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Gen. John F. Kelly, U.S. Southern Command: Mr. Chairman, members, as you know, the United States has a very special relationship with a handful of countries around the world. These relationships are with countries that we rely on as regional stabilizers. These countries are our strongest friends and most steadfast allies. They look at -- in the same -- they look at life and live their lives in the same way that we do. Colombia clearly plays that role in Latin America. But, they are more than just our -- among our most trusted partners, they are the model for winning the fight against violent insurgencies in criminal networks. Colombia has shown us that the key to defeating terrorists in criminal groups is by upholding and defending the very values that these groups threaten: freedom, democracy, and the protection of human rights. Colombia has shown us that security and economic prosperity really do go hand in hand. And at a -- and at great expense in Colombia blood -- Colombian blood and Colombian national treasure, they've shown us what the term "national will" really means. In my 30 years in uniform -- over 30 years in uniform, I have never seen a better success story than what I see every day in Colombia. It's one place I believe we got it right, where our support, coupled with a committed partner, brought a country back from the brink, where our engagement in Latin America made a real and lasting difference that's plain to see.
Adm. William E. Gortney, Gen. John F. Kelly, Hearing to Receive Testimony on U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command in Review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2016 and The Future Years Defense Program (Washington: U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, March 17, 2015) <http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/15-25%20-%203-12-15.pdf>.