U.S. Seeks New Ways To Curb Colombian Drug Trade

U.S. Seeks New Ways To Curb Colombian Drug Trade
Posted by FoM on November 28, 1999 at 09:12:37 PT
Knight Ridder Newspapers 
Source: Arizona Daily Star
Pentagon planners have a recurring nightmare: It's October 2000, days before the U.S. elections, and Colombia's Marxist rebels are storming the capital of Bogota - with TV coverage of guerrillas running through the streets as the U.S.-supported government teeters on the brink of collapse. 
The nightmare seems increasingly plausible to many in the administration, given the Colombian army's weak performance against the guerrillas and the out-of-control drug production in rural areas controlled by the insurgents. To avoid that scenario, U.S. military and policy planners are scrambling to find new ways to combat Colombian drug production - and the guerrillas. At the U.S. Army War College's second annual seminar on Colombia earlier this month, policy specialists disagreed about how best to stop the flood of cocaine and what actions should be taken against the hemisphere's largest rebel group. But one message was clear: Do something quickly, in less than a year - and put it in the U.S. anti-drug package. ``You have an opening right now and an interest from the highest levels of the U.S. government on Colombia. We very rarely get that,'' Pentagon drug specialist Ana Maria Salazar told Colombian and U.S. military brass attending the seminar in Carlisle, Pa. ``Our interests only hold for about one year, probably less. This is it,'' said Salazar, a deputy assistant defense secretary for drug-enforcement policies. ``The way we view programs right now, they have to be programs that in many ways are going to have a short-term effect.'' Colombia - which produces 80 percent of the world's cocaine and supplies most of the heroin used in the United States - now ranks as the third-largest recipient of U.S. aid, following - although by a very wide margin - Israel and Egypt. Anti-drug aid to Colombia totaled $289 million this year. The White House drug-policy director, Barry McCaffrey, has called for an increase to about $500 million. U.S. aid is supposed to be used almost entirely for counter-narcotics operations, not for the war against the guerrillas. Salazar said: ``We will not be giving support to programs where we see that they are 100 percent . . . to affect the subversives.'' But if military programs are related to the drug war, she said, ``We will be able to spend money to support Colombia in the short term.'' Published: November 28, 1999Related Articles:Protesters To Target U.S. Army School - 11/20/99 A School That Should Be Closed - 11/09/99 
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Comment #1 posted by will on December 04, 2000 at 18:23:36 PT:
pro cannibis
i really like the use of cannibis... how often doe someone get pissed off while high on some sensemillia and go kill someone... rare.. very rare... but no all you hypocrites go and drink all night go home and beat your wife while complaining the whole time about some hippy that wouldn't let you buy two cases of beer at the bar.
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