This seems like a great idea. After Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa, what could go wrong? From Jake Johnston at the Institute for Policy Studies, fpif.org:
In a high-level meeting Friday, the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador will discuss the region’s security with American and Mexican officials.
Innocuous enough, you may think. But part of the meeting will be held on a U.S. military base in Miami, Florida — the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command, the Pentagon’s regional subsidiary that oversees American military operations throughout Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Under President Donald Trump, the militarization of U.S. foreign policy is about to stretch more deeply into Central America.
Central America policy-making, hardly an open book to begin with, is set to become more secretive. With the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America just days away, there is no official agenda of speakers or publicly listed events and no involvement of civil society organizations — even press access is extremely limited. What we do know is U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be there, as will Vice President Mike Pence — and of course, General John F. Kelly, the director of Homeland Security and the previous head of SOUTHCOM.
These high-level government officials will be joined by a coterie of elite Central American businessmen, invited to the conference by its hosts, the U.S. and Mexico. Trump’s budget envisions a massive cut in U.S. economic assistance to Central America, so officials will apparently be asking the country’s most rapacious and corrupt economic actors to fill the void.
“We must secure the nation. We must protect our people,” Secretary of State Tillerson told his staff last month in a discussion around Washington’s new “America First” foreign policy. “And we can only do that with economic prosperity. So it’s foreign policy projected with a strong ability to enforce the protection of our freedoms with a strong military.” By linking economic success with military operations, Tillerson telegraphed which way the foreign aid dollars will be blowing.
To continue reading: The Militarization of US Policy on Latin America Is Deepening Under Trump