SOUTHCOM, South American Defense Leaders Meet Virtually to Discuss Partnering During Pandemic

first_imgBy U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs/Edited by Diálogo Staff August 31, 2020 U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) hosted defense leaders from South America August 27 during the first virtual South America Defense Conference (SOUTHDEC), focused on how to strengthen defense partnerships in a pandemic environment.The command invited chiefs of Defense from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Paraguay, Suriname, and Uruguay to the annual conference, as well as Defense leaders from Canada, French Guiana, Spain, and the United Kingdom.U.S. Navy Admiral Craig Faller, SOUTHCOM commander, hosted the forum. He was joined by U.S. leaders and security experts from the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies.SOUTHCOM sponsors this annual regional conference to facilitate an open and candid dialogue between the region’s top military leaders. The leaders share security cooperation ideas, perspectives, expertise and experiences, as they seek to improve their collective understanding of regional threats and security challenges.This year, SOUTHDEC’s participants discussed their support of the region’s ongoing response to the pandemic and law enforcement-led operations against transnational criminal organizations.Since March, SOUTHCOM has worked with partner nations in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean to support their COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts. Under its Humanitarian Assistance Program, the command has purchased and donated supplies, equipment and other vital resources to support the efforts of 28 nations.“We have extended that enduring hand of friendship […] with humanitarian assistance donations now totaling around $17 million across 300 projects to help friends in need,” Adm. Faller said.In April, the White House announced the start of SOUTHCOM-led enhanced counternarcotics operations to degrade the capabilities of drug trafficking organizations, save lives, and directly support its National Drug Control Strategy. To date, the internationally supported enhanced operations, along with Colombia’s Operation Orion V, have helped law enforcement authorities disrupt or seize more than 154 metric tons of cocaine and more than 40,000 pounds of marijuana, a loss of more than $4 billion in criminal profits for transnational criminal organizations.last_img read more

Priya Jaikumar stresses importance of choice

first_imgPriya Jaikumar, an associate professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, discussed how her personal experiences affected her ideas on film and education as part of the What Matters to Me and Why lecture series Wednesday at the Ground Zero Performance Café.Like the movies · Priya Jaikumar, an associate professor in the School of Cinematic Arts, says film allows her to understand the world from the perspectives of other people. – Priyanka Patel | Daily TrojanJaikumar worked as a journalist in India when the opportunity arose for her to study abroad in the United States in 1991. She said her decision to come to the United States embodied a conflict particular to Indian women of her generation and social situation.“My life was at a crossroads, and I didn’t know how significant my decision would be,” Jaikumar said. “It was a choice between a settled personal life [in India] and a complete unknown entity. My dilemma was very specific to the 20th century as it was something I faced as an educated woman. It was a particular privilege, a precarious privilege.”She said this privilege ultimately affected her values and beliefs as she realized the opportunities afforded to her because of her education.“What I particularly value is to make such instances of mobility and opportunity available to more people,” Jaikumar said. “A majority of humanity does not have this. We do not have the privilege or choice of following our hearts.”Jaikumar also addressed how film allows her to make an impact on education because it expresses and communicates new worlds.“Using my classes as a platform to bring [film] forward and open up a range of sensibilities for my audiences is very important to me,” Jaikumar said. “Part of education is walking a mile in someone else’s shoes and opening up your sympathies. Film allows you to see in other perspectives and alter your perception of the world.”Jaikumar said she joined the critical studies department because it combines two of the most influential forces in her life: the creative impulse to make tangible contributions to the world and the critical impulse to think about the connections between the world we create and the world we inhabit.“I believe the best creativity in the sciences and in the arts are born only when there is support of the critical impulse,” Jaikumar said. “This is why I’m in the department of critical studies.”Jaikumar said her decision to study abroad still affects her values to this day.“In my lifetime, I had a choice,” Jaikumar said. “I left my family behind, and I’m here, so my students and colleagues are important to me. My life I have made here is important with my husband and my child.”Jaikumar, who serves as a residential faculty adviser to Parkside Arts & Humanities Residential College, is working on a book about places that become visual icons entitled Where Histories Reside: Filming India as Location. She plans to continue to write, engage with other people and retain her curiosity and sense of wonder.“Those who remain open and curious can transcend the linearity and fatality of time,” Jaikumar said. “That is what I’m invested in and, independent of film, that is what I dedicate my life to.”last_img read more

Poll: Pessimism felt around U.S.

first_imgWomen and minorities are less content than men and whites, which has been true for years. But all four groups are at or near record lows for the AP-Ipsos poll, and at unusually low levels for older surveys, as well. Ann Bailey, 69, a retired school secretary in Broken Arrow, Okla., is a conservative who believes the country is on the wrong track. That sentiment should raise alarms for Republicans hoping to hold the White House and recapture Congress next year. She cites a widespread lack of honesty plus immigration, gasoline prices and Iraq – where a son and grandson are serving. “As much as I hate it, I think they need to finish up what they’re doing and get out of there,” said Bailey. “I think we should step out and say, `OK, now you solve your problem. We’ve done the best we can do.”‘ Larry Ward, a moderate Republican from Pocomoke, Md., also senses the U.S. is heading the wrong way. WASHINGTON – It’s gloomy out there. Men and women, whites and minorities – all are feeling a war-weary pessimism about the country seldom shared by so many people. Only 25 percent of those surveyed say things in the U.S. are going in the right direction, according to an AP-Ipsos poll this month. That is about the lowest level of satisfaction detected since the survey started in December 2003. Rarely have longer-running polls found such a rate since the even gloomier days of 1992 ahead of the first President Bush’s re-election loss to Democrat Bill Clinton. The current glumness is widely blamed on public discontent with the war in Iraq and with President Bush. It is striking for how widespread the mood is among different groups of people. “We’re still fighting a war we can’t win,” said Ward, 47, who operates a tree service. “That’s a real big thing for me.” Three in 10 men and two in 10 women said this month they think the country is on the right track, down from nearly half of each who felt that way at the end of 2003. By race, 28 percent of whites and 18 percent of minorities said the same – just over half their rates of optimism from late 2003. Asked in April why they felt things were veering in the wrong direction, one-third overall volunteered the war and one-fourth blamed poor leadership. Nine percent faulted the economy, 8 percent a loss of moral values and 5 percent gasoline prices. “We need to get out of war, get our economy back up, quit spending money outside of America and bring it here,” said Democrat Lisa Pollard, 45, an insurance company analyst in Arlington, Texas. “It all starts at the White House.” When voter optimism hits such low levels, “It’s not being driven by any specific group. It’s a general kind of malaise that’s across the board,” Republican pollster Neil Newhouse said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img