Dean Stavridis Investigates the "Partnership for the Americas Western Hemisphere Strategy and US Southern Command"
Date: November 1, 2010
Admiral James G. Stavridis, USN, reflects on his tenure as Commander of United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The first Admiral to command Southern Command, Admiral Stavridis broke with tradition from day one, discarding the customary military staff model and creating an innovative organization designed not solely to subdue adversaries, but, perhaps more importantly, to build durable and lasting partnerships with friends. As he has said often, "We are excellent at launching Tomahawk missiles; in this part of the world, we need to get better at launching ideas." From his unique perspective as commander, Stavridis uses his engagingly personal style to describe his vision for the command's role in the Americas, making the most of limited resources to create goodwill and mutual respect, while taking care of the serious business of countering illegal drug trafficking, overcoming a dangerous insurgency in Colombia, and responding to humanitarian crises. He also devotes chapters to USSOUTHCOM's role in nurturing institutional respect for human rights among the military and security forces of the region, in advancing health security, and in supporting a new regional strategy to counter the increasing challenge of urban and transnational gang violence. Citing the hemisphere's common geography, culture, economy, and history, Stavridis makes a passionate case for a common approach and strategy for defending our "shared home of the Americas" through an international, interagency, and private-public approach, all connected through coherent and effective strategic communication.