The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing with two top U.S. Southern and Northern Commanders on the Defense Authorization Request for 2013 and the future of the defense program.
Air Force General Douglas Fraser, Chief of Southern Command testified along side Army General Charles Jacoby Jr., Commander of the Northern Command.
With proposed cuts to their budgets, the chiefs defended important programs to Senate lawmakers, particularly the drone program and on-going military projects in Latin America.
Gen. Fraser described Iran’s efforts to expand its influence in the region by working with countries friendly to that nation, such as Venezuela and Nicaragua.
He and Gen. Jacoby also described the continuing violence related to drug trafficking, including rising violence in Central America and the use of submersible vehicles by cartels to ship their product
In past hearings, both commanders warned that the sequestration cuts would be a challenge for the military. Gen. Jacoby said he was concerned about a "a cascading effect of risk."