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In case you missed it – on March 11, the Full House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on “National Security Challenges and U.S. Military Activity in North and South America.” Witnesses providing written statements and answering questions included the HON Kenneth Rapuano, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, Admiral Craig Faller, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, and General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, Commander, U.S. Northern Command. In their conversations with committee members, the two commanders acknowledged that climate change is affecting their Area of Responsibility, or AOR.
By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, US Navy (Ret)
Most of the story-lines driving the international community’s understanding of the Venezuelan crisis center on the Maduro regime’s gross mismanagement of the economy, and its clean break from democratic laws and tradition. That makes sense, not least as the most “proximate” causes of the current political turmoil in the country seem to be clearly related to those factors. However, there are some background factors that have gone less noticed. The Venezuelan government’s inability to manage its strained water resources in the face of a drought that the nation’s meteorologists characterized as “the worst in at least 40 years,” for example, is a largely unwritten part of the story that deserves to be aired. (more…)