By Claudia Sánchez-Bustamante/Diálogo April 05, 2017 Located at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF South) is one of three U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) task forces in support of national and partner nation security. The agency coordinates with the interagency and international partners to illuminate transnational organized crime networks and support interdiction and apprehension by United States and partner nation law enforcement agencies. U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Christopher J. Tomney, director of the JIATF South, spoke to Diálogo about the task force’s priorities, focus, and the importance of working together to deter transnational, transregional criminal organizations.Diálogo: What is JIATF-South’s main focus with regard to our AOR?U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Christopher J. Tomney, director of Joint Interagency Task Force South: JIATF South’s primary focus is the detection and monitoring of illicit trafficking in the air and maritime domains throughout our 42-million-square-mile Joint Operating Area (JOA). It actually encompasses SOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility (AOR) as well as includes parts of the U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Pacific Command AORs as well.Diálogo: What is the focus of your military efforts as director of the JIATF-South?Rear Adm. Tomney: As director of JIATF South, my energy is focused on supporting our interagency and international partners’ efforts to interdict and apprehend illicit traffickers, in order to shed further light on the wider networks to which they belong. As a component commander of U.S. Southern Command, I work to promulgate Adm. Tidd’s [SOUTHCOM commander] direction and intent, especially with regard to countering transregional, transnational threat Networks (T3N).Diálogo: What do you expect to achieve with each country in SOUTHCOM’s AOR you engage with, whether through exercises, key leader engagements, or any other engagement?Rear Adm. Tomney: JIATF South seeks to continually develop closer relationships with all of our partner nations, including those that reside within the SOUTHCOM AOR, to facilitate two primary goals: 100 percent domain awareness and an unprecedented degree of information coordination. Through increasing engagements with partner nations, we seek to escalate our awareness of illicit trafficking and associated networks through the JOA, as well as drive information sharing to such a point of transparency that our partners, in conjunction with other SOUTHCOM and State Department efforts, can independently execute the detection and monitoring mission.Diálogo: What is your biggest concern in terms of regional security in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean?Rear Adm. Tomney: JIATF South’s biggest concern is the corruption and destabilization of legitimate governments by T3N that are interconnected throughout Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Networks do not merely move drugs. They move all sorts of illicit commodities including weapons, money, and people. JIATF South’s biggest concern is if nations and government agencies allow seams and gaps to exist, these illicit networks could be used to also move terrorists – either wittingly or unwittingly. The fight against these criminal networks requires a united front.Diálogo: How do you leverage the efforts of the countries in SOUTHCOM’s AOR to stop T3N?Rear Adm. Tomney: JIATF South works to disrupt T3N activities where they are the most vulnerable: in international airspace and waters. We detect and monitor illicit traffickers leaving the source zone in South America as they move through the transit zones in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Basin toward the arrival zones in Central America and the northern Caribbean countries. In the course of supporting the interdiction of each trafficking operation, JIATF South contributes to the long term investigations by our interagency partners aimed at dismantling T3N.Diálogo: How has your perspective of the AOR changed since you first assumed the direction of JIATF South in April 2015?Rear Adm. Tomney: One of the primary shifts has been how JIATF South, in conjunction with SOUTHCOM, has altered our viewpoint and message about the mission. We are not simply a task force focused on taking cocaine off the water one boat at a time. We are an interagency and international coalition, brought together by a tactical mission, working to facilitate the eventual dismantlement of large criminal enterprises aimed at undermining stability and security in the Western Hemisphere.Diálogo: How has/does the relationship you help build benefit the collaboration between the U.S. Coast Guard and those of our regional partner nations?Rear Adm. Tomney: JIATF South operations provide the venue for a high degree of interaction between the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and regional partners. Every USCG boarding of a vessel involved in illicit trafficking in our JOA is another opportunity for USCG direct collaboration, either directly with a partner nation’s maritime forces or with the boarded vessel’s home country. For 2016, that was over 700 opportunities to work together, to develop and test procedures, and most importantly, to build trust.Diálogo: What kind of results do you expect to come to fruition for 2017, and what results have you seen so far in your time working with this AOR?Rear Adm. Tomney: JIATF South has witnessed a 100 percent increase in awareness of illicit trafficking in 2016. We expect our awareness to continue to grow, as well as our ability to impact T3N through novel approaches in counter threat finance and cyberspace. We have also seen the USCG get behind the effort by providing resources above and beyond their required contributions. As well, we have seen a major increase in our partner nations’ capabilities and capacity to respond – partner nations contributed to over 40 percent of the tactical successes against illicit traffickers in 2016. We expect that number to go up as SOUTHCOM and U.S. State Department programs continue to build our PN capabilities, and we continue to engage them with opportunities to execute.Diálogo: How has your prior experience prepared you for this role? And what lessons learned did you bring with you to this role, especially serving as director for Joint Interagency Task Force West?Rear Adm. Tomney: As a U.S. Coast Guard officer, I’ve learned throughout my career that to be successful, one must collaborate and network to achieve one’s missions. Coming from a multi-mission service, the U.S. Coast Guard must often rely on the cooperation, collaboration, and integration with other agencies and governments. The international exposure of working with so many Asia-Pacific nations as director of Joint Interagency Task Force West highlighted the requirement that success against international criminal organizations requires an international coalition of the willing. My additional experiences as an intelligence officer and an agency-level information sharing executive champion have assisted greatly expanding JIATF South’s overall domain awareness while at the same time, reduce information sharing barriers leading to stronger and more diverse international partnerships.Diálogo: What are your/ JIATF-South’s priorities for 2017?Rear Adm. Tomney: JIATF South’s priorities for 2017 are outlined in our Strategic Plan:1. Detection and Monitoring – JIATF South will continue to execute its core mission set, leveraging fused intelligence to drive our 24 x 7 Joint Operations Center. 2. Information Coordination – JIATF South will continue to push the envelope, both in intelligence sharing protocols as well as operational coordination between multiple, sometimes disparate, partners. 3. Innovation – JIATF South will continue to leverage our relationships in industry, academia, and the wider research and development community to find ways to counter our adversaries’ well-financed and creative efforts to move undetected through our JOA. 4. Cyberspace – JIATF South will continue to break ground in finding ways to support its deter and monitor mission in the cyber realm. 5. External Collaboration – JIATF South will continue to build its interagency and international network aimed at further disrupting and illuminated T3N operating in the Western Hemisphere.Diálogo: Is there anything you’d like to add for our regional readers?Rear Adm. Tomney: I’ll conclude with these thoughts. First, all leaders should be champions of change within their organizations. As the world we operate in evolves, so too must our organizations. Never settle on the status quo and set lofty goals. In this complex, multi-threat environment, leaders must move information instantly. Leaders must constantly ask themselves: “Who else needs to know?” The fight against transregional, transnational threat networks is a global fight. Regional leaders must work together and continually strive to break down barriers to communications if we are to succeed in this struggle.
Tottenham supporters should not run the risk of prosecution every time they use the word ‘Yid’ in chants, according to former Football Association chairman David Bernstein. Yid is a term for Jew which is often considered derogatory, but fans of the north London club chant the word as an act of defiance against those who taunt them because of their links with the Jewish community. Bernstein, who is Jewish, finds the word offensive but can understand why Tottenham supporters have adopted it “almost as a badge of honour” and claims their right should remain. Press Association “It’s very offensive to many, including myself,” he said on BBC Radio Five Live. “Would I rather it wasn’t used? Of course. “So I suppose the question is: if an offensive word is used in what’s meant to be an inoffensive way, does it make it any less hurtful? “My view would be that I wish that it wasn’t used. It would be better if it wasn’t. It does upset people; it certainly upsets me. “But in this particular case it’s a rather special set of circumstances.” Scotland Yard said supporters of Tottenham and West Ham could be arrested if they used the word during last Sunday’s London derby at White Hart Lane, and one Tottenham fan was held on suspicion of committing a section five public order offence at half-time in the stadium’s East Stand. However, many Spurs supporters defied police advice and chanted “Yid army” before and during the match. “If two or three people do something, you can prosecute them. If a number of thousands do it, it gets increasingly difficult,” Bernstein said. “Then you get into the question of what penalties should be incurred. Should a stand be closed down? Should a ground be closed down? “That’s where you end up, and I’m not saying that should be the case here because I do feel this is something that’s done in a non-malicious way. There are extenuating circumstances. “If the word is used in the way it is used by the crowds, in a sympathetic, inclusive way, almost as a badge of honour, I suppose I would be against prosecutions and I would tend to agree with the Prime Minister when he voiced similar views. “When words like that are used maliciously it’s a different matter altogether.” Bernstein, who stepped down as FA chairman this year after turning 70, said he has “agonised” over the use of the word.
Rory McIlroy has defended his comments about Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson being in “the last few holes of their careers”. ” But it’s a lot of golf for him to play in such a short space of time. So you could see he was getting a little tired the last couple of weeks. And, I mean, Tiger’s not here just because he’s been injured or he is injured. He hasn’t had the opportunity to play. “But I think if he gets back and when he gets back to full fitness, you’ll see him back here again. So I’m not sure…they’re just getting older. Phil’s 43 or whatever (actually 44) and Tiger’s nearly 40 (Woods turns 39 in December). “So they’re getting into the sort of last few holes of their career. And that’s what happens. You get injured. Phil has to deal with an arthritic condition as well. So it obviously just gets harder as you get older. I’ll be able to tell you in 20 years how it feels.” Despite simply stating the facts, McIlroy’s comments inevitably generated comments on social media and the four-time major winner later wrote on his Twitter account: ” Got a question today about Tiger and Phil… Gave an honest answer, was very complimentary about the 2 best golfers of this generation. “Golfers on average have a 20-25 year career, both into the back 9 of their careers… Don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying that.” World number one McIlroy first addressed the issue during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, which will not feature either Woods or Mickelson for the first time since 1992. The 25-year-old was asked if that represented a changing of the guard in golf and said: ” Not really. I mean, Phil has played well in parts this year. He came really close to winning the PGA (finishing second behind McIlroy). I feel like he’s gotten a little better as the year has went on. Press Association
As Sania Mirza celebrates her 30th birthday today, we look back at the last 12 months and just why they were great for this ferocious talent.1. Sania was the numero uno player all through 2016, the first time in her career since taking the top spot in April 2015. Her entire run is now a staggering 84 consecutive weeks at the top. She is 4th on the list of most consecutive weeks spent at the top.2. Sania managed to retain her year-end World number one ranking for the second year in a row. As they say, getting to number one is easier than retaining it. The Indian seems to be doing a great job at that. (Also read: Sania Mirza, Martina Hingis reunite to defend WTA Finals title)3. Despite breaking up her most successful doubles partnership with Swiss Martina Hingis, and indeed one of the most dominant partnerships women’s doubles has seen recently, Sania bounced back almost immediately with Barbora Strycova, winning 3 out of the 6 tournaments played (one win with Monica Niculescu) and was a finalist in another event. This has been incredibly satisfying for her knowing with the right partner she can keep her golden streak going.4. Mirza won eight titles overall with three different partners in 2016, including her 3rd Women’s doubles Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open with Hingis.5. 2016 will also be remembered as the year which saw part of Sania-Martina unbeaten streak of 41 matches. The streak started in September 2016 at the US open, from where the duo went on to win 9 straight titles. There’s was the 3rd longest such streak in women’s doubles history.advertisement6. Sania released her autobiography in July titled ‘Ace Against Odds’, co-written by her father Imran Mirza and sports journalist Shivani Gupta. This was her first attempt at not just sharing her struggle through the early years before the success and fame, but also setting a few controversies straight.7. Sania was also listed in the Time 100, Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world.