Whenever a senior military officer is nominated to head the U.S. Southern Command, the Senate Armed Services Committee requires that officer to answer a list of advance questions. The responses are in a public document that accompany the officer’s nomination testimony before the Committee.
In December 2015, Adm. Kurt Tidd appeared before the Committee. His responses document mentioned China three times.
Yesterday (August 3, 2021), Gen. Laura Richardson appeared before the Committee. Her responses document mentions China 33 times.
The war on leftist insurgencies gave way to the war on drugs, which gave way to the war on terror, which became a focus on transnational criminal groups. But now, “great power” or “near-peer” rivalry looks like the main mission for the U.S. defense apparatus in Latin America.