Defense Minister, Jorge Taianawill meet this afternoon Laura Richardson, Chief of the United States Southern Command. The meeting will take place at 5:00 p.m., in the Libertador building, and will take place in the year that marks the bicentenary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, a few weeks after the conclave between Alberto Fernández and Joseph Biden, and in a context of growing concern among United States in the face of China’s expansion

Richardson arrived in Argentina this Sunday and, before seeing himself alone with Taiana, he will hold a meeting with Juan Martin Paleo, the Chief of Staff of the Joint Armed Forces. As the Southern Command officially reported, during this second visit to the country – the other took place almost exactly a year ago – “security cooperation” will be discussed because “Argentina is a trusted regional security partner”.

During this meeting with Paleo, they will talk about the training of NCOs and “common operational problems”, as he was able to find out GlobeLiveMedia. In the morning, Richardson met with the American Ambassador in Buenos Aires, Mark Stanley.

Southern Command is a Pentagon unit that was designed defend U.S. interests in the region. It is based in Miami, controls US bases in Latin America, and provides training, intelligence, and military coordination for all regional armed forces under State Department recommendations.

The visit is particularly relevant due to the geopolitical struggle between the United States, China and Russia in the region. Recently in an interview with the think thank you American Atlantic Council, Richardson noted:We have a lot to do. This region is important, it has a lot to do with national security and we need to step up our game.”

The American ambassador, Marc Stanley, received Laura Richardson at his embassy this morning.
The American ambassador, Marc Stanley, received Laura Richardson at his embassy this morning.

Furthermore, he mentioned the importance of some strategic natural resources that abound in South America such as lithium, copper, oil and fresh water. With regard to lithium, which is used in technology-related industries for the manufacture of batteries, he pointed out that the “60% of lithium is concentrated in the so-called triangle Argentina, Chile and Bolivia”and that there is alsolargest oil reserves, including those of light, sweet crude, discovered off Guyana more than a year ago. They also have the resources of Venezuela, with oil, copper, gold”.

In the same video, broadcast on social networks, the military leader warned of the relations that the government of Nicolás Maduro has with Russia, as well as with Cuba and Nicaragua.

China, on several occasions, has also shown its interest in the exploitation of lithium in Argentina and this situation has put the United States on alert. The government led by Xi Jinping, through the Belt and Road program, to which our country has already joined, is developing a strategy for the development of global infrastructure and international cooperation that worries American projects in the region.

The head of the Southern Command underlined a few days ago the strategic importance of the natural resources of the region.
The head of the Southern Command underlined a few days ago the strategic importance of the natural resources of the region.

One of the pending issues of the ministry headed by Taiana in its relations with the United States is the purchase of combat aircraft.

Regarding this operation, which included negotiations with China and the United States, the minister explained that “there is still no definition”. And added that “We studied about ten proposals. Many of us had to reject them because of the British veto, which is maintained despite 40 years and which really creates a lot of difficulties for us and cancels a series of possibilities”.

This veto, imposed after the Falklands War, does not allow Argentina to acquire military equipment containing parts from the United Kingdom.

Taiana, together with the Chief of the Argentine Navy, Admiral Julio Guardia and the authorities of TANDANOR, were in Brazil last week where they visited the Itaguaí shipyard which manufactures the Scorpene submarine. Argentina is interested in purchasing one of these models which would allow it to recover its submarine capability.

A week ago, on April 10, the minister also met with Chinese government officials. A delegation from China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and National Defense Industry (SASTIND), led by its deputy administrator, Zhan Bin Xu, led the meeting which aimed to deepen international cooperation between the two countries in the area of ​​the defense industry.

General Richardson, the first woman to take up this post in the United States, had already traveled to Argentina at the end of April 2022 where she had even been received in her office in the Senate of the Nation, by Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner , accompanied by Ambassador Stanley. It came just over a month after the renegotiation of the foreign debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In addition to Richardson, last week Wendy Sherman, the Under Secretary of State for the Biden administration, visited our country, in another example of the rapprochement between the two governments.

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