US: Colombia Drug War To Take 5 Yrs

US: Colombia Drug War To Take 5 Yrs
Posted by FoM on February 29, 2000 at 17:12:19 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: New York Times
It will probably take five years for intensified U.S. efforts against Colombian narcotics traffickers to succeed, the Clinton administration's top anti-drug official told Congress on Tuesday. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, offered the assessment as he and other administration officials defended President Clinton's proposed $1.6 billion plan to fight coca producers and their heavily armed guerrilla allies in the South American country and its neighbors. 
Though some of the money would be for continued anti-drug efforts in nearby Bolivia and Peru, the bulk of it would go to Colombia, which U.S. officials say is by far the world's leading cocaine producer. So far, despite support by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., Clinton's plan has run into significant skepticism in Congress. Critics say they fear the proposal could lead the United States into another open-ended, Vietnam-like intervention, and that the money would be better spent trying to control the demand coming from American drug users. ``I personally think we have to think of it as a five-year effort,'' McCaffrey told members of the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee that oversees foreign aid. By then, he said he believed there would be ``substantial reductions of drug production.'' Subcommittee Chairman Sonny Callahan, R-Ala., said that while he supports the administration proposal, it is in serious trouble in Congress because of unanswered questions about long-term strategy and other concerns. ``If the bill were to be brought up before the House today, it wouldn't pass the House,'' Callahan said. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the subcommittee's ranking Democrat, said she opposed the current plan and warned that its approval would mean ``a five to 10-year commitment which will cost U.S. taxpayers in excess of $5 billion.'' Colombian government efforts to combat coca growers and the 25,000 leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary groups who protect them have had little success recently. The $1.6 billion Clinton wants, to be spent this year and next, would be used to provide Colombia with 63 helicopters and for training, intelligence assistance and other aid to the country's military. It also includes money to entice Colombian coca farmers to produce other crops and to buttress the country's judicial system. With some lawmakers warning that the proposal could result in American troops being killed, McCaffrey said only Colombian forces would carry out military operations. Currently, there are up to 200 American military personnel in Colombia, a number that varies daily, McCaffrey said. ``There is no thinking at all, zero, for U.S. military intervention in Colombia,'' he said. In Colombia, a rebel commander declared: ``Plan Colombia, as we understand it, is no more than a way ... for hawks in the United States to become more deeply involved in our internal affairs.'' Speaking in a guerrilla-held area of southern Colombia, Raul Reyes of FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, said the plan is ``a declaration of war by the United States. What Plan Colombia does is get more Colombians involved in the war.'' About 90 percent of the cocaine used in the United States is grown in Colombia or flows through the country, McCaffrey said. And while coca production in Peru and Bolivia has dropped in recent years, it has grown in Colombia from 230 metric tons in 1995 to 520 last year, he said. Clinton's proposal is part of a spending request he has made to Congress for the current fiscal year that has grown to $5.2 billion. About half the total is for U.S. operations in Kosovo and the Balkans, while much of the rest is aid for American victims of last September's Hurricane Floyd and other disasters and for international debt forgiveness. Washington (AP) Published: February 29, 2000Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company Related Articles:U.S. Led Fumigation Fails To Stop Cultivation Aid to Colombia the New Drug Lords - Newsweek International
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Comment #3 posted by CongressmanSuet on March 01, 2000 at 00:22:39 PT
Ah, but the most sinister statement was..." There 
is no thinking at all, zero, for US military intervention in Columbia" This is the thinking of a person has been raised in a certain manner in his life, he believes his mission is without wrong, he truly believes what he is doing will keep the world free for republicancy for many years to come, and he is a war hero of some sort. Hopefully he will be the last one of these we see, PLEASE, be the last one.
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Comment #2 posted by Elijah Fleener on February 29, 2000 at 21:35:32 PT
Once again,kaptnemo is right on. In a sick sort of way,I'm looking forward to watching the dimented way the ONDCP will have to further twist the media spin,to maintain this Natzi-esque drug war scam. The outlook is none too encouraging for the targets of the witch huntWhen you have tens of billions of dollars to buy all national media venues allegance,and all the         Republicratic/Democan,'good ol' boy'wall street mega money multinational major economic entities,for your team....It aint pretty.The new and improved Evil Empire is deeply entrenched,and continues to manipulate the public,with formidable expertise. In my opinion,this Twilight Zone era,is going to continue toward The Outer Limits.I'm sorry,but the outlook seems quite bleak to this 84 year old patriot.Ha-Ha,I'll be dead by the time things really get bad...Elijah Fleener 
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on February 29, 2000 at 20:04:37 PT
A lack of oxygen to the brain?
``I personally think we have to think of it as a five-year effort,'' McCaffrey told members of the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee that oversees foreign aid. By then, he said he believed there would be ``substantial reductions of drug production.'' These people are the same ones who, in 1985, promised a DrugFree America by 1995. If they have had absolutely no luck creating a DrugFree America, what makes them think they can make a DrugFree Colombia?Evidently, they have not been taking any mind-expanding drugs. In fact, they seem to be suffering from a lack of oxygen to the brain; how else can we attribute these continually nonsensical uttereances from Barry and Company other than from anoxia? 
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