Magazine article National Defense

Cuba Ties Seen as Advantageous to U.S. Security

Magazine article National Defense

Cuba Ties Seen as Advantageous to U.S. Security

Article excerpt

* Increased cooperation between the United States and Cuba should be a boost for U.S. national security, according to a recent report.

The previous long-standing U.S. policy of isolating Cuba, a remnant of the Cold War era, hampered the United States' ability to address regional security issues.

"There is this huge, almost black hole in the Caribbean for US political and military operations," said Andrew Holland, a senior fellow for energy and climate at the American Security Project, a Washington, D.C-based think tank. He is also a coauthor of the June report titled, "Potential Areas of Cooperation Between the United States and Cuba."

An unmonitored zone so close to the United States opens up security risks via the trafficking of migrants and drugs, Holland said. The threats themselves do not emanate from Cuba, but unknown zones of operation always present a risk, he said. A terror group could potentially exploit any area of traffic between the United Sates and Cuba that is inadequately monitored, he added.

The two countries officially re-opened their respective embassies in July, establishing a formal restoration of diplomatic relations.

During a press briefing July 21, State Department spokesman John Kirby said there has been no discussion yet about a military-to-military relationship with Cuba. "I have no specifics with respect to what a defense relationship could or would look like in the future," he said.

Holland said increased cooperation with Cuba would offer an opportunity for the military to expand the operational effectiveness of U. …

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