Mar 6, 2012

U.S.-Mexico Relations: US and Mexico plan to start joint military exercises

CNN Mexico: "The United States plans to increase military cooperation with Mexico. The U.S. Northern Command (Northcom) today reported to Congress that the country is planning a joint simulation exercise in May.

Commander Charles Jacoby said the military relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has advanced to "unprecedented levels of coordination" and the two countries have become "strategic partners" with full respect for the sovereignty of each. "We are ready to increase collaboration and coordination in Mexico to the degree they desire and in accordance with the policies of the U.S. government," he said in written testimony before the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives.

The exercise, called Arden Sentry 12, to be held on May 2, will be the first of its kind undertaken by Northcom and the Mexican military as a combined action to support civil authorities in the event of natural disasters. The exercise scenario will simulate a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that will land near Brownsville, Texas, will return to the sea and re-enter by the north coast of Texas. This includes mock serious damage to infrastructure.

In his testimony, Jacoby highlighted that the Northcom has--for several years--housed members of the Mexican Navy, Defense and Air Force Secretariats and stressed that this has helped "tremendously improve cooperation."

Jacoby said that while Mexico shares information regarding the struggle against transnational criminal organizations, the United States brings its experience in asymmetric conflicts, land warfare and challenges to the rule of law. The commander also pointed out the cooperation with Mexico in terms of planning, tactical skills, communications and incorporating human rights principles, as well as holding regular meetings to build relationships.

As an example, General Jacoby mentioned  planning exercises such as "Quickdraw" between naval forces of the United States, Canada and Mexico to improve the capacity to respond to illegal activities that threaten the security of North America." Spanish original

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