On Tuesday, April 25, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the American Security Project hosted three retired U.S. flag officers from across the military and held an on-the-record Hill briefing on how continued engagement with Cuba further strengthens U.S. national security interests and will create a “win” for the Trump Administration. The retired generals warned that a failure to engage with Cuba could open a vacuum for U.S. adversaries, including Russia and China, just 90 miles off our shores.
This followed-on from a letter that 16 retired flag officers sent a urging U.S. National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster to prioritize U.S. national security as part of the Trump Administration’s U.S.-Cuba policy review.
Speakers at the event were Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (ret), the CEO of the American Security Project; Major General Paul Eaton, USA (ret); and Brigadier General David McGinnis, USA (ret). Andrew Holland, ASP’s Director of Studies, moderated.
They discussed how, over the past few years, the U.S. and Cuba have established a framework for collaboration on law enforcement and border security. The framework primarily focuses on combating illicit narcotics trade, human trafficking, fraud, and cybercrime. The Obama Administration had scheduled additional meetings on security cooperation with Cuban officials, but the dialogue has yet to continue under the new administration.