our second mission is defense support to civil authorities, which I’ll tell you and happy to talk about that if you have questions, but we have now been approaching 50 days of 24/7 operations in our headquarters on the NORTHCOM side responding to Harvey and then Irma and Maria and Nate, providing some support and relief to Mexico in the process for the three earthquakes that they faced, while at the same time doing our homeland defense, ballistic missile defense mission. If you’re not keeping track, we’ve had two launches in the span of that time from North Korea that we’ve had to deal with at the same time. So as somebody said, KJU rips one now every now and then, and so as part of our mission set. And then finally, and I think the purpose of today’s panel, is our theater security cooperation, in which we deal with Mexico, with Canada, and the Bahamas, as well. And I will tell you unequivocally, especially with regard to Mexico, the mil to mil relationship that we have is probably the strongest that it’s ever been. And it’s in large part to the efforts of General Granados and SEDENA and his counterpart, Admiral Ol-ka-lon, who’s the SEMAR chief of staff. And the three of us have a great relationship. And then all of our components that work directly with the Mexican military. And the relationship there is what’s building a stronger North America, and I look forward to having the opportunity to talk about that. Let me talk briefly about componency. General Robinson has pushed the command away from having joint task force for operations and more looking at componency. And you see that in our responses that we’ve done here to the hurricanes. We’ve had a JFLCC in Texas when Harvey hit, and that was General Buchanan was the three star that we had on the ground. We had the JFLCC forward was a two star. Brian Harris was his JFLCC forward, providing support for the governor and FEMA and the adjutant general as they provided support and relief in Texas and in the Houston-Galveston area in particular. As Hurricane Irma came through Florida, we had the same approach. We had a JFLCC with a three star on the ground actually back in Fort Sam Houston, but we had a JFLCC forward. And we were supporting, again, the governor and the TAG and FEMA as we went through Irma. The other part of Irma was in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We had a JFMCC. And Admiral Davidson, the four star admiral, had a fleet down there, the Kearsarge and the Oak Hill. You heard the Iwo Jima and the New York, the aircraft carrier, was also down in the Florida Keys in that particular area. And we were providing support from the sea because that was the quickest and easiest way to do it. When Maria started coming, we took hurricane avoidance procedures. They went south. As soon as the storm passed, that fleet came back in and was providing support from Navy and Marine Corps primarily into Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The transition occurred as both General Kim and General Buchanan came down to Puerto Rico. He’s been down there now two weeks to work in support of the governor of Puerto Rico, as well as FEMA and the interagency. I will tell you that the response, and I’ve been doing disaster response kind of things since about 2002, this is by far the best military and interagency response I have ever experienced in terms of how the government has been responding to all four of these now hurricanes with Nate now having gone through the Florida Gulf Coast. And I believe it is because the approach that we’ve taken at NORTHCOM with regard to componency and using the capabilities of all of our components together. The Air Force, First Air Force, was providing SAR assets and coordinating strategic lift. The Navy has been providing, the Navy and Marines have been providing air and sea based capabilities to us. We brought the Comfort down to Puerto Rico just recently. The Marines here in the US in the Co-na side has also been very actively engaged on the ground providing ground support to it. It has really been an incredible effort, and I’m happy to talk more about that as we go. And then, finally, the partnerships. I think in terms of partnerships both with Canada and Mexico, all of our components, the Marines, the Army, the Air Force, have all engaged in partnership efforts with Mexico, as well as with Canada. We just did a big Ardent Sentry exercise that looked at some consequence management, and it involved a nuclear device that detonated in New York City, or just outside the Lincoln Tunnel on the Jersey side,. We did that in partnership with FEMA. But what you may not know is that exercise already had previously started in Canada. And so the partnerships and the relationships are key. And I’ll tell you, one of the benefits that comes from that is when Harvey first hit and we were providing relief efforts, one of the first phone calls I got was from Steve. “What can we do? “How can we help?” And the Canadians have been a big part of our relief efforts and have been actually flying missions for us down in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. And I think it’s the relationships that are developed out of the training and the partnerships and events like this that allow us to do what we do and be able to pick up that phone and just call. On the Mexican side, the same thing. We are able to provide support as necessary in response. So we flew a number of relief aircraft down to Mexico following the earthquakes to provide some support and relief. And it was a very seamless effort. And I think that’s indicative of the relationships and the partnerships that we build. And then finally, I’ll just talk briefly about our J9 section, which is our interagency section within NORTHCOM. Probably one of the best you’ll find in a combatant command. We have over 30 departments and agencies who are full time residents within our headquarters. And beyond that, we’ve got reach back to another 30 or so. So we’re over 60 departments and agencies that have representation within our headquarters that we can call up at a moment’s notice to provide any type of support as we provide military capability and DoD capability as the synchronizer in support of a lead federal agency. The interagency group has been activated since the last week of August when we stood up everything at our headquarters and has been going 24/7, just like our operations center. And so it, as well, has been a great partnership to have those relationships built in advance. And so I think I’ll just stop there. I look forward to your questions, and thanks for the opportunity to be here, Eric, wherever you are. Thanks, Eric. – Right on. Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be here with you today. And I’d like to start before I begin my formal remarks and just acknowledge the hard work and collaboration with the United States forces, particularly the United States Army and the Mexican Army, but also within the context of the joint team and helping the communities that have experienced the devastation originating from the recent hurricanes and the earthquake in Mexico. The joint force, we’re active in the Caribbean and a number of other areas, and it’s just something that occurs within minutes if not seconds afterwards that the electronic emails start flying and reaching out and bringing us options to the table. I’d also like to point out that just, when it comes to, I’m down in the United States all the time, but I find that sometimes it’s worth reminding people just how integrated our economies are and our societies. We’re the number one trading partner with over 35 different states in the United States. And every time there is a crisis, it invariably touches us not indirectly but directly. And even something like the tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas last week, there were at least four Canadians that were killed. And so when you consider the size of the populations and put it into proportion, we grieve with you, very much with you. And I would tell you that, and so it goes for places like Florida and the hurricanes and Texas and the like and through the entire Caribbean archipelago island chains. We’re very much with them from the get go on this. I would say, though, I’ve been asked to give you a few remarks on how CAF, how the Canadian Armed Forces, meets our defense needs now and into the future within the context of the theme today, but also to touch on the new defense policy that we have, which is called Strong, Secure, Engaged, and how it’s impacting our relationship with key allies. So I’ll refer to some notes. So my head is down, delivering operations on a day to day basis. There’s some policy issues here, and I wanna make sure I don’t stray outside my lane a little bit on a couple points. But, for those who aren’t familiar with Canadian geography, we’re about, just give or take, about the same size geographically, but we have 1/10 the population. So we have an enormous landmass, not densely populated. Most Canadians live within 100 miles, something like 85, 90 percent, within 100 miles of the US border. The only major city that’s outside that range is Edmonton in Alberta. And for us to go from Trenton into the high Arctic, it’s an eight hour flight. So from the Arctic, from a land basis, everything we do, folks on the policy side don’t like when I say this, but it’s expeditionary in nature from a sustainment basis. And it’s an environment where, having served in desert environments, the Arctic will kill you faster if you’re not prepared, if you’re not ready, and you don’t know what you’re doing. So when I compare the density, therefore, we’re much less densely populated with a tremendous landmass to provide oversight onto, and for which, as we have crises that occur from, whether they’re fires in British Columbia or other environmental issues across, it’s always a question of looking where our assets are and how we project the force. And we also organize regionally, exploiting our equivalent of the Army Reserve and the National Guard inside our provinces to be able to respond if not in the first 24 hours to be able to sustain the immediate response units that we have on high readiness. In 2017 in June, just a few months ago, we recently released Strong, Secure, Engaged, our defense policy. And the title of the document suggests this policy represents a bit of a new vision for defense in Canada. Strong at home, military ready, and able to defend our sovereignty, and to assist in times of natural disaster, support search and rescue, and respond to other emergencies. We’ve got a fair bit of tradition. Even in joint operations, I have on, when it comes to air response, we have something that’s similar to what the Coast Guard does, so we’re involved in search and rescue. My Blackberry pings with every search and rescue event in Canada every day. So the thrust lines going forward as part of Strong, Secure, Engaged include all elements, all domains. So secure North America. Active in renewed defense partnership with the United States and key regional allies like Mexico and like the Jamaican Defense Force that we deployed in our aircraft in the Caribbean. We are also engaged in the world. We’re doing our part in Europe, in the Middle East, in the Gulf Region. We’re in Iraq, part of the coalitions, and we see that as being a continuous theme, that engagement, going forward. But for CJOC, it’s the home game, defense of Canada, contributing to the defense of North America. It is critically important. It stops all other discussions when we have an event that occurs on our continent, and we focus on what we have in front of us. Our domestic security is linked to and often challenged by sources from abroad as the line between national and international security continues to blur. And the bottom line is that borderless and diffuse threats are challenging our security from halfway around the globe. So in the past, our geography has insulated that, and that’s part of the cultural baggage that we bring forward. We bring this, “Well, we live in a fireproof house. “We’re a long ways from everything.” And more and more Canadians, if that’s still a thought up there, more and more Canadians are certainly pushing back on that. And we see that national disasters are increasing in both severity and frequency, straining our ability to respond. International criminal organizations and violent extremist organizations continuously find new ways to threaten our security and act regardless of border or jurisdiction. So simultaneous traditional nation states, actors sow discord and exploit that. One of the things that I will tell you that one of the great little epiphanies I’ve had since I came into this command was back in June of ’15, so I’ve been in this for two and a half years now, is watching the team under Operation Martillo down in the Caribbean in Latin America, a counter narcotics focus that seems to be a law enforcement led issue, but I think we need to get our heads around the fact that this is truly a national security issue first, foremost, and always. Which government department has the lead at a particular time or agency or branch, that’s a matter of discussion. However, the reality is that we’re seeing an alignment, a greater alignment day in, day out between violent extremist organizations, trans criminal organizations, and malign actors that would exploit that. That means we all have to be partnered to a greater degree moving forward. And this is one of the themes that we’ve identified as to how we help the whole government team in Canada as we call out other government departments be more than they can be just in the silo of themselves. So sometimes that means how we support them in exercising platforms that we do regularly on a joint basis and in an international context, but how we actually enable that capacity within our countries. And so it’s opening our aperture to the threats that are out there. I’ll tell you that a number of investments have been laid out, and I won’t go in numbers and capabilities and systems here, but we do expect that our defense budget will increase over time, and in a very short period, we’ll be expending more than 30% of our budget on new equipment capabilities. We’re very proud of that. So as you begin to look at the metrics that are thrown out about defense expenditures, we have a small military, but it is quite agile. And we seek to increase that agility by focusing on capability acquisition and maintaining the funding that we have towards readiness and training, and then gradually increasing, we have a very small percentage relative to some allies in NATO devoted to personnel costs, and we’ll increase those over time, commiserate with the challenge. But a lot of capability is in there for sustaining the capability we have, as well as some big ticket items in terms of enhancing our capability. And that’s all part of Strong, Secure, Engaged. I will tell you, though, that notwithstanding the big ticket stuff, army combat systems, new frigates, et cetera, a new fighter aircraft, all that good stuff, this new defense policy focuses on enhancement of our enabler capability, building our intelligence back to where it was. We searched it up through Afghanistan, kinda let it wither a little bit as the defense budget took some hits in the last number of years. It needs to be built up again. Expanding our ISR capability, particularly in the continental context, as well as cyber operations. And we’re actually having quite a think through about how we defend, and our structures are slightly different than in the United States as an example, but we’re making headway in that regard. So really, the focus is on enablers coming forward, everything from space, cyber, back through. Quite a bit of effort will be in that area. We talked about joint activities here, and I just wanna highlight again that the threats that we see coming at us are agnostic. They don’t say that, “Well, I’m primarily by nature a law enforcement issue.” They don’t care, and therefore we ought not to care in return. So as we move forward and look to build our partnership with our allies, I keep coming back to that example of what I see (mumbles) south, and I know there are other examples, this is just one that touches me because we deployed assets in support, but we see law enforcement working alongside military, a variety of law enforcement organizations supported by other government departments in an international context having an effect, a positive effect. And that’s what we seek to achieve as part of our commitment under this new policy. Canada and Mexico, too, I must say, have a maturing and mutually productive relationship that we’ve established a regular strategic dialogue. Mexico has been a member of the Military Training and Cooperation Program since 2004. Training is provided to Mexico, contributes to the professional development of all of our officers and personnel. It increases our interoperability. And more than anything else, that interoperability at a human level is one of the most fundamental enablers that we can all bring to the table. At the strategic level, bilateral, trilateral defense relationships are being developed through North American Defense Ministers meeting, which I had the privilege of supporting our minister back in May when it was hosted by Secretary Mattis in the Pentagon, and the North American Leaders Summit, amongst others. So we’re making way there. But the US, it is our premier defense partner. And I’d like to just tell you a little anecdote. There’s a few Canadians in the room that tend to be concentrated in the back back there, a smattering of US personnel, but Admiral Gortney, a few years ago when he was commander of NORAD and NORTHCOM, he asked the staff to show where the gaps and seams were between Canada and the United States. And they came back to report to say with a little placemat that showed there was no change because the Canadians were everywhere. You should not be surprised that although our numbers are relatively small we’re not stupid,
(audience laughs) and we know where the issues, the relationships, and the organizations with which we need to embed in order to further our joint program. And so we have an extensive relationship. It is by far the most important relationship, both on a governmental level but also on a broader governmental but also on a defense level. A couple weeks ago when I just break it down into, a theme as an example for us that’s hugely important is the Arctic land domain key amongst that. The US regularly participates in Operation NANOOK, an annual Arctic exercise conducted by our forces to demonstrate our sovereignty in the north and project power into the high Arctic and enhance our interoperability with Arctic partners, and not just the United States. There are other partners that participate in this with us, primarily on safety and security matters, such as search and rescue and incident response. And that’s as the Arctic waters are warming and ice retreating, that is gonna become a big issue going forward, and the land is ever more exposed. So two weeks ago today, we had our planning conference for next year’s iteration, with representatives from NORAD, from NORTHCOM, which focused on the ways in which we can expand a joint training exercise into the future. That’ll help inform the renewal of our Arctic campaign plan and the CJOC plan for the north and how we sustain our operations in the north going forward. I’d just like to say few more points. We have a truly unique defense partnership, I’ve said, with embeds across the variety of organizations, but there are 160 Canadians that are part of the binational command structure of NORAD. And then we have our LO structure with all of the combatant commands. My number one defense relationship is with General Robinson. I cover off all the COCOMs based on where we have operations in the world. But every day, in my commander’s update briefing, the one we start off with is North America, it’s with NORAD and NORTHCOM, but it’s that focus that we go forward on that, and then we go around the globe. We’re obviously, I didn’t get a chance to talk to General Townsend last night. Wanted to shake his hand again on his return. We have Canadians, including a general, embedded in his staff. We have folks flying missions out of Kuwait. We have, of course, our special forces are still in Iraq, and we have folks covering off medical and aviation responsibilities out of Erbil up in Kurdistan. So we’re embedded in that organization, so we maintain our focus, and that’s consistent with our policy moving forward. So let me just wrap her all up by saying just a couple things. These are areas of collaboration are emblematic of a strong and healthy relationship that continues to grow and flourish, but we must be cautious of complacency that arises from familiarity. This is something we need to work on. We all change positions. Just when we think we’ve got it figured out, we move on to a new job. We have people cycling in and out, enormous size of your organization, but even in the Canadian context, we are (mumbles) rich by our geography as we are terrorized by it because it’s so big, so expansive, and we’re so long on a linear basis, and we post people from one coast to the other coast and everything changes. So these decades old relationships are things that need to be renewed every year. They need to be renewed. What a great venue this is in that way. And we need to work at keeping things fresh. I think the North American defense relationship, I have staff here, I’ve gotta say this, I have staff that actually wrote this because they think that normally I just read notes and then I just talk extemporaneously, but they actually wrote this. While I’m partial to pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. How’s that? (audience laughs) There is a policy advisor that’s gonna have, we’re gonna have a little fun with this when I get back. She didn’t think I’d read it. (audience laughs) The North American defense relationship could be better served by looking to refreshing some existing defense plans and looking at ways we can ever address the security situation. Recent hurricanes come to mind and how we can reset the time. We have as a focus in the CJOC that when something happens we get out the door fast. I’m always going to the chief within a matter of hours, our chief of defense staff, with options for pre-positioning for accelerating the deployment timelines, ’cause we know politics will take a while to work its way out until you get the right authority. So what can we do to position ourselves? We had a frigate on the East Coast that was out training. It didn’t have its helicopter. It wasn’t uploaded with supplies. We made the decision within the context of its training mandate to get it back into port, get it up loaded, get it back out to sea training, except for the direction it was gonna do its training was slightly different but all doing its training, and so when the decision came down, we were ready to respond. We need staffs and leaders that are accustomed to doing that not only on a national basis but in an international context. And I would actually just wanna touch on one, because there’s something that’s very important here. It’s mundane, but it is critically important. Document classification and info sharing issues continue to hamper us all the way across the board, everything from intelligence forward, between organizations across. And this is not something just in with the Canada-US relationship. This is within the broader allied context. We need to ensure that our reflex is no longer need to know, but rather need to share. We’ve gotta figure out a way of getting back and being able to classify that which is truly classified, because if we’re not careful, we’ll end up cutting each other out of the loop and then withholding, and then people’s lives are in danger. Finally, as we pay more attention to the land domain, Canada has had the virtue of that geographic isolation I talked about, but as the geographic advantage erodes, we need to put more effort into understanding the threats of the future in the defense of Canada through the relationship building and structural forms that enable joint action. And things like our Regional Joint Task Force Commanders Conference that enhances our, which is an initiative in play coming out of our north, supported by NORTHCOM, that allow us to be able to talk cross border issues with commanders at the right moment at the right time. And that’ll be a great way for us to get the ball rolling as we look into the next year. So thank you very much. It’s been a privilege to chat here. Cheers. – [Eric] Thank you. General Granados? – [Roble] Good morning. (Roble speaking Spanish) – [Male Translator] Can you guys turn the mic over there? Is that one on? Ah. Yeah, (mumbles)? Yeah. If you’ll allow me, the General says he will continue his presentation in Spanish (Roble speaking Spanish) with the support of Lou Car-ee-o Mon-ees, myself, from Army North. (Roble speaking Spanish) First, I express my appreciation to the staff of Army North (Roble speaking Spanish) for having the honor of sharing this panel with such important persons (Roble speaking Spanish) within the annual meeting of the AUSA. (Roble speaking Spanish) I bring a greeting from General Salvador Cienfuegos, the secretary of national defense, (Roble speaking Spanish) for all the soldiers of this great country and the public who are with us today. (Roble speaking Spanish) In my presentation, I’d like to give you a brief description of what the armed forces of Mexico are like. (Roble speaking Spanish) I’d like to also share a few figures of what is Mexico (Roble speaking Spanish) and to discuss what the relationship is that we have with the US, with Canada, and with other countries. (Roble speaking Spanish) Mexico joins the US regarding the impact of the recent hurricanes that we’ve had. (Roble speaking Spanish) And they are Harvey, Irma, and Maria, (Roble speaking Spanish) which affected some states in the United States, as well as Puerto Rico. (Roble speaking Spanish) We appreciate also the support that was given by a group of experts in search and rescue (Roble speaking Spanish) which was provided primarily in Mexico City to the people who were affected by the earthquake in September. (Roble speaking Spanish) Constitutionally, the armed forces of Mexico, (Roble speaking Spanish) they are assigned two missions, which are national defense and internal security. (Roble speaking Spanish) And to carry out this mission, we have 267,000 troops, both that are in the Army, Air Force, and Navy. (Roble speaking Spanish) They cover five million square meters of territory, both ground, air, and maritime. (Roble speaking Spanish) Of those, two million are on the continental area. (Roble speaking Spanish) This means we have one soldier for every 7.3 square kilometers. (Roble speaking Spanish) And with a population of 120 million people, (Roble speaking Spanish) and the proportion is one military for every 464 members of the population. (Roble speaking Spanish) The armed forces have a defense budget (Roble speaking Spanish) of 0.51% of the gross domestic product. (Roble speaking Spanish) And the average of six Latin American countries is 1.5% of their GDP, (Roble speaking Spanish) And that’s taking into account the following countries, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. (Roble speaking Spanish) The Mexican economy is the 15th largest economy in the world, (Roble speaking Spanish) and the fourth in Latin America. (Roble speaking Spanish) Our annual growth is 2.1%, (Roble speaking Spanish) which is surpassed only by India, China, the US, Canada, and Spain. (Roble speaking Spanish) In international commerce, we have achieved the first place in production of (Roble speaking Spanish) silver, coffee, and parts of the aerospace industry and the automotive industry. (Roble speaking Spanish) We also occupy the fourth place in the production of vehicles, after Germany, South Korea, and Japan, (Roble speaking Spanish) 11th place in primary livestock, (Roble speaking Spanish) 12th place in the production of foodstuffs, (Roble speaking Spanish) 13th in agricultural products, (Roble speaking Spanish) and 16th place in the fishing industry. (Roble speaking Spanish) And in the present year, we’ve created 700,000 jobs, (Roble speaking Spanish) and the total accumulation of new jobs since the beginning of this administration in December, 2012 has–
(Roble speaking Spanish) three million, (Roble speaking Spanish) reducing the rate of unemployment from five to 3.5 percent. (Roble speaking Spanish) Mexico understands that every state has established their security priorities, (Roble speaking Spanish) but we also understand that (Roble speaking Spanish) multiple, or multidimensional threats demand an integrated a posture and a very decisive posture. (Roble speaking Spanish) And we identify among these principally (Roble speaking Spanish) the transnational organized crime (Roble speaking Spanish) due to their financial capacity and the violence that they generate. (Roble speaking Spanish) It’s worth taking cooperative measures (Roble speaking Spanish) to avoid the flow of illicit drugs from south to north (Roble speaking Spanish) and of weapons and money from north to south. (Roble speaking Spanish) In the area of natural disasters, (Roble speaking Spanish) the projections are that they’re going to occur with more frequency. (Roble speaking Spanish) And that their destructive force will be more devastating. (Roble speaking Spanish) We think that our countries should develop models for humanitarian assistance, (Roble speaking Spanish) which are more efficient in prevention, actual operations, and recovery. (Roble speaking Spanish) With regards to terrorism, (Roble speaking Spanish) even when the extremist organizations haven’t demonstrated a willingness to operate in Mexico, (Roble speaking Spanish) we have interest and a commitment to cooperate in this area, as well. (Roble speaking Spanish) And regarding cyber attacks, (Roble speaking Spanish) we know they can cause great consequences, or setbacks with great consequences (Roble speaking Spanish) dealing with communications, the economy, and the strategic infrastructure. (Roble speaking Spanish) Mexico recognizes the complexity of countering the intentions (Roble speaking Spanish) and the capacities of potential adversaries. (Roble speaking Spanish) We understand that the shared responsibility, (Roble speaking Spanish) coordination, and cooperation with other countries, (Roble speaking Spanish) are the best way to deal with the threats, (Roble speaking Spanish) but always keep in mind respecting the sovereignty of each country. (Roble speaking Spanish) We share with the US and Canada (Roble speaking Spanish) economic, social, security, and defense interests. (Roble speaking Spanish) Which is why we assume our responsibility in the region of North America, (Roble speaking Spanish) which is a region that has more than 500 million population (Roble speaking Spanish) and whose economy surpasses that of Europe in its entirety. (Roble speaking Spanish) Security is, for Mexico and its armed forces, a very high priority. (Roble speaking Spanish) It requires a synergy to be able to guarantee a general wellbeing. (Roble speaking Spanish) And faced with this, Mexico is not passive. (Roble speaking Spanish) It assumes a proactive and decisive role in the construction of its future. (Roble speaking Spanish) Mexico is interested in being a stable and secure neighbor. (Roble speaking Spanish) Our president mentioned within his five main goals (Roble speaking Spanish) a Mexico with global responsibilities. (Roble speaking Spanish) For this we work (Roble speaking Spanish) in the hemispheric security system, which is headed by the OAS, (Roble speaking Spanish) and also through the Inter-American Defense Board, (Roble speaking Spanish) as well in the Inter-American Defense College, (Roble speaking Spanish) the secretary general (Roble speaking Spanish) and the Council of Delegates, which is currently headed by a Mexican general. (Roble speaking Spanish) Other important mechanisms follow. (Roble speaking Spanish) In first place is the trilateral meeting of the Ministers of Defense of North America, (Roble speaking Spanish) which has permitted us to increase cooperation and dynamic activity (Roble speaking Spanish) in the areas of defense and common threats, or challenges. (Roble speaking Spanish) The conference of the Ministers of Defense of North America (Roble speaking Spanish) in which Mexico will serve as the chair for 2017-2018. (Roble speaking Spanish) I’d also like to inform you that (Roble speaking Spanish) in a coordinated fashion with Northern Command and Southern Command (Roble speaking Spanish) we carried out this year in Cozumel, Quintana Roo (Roble speaking Spanish) the Conference of Security for Central America (Roble speaking Spanish) and recognize the importance of the contributions of the military conferences. (Roble speaking Spanish) From 2012 to 2013, Mexico had the presidency of the Conference of American Armies, (Roble speaking Spanish) and in 2015, the chair of the chiefs of staff of the air forces of Latin America. (Roble speaking Spanish) In 2015, we were also accepted as an observer country in the conference of the Central American Armed Forces, (Roble speaking Spanish) and we have the intention of becoming a full member. (Roble speaking Spanish) We’ve organized meetings of the staffs (Roble speaking Spanish) with the US at two different levels, (Roble speaking Spanish) with Canada, (Roble speaking Spanish) with Guatemala, Canada, Guatemala, and other European countries. (Roble speaking Spanish) We also have border commanders conferences (Roble speaking Spanish) with the US, Belize, and Guatemala. (Roble speaking Spanish) Bilateral participation with Central America has also grown (Roble speaking Spanish) where we are focused on the transnational situation or problems (Roble speaking Spanish) and we cooperate in projects of cooperation and integration, development, and security. (Roble speaking Spanish) Historically, Mexico has been a promoter of world peace. (Roble speaking Spanish) We started participation in the UN’s peacekeeping operations in 1949. (Roble speaking Spanish) And due to national reasons, they were suspended. (Roble speaking Spanish) And we started them up again in 2014. (Roble speaking Spanish) And we’ve developed a general strategy for it (Roble speaking Spanish) so that gradually we will re-insert Mexican armed forces. (Roble speaking Spanish) This is a transcendental problem of the world security. (Roble speaking Spanish) Mexico will continue to see this as very important, (Roble speaking Spanish) which require decisions at the political and strategic level. (Roble speaking Spanish) For the security of our borders, we exercise joint exercises with the US. (Roble speaking Spanish) I’ll give an example of three here. (Roble speaking Spanish) Dealing with illicit flights, we have Operation Amalgam Eagle. (Roble speaking Spanish) For natural disasters or environmental contingencies, we have Vibrant Response. (Roble speaking Spanish) And for humanitarian assistance and support in case of natural disasters, we have Ardent Sentry. (Roble speaking Spanish) With Belize and Guatemala, we have coordination, more (clears throat) better coordination with Belize and Guatemala in the area of coincidental operations (Roble speaking Spanish) with each force in their own territory, their own side of the border. (Roble speaking Spanish) And in the area of border commanders conferences, which I’ve already mentioned, (Roble speaking Spanish) we carry out local coordination meetings. (Roble speaking Spanish) When they are on our northern border … (Roble speaking Spanish) Gracias. When we have them on our northern border, they have the very cooperative participation of Homeland Security, (Roble speaking Spanish) represented by CBP, Customs and Border Protection. (Roble speaking Spanish) And with Guatemala, we carry out exercises that deal with virtual air intercepts (Roble speaking Spanish) and reciprocal visits dealing with command and control. (Roble speaking Spanish) With the rest of Central America in addition to the mechanisms that have already been mentioned, (Roble speaking Spanish) we participate in the high level groups for security. (Roble speaking Spanish) And finally, I want to express the excellent cooperation at the strategic and operational level (Roble speaking Spanish) that the general staff of the Defense of Mexico (Roble speaking Spanish) has with the US Northern and US Southern Commands (Roble speaking Spanish) and with the CJOC of Canada. (Roble speaking Spanish) We appreciate your understanding for this very long exposition. (Roble speaking Spanish) I conclude this presentation. – Thank you very much. – Thank you. (audience applauds) – Thank you very much. First of all, this is working? Can you hear me? Oh. Let me make sure this is right. Can you hear me now? Okay, there we go. Much better. Well, first of all, it’s a real privilege and an honor for me to be here with such a distinguished panel. What you can see here is a representation of what is truly joint, combined, and interagency, which is the way that we do business in this hemisphere. And I think what I wanna do is just give you a brief overview of how we fit within the scheme of defending the United States. So if you look at the United States as priority one for the Defense Department, I think we all can agree that each one of us here has as their first priority the defense of their own homeland, their own country, so comparatively speaking, if you look at the Western Hemisphere, you have a much more peaceful half of the world. Just to put it into context, the way that we’re divided in the Department of Defense in naz-dee-ships or the deputy assistant secretaries of defense, we have eight, one for this hemisphere and seven for the other. So that can give you a general idea of where the Defense Department has a lot of its focus. That said, however, when we had the recent North American Defense Ministerial, it was very clear from Secretary of Defense Mattis that priority one is here. And it’s here for a reason We have to collectively look at how we defend our own homeland and our own continent, and this continent is represented here today. And we do that by looking at, in contrast with the other hemisphere, where you do not, in this continent, have the millennia long conflicts that they have in the other. If you just start looking, you can just go by region. You can start with Russia. You can look at China. You can look at Korea. You can look at Iran. You can look at the ongoing conflicts right now within Syria and then add to that some of the many challenges faced by Africa and its whole complement of nations. We don’t have those kind of conflicts in this hemisphere. So we can build from that, and the way that we do that is we have a framework that we follow on how we approach the hemisphere. The way that we view that particular framework is that we look at a hemisphere. We work toward a hemisphere that is collaborative, prosperous, and secure. And we do that by reengaging or by, first of all, strengthening the partnerships and coalitions that we have with our partner nations. We reengage with partners and friends. And then we also inform those adversaries that would wish to cause us harm that there’s consequences for those types of actions. And the way that you go about doing that is you do it by sharing information, by working collaboratively in exercises that prepare us for any potential eventuality that would face us against all adversaries. And that information sharing is done through the way that you interact with each other in positive ways as you’ve seen described here in this panel. And one of the beauties of being toward the end of this conference is that everybody has already mentioned the things that you wanted to mention, so you have to shape things a little bit differently in the way that you present your information. But we’re all about exchanging information, and the way that you share that information is you establish the mechanisms to be able to do that. And you share the information within the environment that you’re operating in. And when we talk about the operational environment, it takes an ever growing set of factors. And the way that we view the environment is you have to take a look at space. You have to take a look at the air. You have to take a look at the ground. And in many cases, you have to take a look underneath that ground as the bad guys are constantly coming up with ways to exploit even subterranean factors to move from one place to another. You also have to take into consideration the sea and then what’s under the water. And then all of that is wrapped in cyber. So to be situationally aware of that environment requires all of us to have good situational awareness on each and every one of our environments. Now, obviously, the first priority is by each nation taking care of their own environment, but then, to the extent possible, we have to look at how do we share some of that information? In the Northern Hemisphere with our neighbors to the north, with Canada, and then to the south with Mexico, we’re pretty good at sharing as much as we can, and that’s what gives us greater strength. And that would be an easier problem set to solve except that we still have to remember that the other hemisphere has a lot of threats emanating from it. One of the unique qualities of this hemisphere is that if you take a look at the globe from the top down, and I stole one of the maps from NORTHCOM when I was there, because they give you a really good appreciation for the orientation that you really have to look at the world if you’re going to defend North America. And you have to look at the globe from the top down. Canadians are very aware of that battle space as it was described previously because if you look at the furthest distance between Russia and Canada, the furthest, is about 2,000 miles. Correct me if I’m mistaken on that distance. But a lot of distances are a lot less. And one of the things that is unique about that is if you take a look at that globe, you can also see that, and sailors always tell me this, you Army guys are always looking at the closest distance between two points is a line, and most people, and then the Air Force tell me that they look at it the same way as the Navy, but anyway, the bottom line is that the closest distance between two points is a curve, because if you look at a globe, it’s actually a curved line. And when you take a look at the trajectory of something that emanates from a place like Korea and then lands somewhere within the United States, you know, starting with Canada, it’s not a very far distance. So all of these things that we keep hearing about Korea menacing us with different threats from missile systems, you can quickly figure out that it’s not a very far distance. And the more they develop that technology, the greater the threat. So exchanging that information becomes critical. And that’s the wonders and the beauty of the relationship that we’ve had with Canada for a long time, because obviously, the biggest threat to the United States is WMD because it’s the one that can cause the greatest damage, and I would argue that the greatest threat that we have within our inventory for any country. So having that relationship where we can share the information of what potential things can come at you from afar is very important. The changing technologies that are involved in that process make it an even greater threat because we’re finding that the ability of the enemy to be able to adapt to that environment is getting, is getting shorter. So the time spans that you had before are significantly less predictable and they’re a lot shorter, so we have to constantly have that dialogue with Canada. So it’s a different kind of a threat environment when you start looking at what can come at us from the other hemisphere. And if you extend that mindset into something like cyber, it doesn’t matter where you are. The cyber environment is one that somebody in his pajamas in a basement that knows how to deal with computers can be a threat, can be a national threat. And a lot of that has to do with we talk about information exchanges. Well, you also have to put in place the appropriate mechanisms to be able to guard that information. You can look at any day. There’s always all sorts of stories. If you listened to the news this morning, as I was driving into work, they were talking about plans that were made public by the Koreans. That kind of information leak can be very detrimental if you’re trying to keep certain things within the proper context and the proper ability to share them. So these are some of the things that we look at if you’re starting to look at the threat process from the perspective of attacking us from over the horizon in North America or in the cyberspace. When we start looking at the hemisphere, it’s not only North America. It’s also South America. And again, the way that we confront those threats is, as you see in this panel here, it’s joint, combined, and interagency efforts, international effort. A lot of the things that come that affect our societies in this hemisphere aren’t necessarily military but they do have a military component because we have to provide that defense support to civil authorities. As we mentioned previously, not only are we concerned with national defense, but we also have to be concerned about what kinds of threats involve defense support to civil authorities. And drugs is one of those big ones. I’ve heard, I used to listen to General Kelly when he was the commander of SOUTHCOM, and one of the things that I was well aware of what he said was that there’s 40,000 Americans that die to drug related incidents on a yearly basis. This would’ve been about, when he was the combatant commander. If you look at those statistics today, we’re up to 59,000. Now, what do we have to do with all of that? Well, we provide support to law enforcement agents to figure out how we can curb that. 59,000 is not a good number. And it keeps growing. And it affects us here. And those drugs come from throughout the hemisphere. And those drugs feed into other things that have a direct impact on the things that we do. For example, some of these drug cartels are now involved in illegal gold mining. If you look at South America, many of the illegal gold miners are also affiliated with some of these drug cartels. So we start talking about threats that come from networks, that’s what we’re discussing. And in many cases, the money that the illegal gold mining generates is more than drugs, but it’s all tied together. And just because it’s drug traffickers and illegal gold miners tied into this loop, it doesn’t mean that people that wanna cause us harm aren’t taking advantage of some of that money, because you can closely, if you wanna see a classical nexus between those kinds of threats, just look at the activities of the FARC. They were involved in all of those illicit activities. They’ve come to the peace table. But a lot of the people that did that business before are still out there, and they’re continuing with their activities. And when you start looking at the numbers, you still have to worry about what it is that that means. Now, to be able to mitigate that, one of the things that I believe that General Granados talked about was Mexico’s cooperation in that regard. We had the Security and Prosperity workshop or conference in Miami, where Mexico brought up three of their secretaries, we had three of our secretaries, and it was headed up by the Vice President. But it wasn’t about Mexico and the United States. It’s about, how do we assist Central America to confront some of the threats that they face? So to Mexico’s southern border, you have the challenges that are faced by some of the limited capabilities that Central American countries have. So Mexico has been a solid partner in providing the leadership and providing some of their capabilities so that Central American nations can strengthen their own institutions so that they can confront some of these threats that we face to the south. I wanna wrap this up because I wanna leave some time for Director Vitiello, but we are partners. We’re friends. We live in a hemisphere that is primarily focused on prosperity. If you look at most of the time and energy spent by our collective governments, it’s not what it is on the other side of the globe. So we wanna be able to maintain it and be able to strengthen some of those ties and friendships. So thank you very much, and I pass on to Chief Vitiello. – Thank you. Good morning, everyone. I’m honored to be here on this panel, and really wanna, again, welcome our partners from Canada and Mexico, and forcefully concur with General Hoover’s description of the interagency response to these hurricanes. Just a brief anecdote. CBP has about 800 people in the region that was directly affected by Maria, 800 near Puerto Rico, and we need to get our aircraft to the area. It would take us normally two days, but with a little help from DoD, we were able to get them into theater in a five hour airplane flight. So I really do wanna concur on the quality of the interagency response for these events. I’ll give you a little brief overview of CBP activities as it relates to the hemisphere, talk a little bit about a couple of things that I wanna highlight on behalf of the organization, and then quickly get into how we cooperate with Mexico and Canada on binational initiatives as it relates to the work that CBP does, remembering that I’m a CBP person and a border control agent for many years, but this is really part of the Department and the homeland security, homeland defense apparatus within the United States. There are nearly 60,000 employees on the ground, air, and water, and CBP is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations, and certainly the largest in the United States. We not only seize drugs and weapons. We also confiscate fraudulent documents, counterfeit products and merchandise, enforcing nearly 500 US trade laws for 47 other federal agencies. In fiscal year 2016, we collected about 40 billion in duties, taxes, and other fees. And then the budget, yearly budget, for CBP is around 13 billion, so good return on the investment there. CBP processed more than a million passengers and pedestrians in more than 74,000 truck, rail, and sea containers into the US. In a typical day in 2016, we made more than 1,100 apprehensions, arrested 22 wanted criminals, and seized four tons of narcotics, $30,000 of unreported or illicit currency, and four million dollars worth of counterfeit products and approximately 400 agricultural pests stopped at US ports of entry. CBP works closely with state, local, tribal, and international law enforcement, and that collaboration is important because our mission is remarkably complex. Our current challenges. CBP is working diligently in the interagency on counter networks and transnational criminal organizations, understanding that by forming a counter network division, partnering with state, local, tribal, and federal and international partners focused on foreign freight or travel and special interest aliens inbound to the hemisphere, gathering as much information as we can, strengthening our ties with the intelligence community and our international partners. CBP employs a risk based analysis of incoming and exiting people and cargo at the National Targeting Center, where we identify, screen, and segment low versus high risk traffic, passengers, and cargo in all transportation modes. Also focused on illegal migration and human trafficking using technologies like biometrics, soliciting designs for border wall and infrastructure, and disrupting the flow of dangerous drugs like opioids, including fentanyl and its analogs into the US. Work on wall prototypes is underway now near San Diego, and there’ll be more to come as we make those requests and identify that requirement. Along with that executive order that directed that planning, President Trump also issued an executive order to hire 5,000 more border patrol agents at CBP and 500 additional air and marine. We also must fill existing gaps with our mission support infrastructure and stabilize the workforce at the Office of Field Operations, our customs officers. So a plug for our hiring, CBP.gov, the career page. About 25% of the workforce moving upward are veterans in the workforce, so please, if you know people who are interested in continuing to serve or wanna serve the country, CBP is a great place to do it. We’ve held about 2500 recruitment events across the country in the last year and getting a little bit smarter about how we use data and analytics to find the right people to come into the organization, but it is challenging. At least inside of the Border Patrol. We are failing to hire people faster than we lose them, but a lot of work in that. And again, DoD is a good partner in being able to use the transition of military personnel out of their service into CBP service. We’re working quite a bit, and I saw it’s on the agenda here for the conference on officer and agent resiliency. We can’t do our mission if our people are not prepared. These storms and their effect on employees is an example. Officers and agents experience emotional and psychological traumas as a result of some of the work they do and things that they see. And it’s compounded by life, life’s pressures and financial, marital, and family difficulties. Our front line personnel often serve in remote, desolate locations and face all kinds of dangers. CBP established a national resiliency task force to focus on short and long range strategies for increasing resiliency. It’s part of a broader campaign that includes suicide prevention, retirement and benefit counseling, chaplains, peer support, mentoring, and health and wellness. On the international side are collaborations with Canada and Mexico. We share more than borders. We share deep economic and cultural ties, as well as a shared commitment to democratic principles. Examples of the trilateral and bilateral cooperation include the FAST Program, Free and Secure Trade, commercial cargo clearance program for low risk shipments entering the United States from Canada and Mexico. Initiated after 9/11, this innovative trusted traveler shipper program allows expedited processing for commercial carriers who have completed background checks and fulfill certain eligibility. Enrollment is open to truck drivers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The North American Single Window Working Group, which is the computer process for automating commercial environment, what we call ACE, and so a single window for filing entry documents for cargo into the United States. And the Trilateral Trusted Traveler Agreement, which was signed by Canada and Mexico in 2015. With regard to Canada, our law enforcement cooperation on radio interoperability, Operation Project North Star, our domain awareness, CBP has just completed its gap analysis and looks forward to the RCMP’s equivalent. We’re establishing a northern border coordination center near Detroit, which will be a central bilateral intake and coordination center to address emerging threats with regard to counter terrorism and transnational criminal organizations near the northern border. And then our Cross Border Law Enforcement Advisory Committee and the tried true integrated border enforcement teams. Our collaboration frameworks are Beyond The Border Action Plan, which was developed in 2011, and there are 32 separate initiatives divided into four areas of cooperation with Canada. By addressing threats early, trade facilitation and economic job growth, cross border law enforcement, and critical infrastructure and cyber security. In the end of 2014, US and Canada reaffirmed a commitment to continuing to work on the deliverables. No timeline, but we are urgently moving forward, as funding is a consideration in 2018. CBP and CBSA specifically leverages the Beyond the Border accomplishments and provides agencies with a path forward to establish new priorities and joint governance intended to facilitate the agency’s objective of modernizing the border, working together to mitigate threats, and identify unfolding opportunities. Our last meeting was in September in Montreal, and the goal to reopen that relationship and that dialogue with CBSA outside of the confines of Beyond the Border, and it’s a great opportunity for frank operational discussions on topics of mutual interest. As it relates to information sharing, the National Targeting Center Liaison Program, CBSA participates in liaison officers at the National Targeting Center here in Reston, and then two liaison officers are in place there now. Tip-Off. The United States and Canada have worked to update the 1997 Tip-Off, or the TUSCAN arrangement, to share known and suspected terrorist information and update, address key DHS tasks, including reciprocity, inclusion of Canadian citizen data, and a foreign fighter indicator and expanding to all relevant agencies. On the travelers program, the NEXUS program with CBP and CBSA have been working together to an optimal fee structure to fully fund the program. We’re working on pre-clearance, and ongoing pre-clearance in Canada continues in the Electronic Travel Authorization Working Group with DHS to develop a mechanism in which Canada would screen these exempt travelers, including Mexican nationals, against US derogatory data. Enhanced screening for visas at ports of entry, CBP and CBSA committed to work together to develop an enhanced and harmonized approach to traveler screening and identify and interdict persons who pose a threat at the border. And we’re also working on pilot programs in the cargo environment for rail and then truck manifests. With regard to Mexico, we’re working with SEMAR to disrupt transnational criminal organizations, stop illicit flows of inbound drugs, stopping outbound money and weapons, and combating human trafficking. We’re also working with the tax administration, SAT, on intellectual property rights and joint investigations as it relates to import safety and collaboration, consumer product safety. We recently signed an MOU with SAT with regard to that assistance. Collaboration between the National Targeting Center, as with Canada, we’re using electronic data and sharing electronic data with the customs group in Mexico. The trusted traveler program with Mexico is known as SENTRI, Secure Electronic Network for Travelers for Rapid Inspection. Travelers pre-approved for SENTRI, all applicants undergo a rigorous background. And then we’re working on pre-clearance with Mexico City as the next iteration for pre-clearance of travelers inbound from Mexico when the new airport is up and running. We’re also harmonizing data as it relates to cargo programs and doing unified cargo processing in which CBP and SAT jointly examine cargo at five major points of entry along the southern border. As an example, in Arizona this reduced the wait times for cargo coming into the United States by 75%. It’s an enhanced national security for both the US and Mexico. And the next unified cargo processing will be at Otay Mesa near San Diego. I wanna thank the panels, and thanks for being allowed to share with you today. We share the same goals, efficient and effective border security that prevents the entry and movement of unlawful, illicit people and goods while facilitating entry and movement of admissible cargoes and travelers. As the world’s first totally integrated border security agency combining customs, immigration, and agriculture inspections, as well as border management functions, CBP offers unique perspective. We are ready to share. We’re ready to help. We are confident that there’s a reciprocal readiness amongst each of you to commit to the required resources to share a law enforcement effort. Thank you, and we look forward to questions and a discussion going forward. – Join me in thanking our panelists. (audience applauds) Thank you all very much. And I confess that as a researcher and a student of these relationships, I must have two dozen questions I’d like to pose to each one of you. And clearly, we don’t have time for that sort of thing. Our time runs out here in about half hour, and I promise to let people in the audience to raise some questions, as well. But let me do it this way. Instead of going and asking different questions to each one of you, I’d like to ask two or three questions that each one of you can respond to. And if you wanna answer one or two of those, that’s fine. But I guess the questions are this. We’ve heard a lot about improving relationships and cooperation, cooperation between the three countries and between agencies and so on, and that’s really important. But the question is, what has enabled that? How has that happened? It doesn’t just happen automatically. What are the components that led to that from your particular perspective? I think second thing is, what is the value added of that increased cooperation? I know we’ve talked about increased security for North America. That’s obviously a value added, a real positive. But are there particular things you wanna point to that have been a value added to the Canadian forces, to US forces, to CBP, to DoD? Are there particular success areas that come out of that experience? And the third is, looking forward, where do you think the emphasis should be? Should we continue on the track we’re on, more of the same, we’re going in a good direction, or are there areas where we need to reach and to look out to? Cyber was mentioned. Other things have been mentioned. So I wonder if I could just ask each panelist to respond to one, two, three of those quickly and go down the list. We’ll start again with General Hoover and go through as we did the panel. – It’s awful to have to be the first guy to start. – (mumbles) shortest, and then leave it to everybody else. – Fair enough, fair enough. – No, no. Thanks. So I think quickly, I don’t remember all of your questions, but maybe I’ll get to them. I think first of all, it’s our exercise program that we have developed over the last several years with the Department of Homeland Security, with the Canadian forces, with the Mexicans, with the interagency in general, has really led us to stronger relationships which then get us to better readiness which then gets us to a more secure North America. So I think that’s the first part, and I think that’s what’s driven us. I think, and General Cienfuegos, I’m sorry, General Granados mentioned a number of the exercises that Mexico has been involved in. I think General Bowes has mentioned some exercises that we’ve jointly been involved in. That then leads to, I think, what Steve talked about earlier in terms of the information sharing and the quality of information that we are sharing between our three countries, between the interagency, between our intelligence communities within the federal government, as well as between our countries, as well. And that information sharing then I think gets you to, again, a stronger North America in general. It helps us illuminate the networks and the pathways for illicit trafficking to combat the drug issues, to combat counter terrorism issues, and work collectively. And then I think at the end of the day, it comes down to, as well, relationships, personal relationships at the mil to mil level that has really driven us, again, to I think the relationship building, which leads to readiness which I think leads to a stronger North America. – [Eric] Great. Thank you. General Bowes? – We’re, every one of us, prisoners of our own experience. And we bring to our career fields a set of vales and approaches that have been limited in many respects, enhanced perhaps, but limited by those experiences. And so I have found that the, and as I watch junior officers developing now, the more that we’re able to expose them to other cultures, and when I’m talking cultures outside the military, I’m not just talking other nations. I’m also talking within the whole of government, cross departmental. It’s the cultures as the way that you think, the way that you approach problem solving. And what I have found is that some of the success we’re enjoying in operations today is the byproduct of 15 years, and we could all roll back the clock and perhaps wish we didn’t have to do that, but we have done that. We had to do that. But now, let’s recognize that there are some advantages to be accrued out of this, is that we have worked together in far flung places of the world on problem sets that weren’t necessarily part of what we were initially trained to do. And it has put us in good step. I think it puts us in a light where, and our leadership looks at it, when we talk interoperability, I remember NATO in the early part of my career, we were talking interoperability, it always had the technological thrust. And today, interoperability has a people thrust first. It’s whether people can work together to solve the problems. And so that’s become very important, and to feed off of General Hoover’s comment, on a domestic and continental basis, the exercises that we have have actually, it’s the planning. It’s not just the sessions that we get together with the senior leadership, but it’s the work that the staffs have been doing ahead of time to get us there that when stuff has happened, I’m never surprised and always pleased at the level of communication that’s always started well in advance of something because people know one another and more importantly know how to talk to one another. I have a briefing coming up to our staff colleges, and one of the things that I will point to them is that they have to learn to speak other languages. And I mean even English. (audience laughs) Right? They have to learn, and this is a bit of a joke, but I had a cyber operator talk to me one day, and says, “What do we need to advance cyber?” I said, “Well, first thing we gotta do “is teach you to speak English.” Because if you can’t get in the mind of your commander to make them a useful voice for you, if you’re gonna make it so complex that we can’t get there. But it’s that interoperability of people. And I really think that we have great examples of success recently, but we’re not to be complacent in that regard, and we’ve gotta figure out ways that we can continue that, ’cause I don’t believe in things like, I hear staff say, “Irreversible momentum.” I just don’t accept that. It’s not irreversible, and it has to be worked on every day. Thank you. – [Eric] Great. Thank you. General Granados? – [Roble] Gracias. (Roble speaking Spanish) – [Male Translator] One of the important components to improve our relationships (Roble speaking Spanish) has been the determination that’s been manifested by our leaders at the trilateral North American Defense Ministerial. (Roble speaking Spanish) We’ve already had a meeting in each of the participating countries. (Roble speaking Spanish) There’s a consensus on the evaluation of the threat. (Roble speaking Spanish) And that’s allowed us to work out our bilateral and trilateral relationship better. (Roble speaking Spanish) It’s important to continue on this path because of the level that it represents. (Roble speaking Spanish) It facilitates our operations at the both operational and tactical level, (Roble speaking Spanish) as my fellow generals here also mentioned. (Roble speaking Spanish) – [Eric] Thank you. Before Mr. de la Pena, I just wanna remind folks that you’ll have a chance here to ask questions. If you wanna queue up at the mics, go right ahead and I’ll call on people when we’re through this round. – I think I’d like to approach this more from a historical perspective. If you look at the relationship, you have to look at the results. And let’s start with, with the relationship. The relationship between, for example, the United States and Mexico has gone through different phases, but let’s start from World War II. One of the greatest contributions that Mexico made during World War II was allowing 200, roughly about a quarter of a million Mexican citizens which were legal residents of the United States to participate in World War II. So Mexico provided roughly a quarter of a million people to fight in World War II. There was also a squadron that fought in the Philippines of aircraft with Canada. The partnership has always been very strong. The Canadians were our allies from day one. Actually, it started back in World War I. We’re not gonna go back into the previous centuries where things weren’t exactly, when they decided to come and toast Washington, DC. – [Steve] It was the Brits. (audience laughs) – Well, it was a different set of history. But the point is that history has changed, and in the 20th century and the 21st century, the relationship has been much stronger. And the results of that relationship are just by looking at the amount of trade that occurs on a daily basis between, let’s take some, cite and statistics on Mexico and Canada. The Mexican daily trade with the United States is roughly about 1.4 billion per day, and with Canada, it’s a little bit more than that. I think it’s 1.5, 1.6, something to that tune. And so when we talk about having a collaborative, prosperous, and secure hemisphere, that’s what we’re talking about, because if you look at the trading block of North America, it’s the greatest trading block in the entire world. And so that right there is what the relationship is based on. I arrived in NORTHCOM in 2006. At that point, prior to me getting there, we’d had something like, with Mexico, we’d had like six flag officer visits. By the time I finished the first year we were up to about 30, and the relationship has gotten significantly stronger since then. With Canada, if you look at the evolution of NORAD. By the way, NORAD is celebrating its 60th birthday in May. And it was a relationship borne out of a threat that was menacing both, the entire hemisphere. And the Canadian collaboration and the creation of NORAD and that is easily seen just by the results. So if you look at the results, if you look at what the bottom line is, when you look at trade, when you look at the security of our hemisphere, it’s not perfect, but for the threats that we face, I think we’ve done a pretty good job. As I mentioned previously, look at this hemisphere and look at the other, and the proof is in the pudding. – [Eric] Thank you. Chief? – Yes, thanks. I would just say that I think that what drives or what has gotten us to the success and where things are working well is that there’s a demand by our public for safe communities, for free trade. And so that drives the policies that then get us to collaborative action plans. There’s a willingness amongst the governments to make sure that we meet those expectations. In the context of Canada, before 9/11, the border wasn’t as well recognized as what had to occur after. And so those implementations of the changes had to be done, recognizing that culture as it was and that people want a friction free border in both the northern and southern border, and so there’s a demand. There’s a consumer demand. Some of that demand is not a healthy one. So we recognize that what happens in the States affects both sides and both borders. And I’ve seen real success in my career, especially at the headquarters where paper matters, but these signed, deliberate documents that say, “We’re going to cooperate under these specific conditions “for these specific events for these specific time frames,” those always are vehicles for our leadership to adopt and be enthusiastic about. And I’ve seen, in the last several years, it started under the Calderon administration where we accept our responsibility for the drug demand in the United States, and then that is leveraged by Mexico for them to understand our co-responsibility to help us solve our problem and along the way, and then seeing that leveraged and elaborated with the Pena Nieto administration in which they’re providing a leadership role further south and providing mentorship and leadership in Central and South America to help work on these problems that affect us, as well. So thanks. – [Eric] All right. We’re open to questions. We have a gentleman here. Would you please identify yourselves, tell us who you’re directing the question to? And let’s keep it short, ’cause we don’t have a lot of time. – [David] Hi. My name is David Log-ger. I’m a staff writer with Defense News. And what I’m wondering is, with the threat from North Korea only rising and should diplomacy fail to denuclearize the peninsula, how do, and this is for, I guess, General Knowles, excuse me, General Hoover or Mr. de la Pena, how do you see layered defense playing into, playing into the next intermediate and long term? How do you plan to build a more comprehensive BMD system to protect the homeland? And how might you be working with your partners on the stage for that? – Hoover? – Right, I’ll take that one. (panelists laugh) Hey, David, thanks. That’s a great question. And I’ll just say that our BMD system is strong, and I have full confidence in our BMD system. I think North Korea is our current biggest threat that we face. People ask the Commander and I what keeps us up at night, and it’s North Korea, and it is the threat from North Korea. In terms of layered defense, I think we work very closely with PACOM, where they have more theater ballistic missile type defense capabilities, and then in NORTHCOM, we look at really wanting to fight the away game. When there is a intercontinental ballistic missile threat to the United States, then we believe that our BMD system is gonna be able to take it out and defend the nation. And so in terms of a layered defense, again, it’s an effort that we do with USFK, with PACOM, with our allies in the region, and then we rely on the BMD system and the architecture. And now having actually seen it work a number of times for a number of missiles, I have full faith and confidence in the system. – I (mumbles) General Hoover’s words. As an air defender, I was always interested in anti-ballistic missile defense. And I believe that our technology, based in the capabilities that they’re presenting on a constant basis, with technology increasing its ability to counter some of these threats is key. And I think that events such as this give you an opportunity to see just how far we’ve gotten with technology. But technology also has to be coupled with partnerships, because it’s gonna be that this is truly a partnership kind of a situation where we have to rely on the capabilities of others as well as our own, which gives us that multi-layering, but our system is strong, and we’re gonna continue to make it even stronger. – [Eric] Great. Question over here? – [Ag] Good morning, gentlemen. Ag A-dee-nez, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, currently assigned to Office of National Drug Control Policy. As we’ve developed a shared understanding of the opioid threat impacting the entire continent and identified the third party shipping those fentanyls that are actually killing Americans in the United States, how can we leverage the unilateral capabilities of each of our countries, the bilateral cooperations between our countries, and the trilateral cooperation of our countries to address this, this epidemic that is killing Americans from Mexico, the United States, and Canada every day? – I’ll start, and then maybe pass it to the Chief. But I think, I think we’re getting past unilateral action. The counter-drug effort is a problem that faces Canada, faces Mexico, faces the United States, indeed, faces the world economy. And I think we are well past having to operate unilaterally and in that space. And I think what you’ve been hearing this morning is the cooperation, the information sharing, and the interagency efforts here in the United States, as well as between our countries. General Robinson went down to the southern border of Mexico earlier in the spring to understand Mexico’s southern border strategy, because they recognize that the problem starts at their southern border, to figure out how we, not only from a military perspective, but how CBP and DHS, how the whole of government from the US side can help Mexico further bolster their southern border strategy. So I think the answer is not unilateral. The answer is trilateral. The answer is joint. The answer is interagency. Because there is no one country that can do it alone. Each of us has our own capabilities and our own strengths that we can bring to make North America a better place and to stem the flow of drugs and other things, other illicit cargo and materials going through the network. And so, maybe Chief,– – Yeah, I would agree. That problem as it is unfolding is a matter of the sharing of information, understanding where the pathways are, understanding what is inbound to the hemisphere, and sharing that quickly and often. And then as these organizations change their tactics or use different types of material, they use different precursors to get ahead of that and then share that information. One of CBP’s core benefits is this ability to target shipments. We can do that as they’re coming into the hemisphere. And the more we know about the illicit pathways in the hemisphere, the better we are at that. And that’s only gonna come from us sharing these things together. – Let me just add to that. One of the challenges that you’re gonna face with this new particular type of drug is that it’s basically, how do you piece this stuff together? If you’re an organic chemist and you can tie together those Cs, Hs, and Os and keep changing them around so that you can make something more potent and make it cheaper, it’s gonna be a constant challenge. By the way, so you have all of these different compounds that create these different types of drugs, and you have the Internet so that you can share that information with anybody else who wants to concoct the same substance and share it with everybody else. It’s gonna be an increasing problem. And when you couple that with the natural drugs that are out there, such as cocaine and heroin, and you lace them together, we have a mess on our hands. And so just to give you an idea of the nature of this problem, if you listen to the news, which I believe yesterday they were talking about Henrico County, which is to the south of us, not very far, they’ve doubled the population of women in prison in the last year. So that’s what we’re facing right now, and this is gonna one of those problems that we have to look at with the whole of government, whole of governments with our partners, because it’s getting out of our hands. It’s one of these things that we have to wrap our heads around and figure out a better way. We’ve got to start hitting the demand side. We’ve got to de-glamorize it. We’ve got to hold people accountable in all areas of society. Obviously, we’re at the interdiction and the eradication end of the scale, but until you can address the issue of demand and until you can address the issue of, what is it in our society that is creating some of these problems? A lot of it has to do with any time you turn on the TV you’re gonna see, “Take a pill for this, take a pill for that. “Take this, take that.” And then if you go to the doctor, it’s no longer fashionable to feel any pain whatsoever. Well, the problem with taking pain medication is it has other repercussions. And that’s one of those areas that, if you wanna talk about a challenge that’s joint, combined, interagency, international, whole of government, that’s where we are right now with what we’re seeing with the drug problem. And oh, by the way, a lot of this doesn’t get the same level of attention to see the whole thing, but a lot of the drugs are also flowing to the other hemisphere, and the other hemisphere is sending drugs even within their hemisphere, and they’re getting more people addicted. A lot of the drugs that are flowing not only to the United States are also going out through Brazil and into Africa, into the Middle East, and all of that feeds into this network of people that are making money off of it, which can very easily comingle into military threats to our homelands. – The only thing I would add, great comments, and the last comment about the network out there and how they’re all leveraging, how violent extremists are exploiting the narcotics industry to raise money for weapons to do things in other locations, how malign actors are exploiting it all, the evidence is out there and it’s overwhelming. What I would … I have trouble in Canada, I know you do in the States, and I imagine it’s the same in Mexico, is waiting for the richness of discussion among civil leadership, political and others, that actually brings it around to say, what are the real threats to our society? And how do we array? Because we move off of that direction. How do we array our incredible capabilities, our assets, towards the threats? ‘Cause we do that. We live in a society, and I don’t wanna … We sensationalize some issues, and we end up as a result deploying far more capability and resources towards that problem set than some other things that are actually more dangerous, more lethal to our societies that are a lot closer to home. So we have a challenge to trying to enable that, and fundamentally, we have to be cognizant of that, figure out how we move on that. Thanks. – [Eric] I don’t know if General Granados wanted to make any comment. Yeah? – [Roble] Si. Gracias. (Roble speaking Spanish) – [Male Translator] In these operations where the military are in a secondary role to the civil police forces, (Roble speaking Spanish) with regards to the military’s role, we understand that we have good results sharing information (Roble speaking Spanish) and also increasing capabilities, (Roble speaking Spanish) and in this combining of efforts, (Roble speaking Spanish) we’ve had some successes in facing this great problem, which is the illicit traffic of drugs. (Roble speaking Spanish) We’re sure that the best way to work is through coordinated action. (Roble speaking Spanish) In combining efforts, including military and civilian authorities (Roble speaking Spanish) and coordination within the country, as well as with other countries. (Roble speaking Spanish) Thank you. – All right. I apologize that we’re gonna have to cut this short out of respect to our panelists. I think we’ve run out of time. Obviously, there are many, many more questions a lot of us have, but this has been enormously enlightening and useful, and actually hopeful, I think, as we look forward to the future. General Hoover, thank you. General Bowes, thank you. General Granados, (speaking Spanish) Mr. de la Pena, deputy assistant defense secretary, and Chief Vitiello. Thank you all for coming. Thank you all for your patience. And let’s join me in thanking our panelists. (audience applauds)


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