"Last year, we had to cancel more than 200 very effective engagement activities in numerous multilateral exercises. Because of asset shortfalls, we’re unable to get after 74 percent of suspected maritime drug trafficking. I simply sit and watch it go by. And, because of service cuts, I don’t expect to get any immediate relief, in terms of assets to work with in this region of the world. Ultimately, the cumulative impact of our reduced engagement won’t be measured in the number of canceled activities and reduced deployments, it will be measured in terms of U.S. influence, leadership, relationships in a part of the world where our engagement has made a real and lasting difference over the decades."


Marine General John F. Kelly, Commander, US Southern Command, Testifying at a Hearing Before the US Senate Committee on Armed Services, Thursday, March 13, 2014, p. 6.