The U.S. military's command in Latin America and the Caribbean is taking steps to strengthen its partnerships with allies, in the face of Russian attempts to portray the U.S. as an unreliable partner.
Navy Adm. Kurt Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command, said the command for the first time last week invited partner nations' military liaison officers to participate in its weekly operations and intelligence brief.
"Historically at Southcom, this meeting, held at the Secret [No foreign nationals] level, was closed to our foreign audiences even though serving at our headquarters," he said at the Atlantic Council on Wednesday.
"I've asked that we do a better job at empowering our team, including our partner-nation liaison officers, with knowledge. Knowledge that builds trust. Knowledge that expands our friendly networks. Knowledge, that when applied in a cohesive manner, will make us all more effective in defending our shared home," he added.
Tidd said Southcom was also exploring ways to share cutting-edge research with partner nations, new technologies and experimentation opportunities.
Meanwhile, he said Russia was making some "significant investments" in trying to discredit the U.S. in the region, such as broadcasting propaganda on RT and other television networks to "tell stories that are patently false."
But, he added, "Truth is our ally."
"We think there are others who would like to displace the United States as the security partner of choice, throughout the region," Tidd said.
"We think we have shared interest, shared culture, clearly, shared history, and we have opportunities to work together in a very constructive manner with the countries in the region. We think that is a story that tells itself," he said.