Gen. John Kelly: Sequestration Could Disrupt Southcom’s Partnerships

military in trainingU.S. Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, Southern Command’s commander, has detailed how budget cuts could affect Southcom’s operations if sequestration returns in 2016, DoD News reported Thursday.

“In Latin America, in Southern Command, [sequestration] will be, simply put, a catastrophe,” Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to Cheryl Pellerin‘s report.

“We do most of our work partnering with small groups of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, even law [enforcers] who go down and spend short periods of time advising and assisting,” he said.

Kelly said another round of potential sequestration next year could limit the command’s partnerships with nations, according to the report.

He cited narcoterrorism, human trafficking, criminal networks and arms smuggling as among several threats to Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S., the report says.

“Unless confronted by an immediate, visible or uncomfortable crisis, our nation’s tendency is to take the security of the Western Hemisphere for granted,” Kelly told the committee.

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