2023 Posture Statement to Congress

Army Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Southern Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee March 23, 2023, as part of the command’s annual Posture Statement to Congress. This page provides information, multimedia resources, documents and testimony excerpts. The general previously testified before the House Armed Services Committee March 8, 2023

Melissa G. Dalton, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and hemispheric affairs; Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander, U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command; and Army Gen. Laura J. Richardson, commander, U.S. Southern Command, address the House Armed Services Committee.



MARCH 23, 2023: Generals Discuss Hemispheric Challenges, Solutions

MARCH 8, 2023: DOD Officials Testify About Homeland Defense Before House Panel


China’s expanding influence in Latin America and the Caribbean:

“The world is at an inflection point.  Our partners in the Western Hemisphere with whom we are bonded by trade, shared values democratic traditions, family ties, are feeling the impacts of external interference and coercion. The People's Republic of China (PRC) -- our pacing challenge -- continues to expand its economic, diplomatic, technological, informational and military influence in Latin America and the Caribbean. The PRC has the capability and intent to eschew international norms advance its bearing its brand of authoritarianism, and amass power and influence at the expense of these democracies. The PRC has expanded its ability to extract resources, establish ports, manipulate governments through predatory investment practices, and build potential dual-use space facilities, the most space facilities in any combatant command region.”

Russia’s activities in the Western Hemisphere:

“Russia -- an acute threat --bolsters authoritarian regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela and continues its extensive disinformation campaign. These activities undermine democracies and challenge our credibility.”

SOUTHCOM’s support to Integrated Deterrence:

“As the national defense strategy states, the U.S. derives immense benefits from a stable, peaceful and democratic Western Hemisphere. That reduces security threats to our homeland. U.S. SOUTHCOM is putting ‘Integrated Deterrence” into action every day using innovative methods to work seamlessly across all domains, with the other combatant commands, the joint force allies and partners, Congress, the U.S. Interagency, NGOs and the private sector, to help build a hemisphere that's free, secure and prosperous for our generation and generations to come. I call this Team Democracy, and we need to build and field a resource team.”

On the threat of Transnational Criminal Organizations in the region:

“The [Transnational Criminal Organizations] bring violence and corruption and then and the PRC comes in and is able to exploit that. So, it all connects together. But the violence is… it's off the charts.  These organizations are getting more powerful, $310 billion revenue annually. They've diversified the portfolio. It's not just Counter Narcotics, it's human trafficking, it's illegal mining, illegal logging, fishing, whatever they can get their hands on. And then the Chinese money laundering that with the seven PRC banks, 275 branches in the region. It's just a vicious cycle that continues. So, the work that we do with the security cooperation to help our partner nation militaries and certain public security forces deal with these challenges internally and be able to secure their borders and work cross border with their neighbors, enables them to handle these situations.”