The United States and Colombia: The Journey from Ambiguity to Strategic Clarity

The United States and Colombia: The Journey from Ambiguity to Strategic Clarity

The United States and Colombia: The Journey from Ambiguity to Strategic Clarity

The United States and Colombia: The Journey from Ambiguity to Strategic Clarity

Excerpt

Twenty-five years after the end of the Vietnam War, the ghost of that war still haunts decisionmakers when it comes to making long-term commitments to situations that remotely resemble anything like our Indochina experience. That is the case with Colombia, which is embroiled in an internecine struggle with two guerrilla movements, bent on overthrowing the government, as well as with narcotraffickers and paramilitary forces.

In this, SSI’s fourth Letort Paper since the series began nearly 3 years ago, Ambassador David Passage details the complicated but increasingly clear nexus between the political and social insurgencies and the drug traffickers. This, he maintains, has obliged a highly reluctant United States to reexamine whether its counternarcotics strategy can succeed if it is not accompanied by a willingness to assist the Colombian government improve its ability to defeat guerrillas and regain control of its national territory. If the United States is to become even more involved in the internal struggles in Colombia, it is a good bet the U.S. Army will play an important role. I therefore commend to you Ambassador Passage’s The United States and Colombia: Untying the Gordian Knot.

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