The Reluctant Hegemon Counterdrug Efforts in Colombia
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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This paper examines the supply side of the United States counterdrug strategy. The spotlight is on Colombia since the success of the US counternarcotics effort is inextricably linked to the goings on in that state a country in disrepair beleaguered by years of revolution, human rights abuses, failing economy, and widespread crime and corruption. Drug traffickers have found a sanctuary and thrive in the disorder that is partially of their own making, and partially the product of two other non-state actors guerrillas and paramilitaries who benefit from and perpetuate the chaos for their own ends. This paper looks at the challenge these actors pose on the Colombian and US governments and how each country characterizes and prioritizes the associated threats. In short, there is a significant difference in each countrys national objectives since Colombia is fighting a war for its survival while the US is fighting a political war on drugs. With a myopic eye on drug traffickers, the US has undertaken a number of hit-and-miss economic, diplomatic and military counterdrug strategies. This paper delves into the latter how the US has employed the military instruments of power in a peacetime supporting role. It also analyzes the National Security Strategy and the National Military Strategy to reveal the factors the US must consider before engaging drug traffickers more directly with its full military strength.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics