While doing some online research, I recently stumbled across the “extranet” of the U.S. Southern Command, or SOUTHCOM, the arm of the Defense Department responsible for U.S. military activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. (An extranet is the part of an organization’s internal computer network accessible to outside users.)
The site says it is produced by SOUTHCOM’s Public Affairs Office and that “[a]ll content is provided for information purposes and does not constitute an endorsement (implied or otherwise) of any information provided in this website by the leadership and staff of U.S. Southern Command.”
The site’s “In the News” section includes a link to “SOUTHCOM News,” which contains articles written by the public affairs department like this one on the recent South American Defense Conference in Asunción, Paraguay. The “In the News” menu also includes a link to “3 Things You Should Know,” which appears to be a regularly-updated internal briefing on the three most important issues or events of the day.
The link for “TV/Radio Clips” appears to redirect to SOUTHCOM’s “intranet,” which is off-limits to the general public. But the site does include a link to “AOR Headlines.” The acronym AOR refers to the “area of responsibility” of a military unit. In SOUTHCOM’s case, that means Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to the website, the “AOR Headlines” section is an “internal management tool intended to serve the informational needs of senior SOUTHCOM officials in maintaining situational awareness of public and media discussion of those issues and topics” that relate to the unit’s work. A disclaimer notes that “The inclusion of these articles does not reflect official endorsement or verification of any opinions, ideas or alleged facts contained therein.”
The information on the site is relatively benign. Much of it consists of articles from mainstream U.S. media outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Miami Herald. Still, I found it interesting.
Here, read it for yourself.