IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 7 (legislative day, February 3), 2022
Mr. Rubio (for himself and Mr. Menendez) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
To require a United States security strategy for the Western Hemisphere, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Western Hemisphere Security Strategy Act of 2022.
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of Congress that—
the security, stability, prosperity, and state of democratic governance in countries of the Western Hemisphere are vital to the national interests of the United States;
the harmful and malign influence in Latin America and the Caribbean of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Russian Federation poses risks to—
the people and countries of Latin America and the Caribbean; and
the national interests of the United States;
the United States should expand its engagement in the Western Hemisphere by—
strengthening its alliances and partnerships with countries in the Western Hemisphere;
fostering security cooperation among countries in the Western Hemisphere to facilitate trade, investment, training, and humanitarian assistance in the near and long term; and
working with security and law enforcement agencies in the Western Hemisphere—
to address the shared challenges of—
narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, and other forms of illicit trafficking; and
transnational criminal organizations; and
to support the rule of law, democracy, and human rights in the region;
the United States should maintain credible security capabilities dedicated to Latin America and the Caribbean—
to build partner country capacity;
to support the delivery of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief;
to deter acts of aggression; and
to respond, if necessary, to regional threats and threats to the national security of the United States; and
the Department of State and the Department of Defense should continue to commit additional assets and increase investments in the Western Hemisphere so as to maintain robust United States security partnerships with countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Security strategy for the Western Hemisphere
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense shall jointly submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a multi-year strategy, to be known as the
Western Hemisphere Security Strategy, for purposes of enhancing diplomatic engagement and security assistance and cooperation, promoting regional security and stability, and advancing United States strategic interests in the Western Hemisphere.
The strategy required by subsection (a) shall include the following:
A proposal for increasing United States bilateral and multilateral security assistance and cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Activities to build the defense and security capacity of partner countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Activities to counter—
malign influence by state actors; and
transnational criminal organizations with connections to—
illicit trafficking, including the illicit trafficking of narcotics and weapons; or
Efforts to disrupt, degrade, and counter transnational illicit trafficking, with an emphasis on illicit narcotics and precursor chemicals that produce illicit narcotics.
Activities to increase transparency in, and support for, strong and accountable defense, security, and law enforcement institutions through institutional capacity-building efforts, including efforts to ensure respect for internationally recognized human rights and direction and oversight by civilian authorities.
Efforts to expand bilateral and multinational military training exercises with partner countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief initiatives to support partner countries by promoting the development and growth of responsive institutions through activities such as—
the provision of appropriate equipment, training, logistical support;
transportation of humanitarian supplies or personnel of foreign security forces;
making available, preparing, and transferring on-hand nonlethal supplies, and providing training on the use of such supplies, for humanitarian or health purposes to respond to unforeseen emergencies;
the provision of Department of State humanitarian demining assistance; and
conducting medical support operations and medical humanitarian missions, such as hospital ship deployments and base-operating services, to the extent required by the operation.
Continued support for the women, peace, and security initiatives of the Department of State to support the capacity of partner countries in the Western Hemisphere—
the safety and security of women and girls; and
that the rights of women and girls are protected; and
to promote the meaningful participation of women in the defense and security sectors.
Professional military education initiatives, such as the Department of State’s International Military and Education Training program.
A detailed assessment of the resources required to carry out such strategy and a plan to be executed not later than fiscal year 2023.
Not later than 90 days after the date on which the Western Hemisphere Security Strategy is submitted under subsection (a), the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense shall commence implementation of the strategy.
Not later than 180 days after the date on which the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Security Strategy commences, and every 180 days thereafter, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense shall jointly provide a briefing to the appropriate committees of Congress on the implementation of the strategy.
The authority under this section shall terminate on the date that is three years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Appropriate committees of Congress defined
In this section, the term appropriate committees of Congress means—
the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate; and
the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.