"Last month the Bush administration announced plans to deepen U.S. involvement in Colombia by doubling the number of U.S. troops and private military contractors stationed there. The move came in the midst of an energetic public-relations campaign by the U.S. State Department and the Colombian government. Both administrations attempted to paint U.S. policy in Colombia as an assured success. However, statistics show a stable presence of cocaine on the U.S. market, and there's evidence of continued ties between members of the Colombian military and brutal right-wing paramilitary groups.These people can't even manage the wars we're already in, at the levels of commitment we're currently at, much less add crap to the missions. This crew is truly inept, or operating on some hidden agenda. Really. They are either as stupid as I fear, or as cunning as I fear. Either way, I'm getting more and more fearful.
Four years ago the U.S. Congress voted overwhelmingly to pass a $1.3 billion aid package known as Plan Colombia. The support of moderate Democrats and Republicans hinged on a number of safeguards included in the legislation, which they hoped would keep the United States out of the 'quagmire' of Colombia's internal conflict. Congress has restricted the number of U.S. troops and private military contractors allowed on the ground to 800 total and limited their mission to anti-drug efforts, legislating that no intelligence, training, or equipment be used to assist Colombia in its war against left-wing insurgents. Congressional supporters also promised that the U.S. commitment in Colombia would last no more than five years.
Human rights groups, drug reformers, and some members of Congress warned repeatedly that military aid would pour fuel on the flames of the long and brutal conflict involving the Colombian government forces, right-wing paramilitary allies, and left-wing insurgents. Many critics, including current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, also argued that attacking drug production at the lowest level of the supply chain - the poor farmers who grow drug crops in Colombia’s rural areas--was an inhumane approach that would ultimately prove futile.
Despite these grave concerns, Plan Colombia was signed into law. The Republican congressional leadership touted it as a reasonable policy that was limited in scope but which would help bring an end to America’s drug problem. Following September 11th, however, the policy began to transform. The Bush administration and congressional allies broke promise after promise made in 2000, and skepticism of the policy grew in Congress."