Accession Number:

ADA463553

Title:

A Critique of Plan Colombia

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-05-17

Pagination or Media Count:

24.0

Abstract:

A strong and democratic Colombia is vitally important to U.S. national security. Colombias future, however, remains in doubt. Colombia has been involved in a civil war since the 1960s with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia FARC and the National Liberation Army ELN. The United Self-Defense Forces AUC, a third group that operates outside of the law in Colombia, is opposed to the FARC and ELN. All three organizations turned to the drug trade in the 1990s to fund their movements, and have since strayed from their founding ideologies. They have become criminal organizations that export cocaine and heroin to the United States and threaten to destabilize Latin America. In 1999, the Government of Colombia GOC developed Plan Colombia to revitalize its economy bring an end to the FARC, ELN, and AUC and battle the drug trade. The U.S. Government has diplomatically and militarily supported the Plan since its inception and has provided billions of dollars in aid to the GOC. More can be done, however, on the military front. The U.S. military was initially only permitted to train the Colombian military in counter-narcotics operations against the FARC, ELN, and AUC however, Congress subsequently granted the U.S. military authority to also train the Colombians in counterinsurgency operations. U.S. military personnel are still not authorized to accompany their Colombian colleagues on operations. This is a mistake. This tactic worked for the U.S. military in El Salvador in the 1980s and would provide the U.S. military in Colombia with the flexibility to ensure that the Colombian military is operating correctly and appropriately in the field.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE