Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command, conducted an interview for the Department of Defense’s internal news service on Thursday in which he laid out America’s intent to remain the “partner of choice” for Latin American nations in the face of an increased Russian, Chinese, and Iranian presence in the region.

According to Tidd, the three political opponents of the United States are “present and very active” in Latin America, making it integral that the United States provide better options to partners than our adversaries.

“If we’re concerned about them on a global scale, that means we need to make sure that we pay attention to what they are doing in the Latin America region,” he said.  The Admiral went on to add that the three nations he cited are “attempting to displace the United States as the partner of choice.”

According to Tidd, the U.S. presents potential partners in the region with a “more compelling message,” but that the United States needs to work to ensure nations in Latin America want to partner with us and that it remains easy for them to do so.