ICYMI: Vox: 5 former US military chiefs condemn Trump’s decision to cut Central American aid

Five former generals released a statement condemning Trump’s plan to pull aid from Central America in response to migrants fleeing to the United States to escape violence in their home countries. Trump should listen to the advice of these former SOUTHCOM chiefs, who understand the realities on the ground.


Vox: 5 former US military chiefs condemn Trump’s decision to cut Central American aid


By Alex Ward


On April 1, President Donald Trump vowed to cut off aid to three Central American countries, due to a wave of people trying to flee violence and economic devastation and enter the United States.


But on Monday, five retired top military officers who oversaw American operations in the region said it’s a really, really bad idea.


The former four-stars were all the chiefs of US Southern Command, the military organization that orchestrates operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, and served in that post at varying points throughout the previous three administrations. One, retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis, was once rumored to be in consideration as Trump’s secretary of state.


According to them, Trump’s decision will not stop the flow of migrants trudging northward.


On the contrary, it’ll only make things worse.


“Improving conditions in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador is a critical way to address the root causes of migration and prevent the humanitarian crisis at our border,” the retired soldiers, sailors, and Marines wrote on Monday. “Cutting aid to the region will only increase the drivers and will be even more costly to deal with on our border.”


Lest you believe the view of these retired troops is outdated, some top people in the Trump administration share it.


“We also need to invest in Central America,” Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection whom Trump just named as the acting homeland security secretary, told ABC News in December. “[B]oth on security and the economic front in Central America, we need to foster that and help improve the opportunities to stay at home.”