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Counter Threats

U.S. Southern Command will increase cooperation and information sharing with allies and partners to understand and counter threats from transnational criminal organizations, violent extremist organizations, and malign regional and external state actors.


WATCH: SOUTHCOM leaders discuss the command's second Line of Effort: Countering Threats. (Video by John Ciccarelli, SOUTHCOM Public Affairs)

Transnational Criminal Organizations and Violent Extremist Organizations. By leveraging information sharing and critical U.S. enabling capabilities, we will reinforce partner efforts to deny transnational criminal organizations and violent extremist organizations the use of established smuggling routes through the Americas. We will focus on enabling partner nation and lead federal agency operations aimed at interdicting illegal drug supply chains and disrupting transnational criminal networks. We will align our security cooperation activities, operational support, and exercises with U.S. Government partners to maximize outcomes against priority criminal and terrorist networks.

Malign regional and external state actors. We will work with our partners to blunt malign activity in our neighborhood. We will share information on China’s predatory and opaque economic practices around the world with allies and partners to increase understanding of China’s malign influence. We will deny Russia the strategic opportunity to control the information space in this hemisphere by using our consistent engagement and presence to tell our story and diminish the effects of their disinformation campaign. We will increase information sharing to improve identification and disruption of the activities of Lebanese Hezbollah and their proxies in the region. We will continue to exchange insights with allies and partners on the malign activities of regimes in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

Our Efforts & Missions to Counter Threats 

A Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf boarding team aboard an Over the Horizon Long-Range Interceptor boat conducts an interdiction of a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel suspected of smuggling 7.5 tons of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Aug. 31, 2015. The seized contraband is worth an estimated $227 million. (U.S. Coast Guard photo) Countering Transnational Criminal Organizations

Illicit trafficking networks pose complex transnational threats to the stability of Latin America and the Caribbean and to U.S. public health and national security.  Well-resourced organized crime groups move drugs, weapons, counterfeit items, money and people on these networks. This insidious web of crime threatens citizen security, undermines basic human rights, cripples the rule of law through corruption, erodes good governance, and hinders economic development. The U.S. military works with federal agencies and partners in the region to counter these threats.



Links to Operation Martillo pageCampaign Martillo

​Campaign Martillo (Hammer) is a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. U.S. military participation is led by Joint Interagency Task Force South, a component of U.S. Southern Command. The U.S. contribution to the operation includes U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels, aircraft from U.S. federal law enforcement agencies, and military and law enforcement units from various nations working together to deny transnational criminal organizations the ability to exploit transshipment routes off Central America. 



Link to Cooperative Security Locations pageCooperative Security Locations

The U.S. military has two Cooperative Security Locations (CSLs), formerly known as Forward Operating Locations, in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The CSLs are strategic, cost-effective locations in Comalapa, El Salvador and Aruba-Curacao, formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, which allow U.S. and partner nation aircraft the use of existing airfields to support the region’s multinational efforts to Combat Transnational Organized Crime.  The CSLs are the result of cooperative, long-term agreements between the United States and host nations.  


Military Information Support Operations

U.S. Southern Command, through its component commands and active engagements, conducts military information support operations throughout the Area of Responsibility, specifically; Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago. These activities are designed to counter terrorist radicalization and recruitment efforts by terrorist organizations and criminal networks.