Some updated U.S. aid numbers Testimony from an “older brother”
Sep 282006

Dare we say it? Today’s Robert Novak column is actually worth a read:

The situation is summarized in a Sept. 19 memo by a well-informed source: ”The Colombian Army is hemorrhaging with problems. The chief problem is that we took a very mediocre barracks-bound military force, gave it some little amount of training and lots of equipment but never demanded the structural reform like we did with the Colombian National Police some 12 years ago . . . Everyone seems incapable of seeing the ‘elephant in the room’ and realizing that years of cooperation with the paramilitary forces have corrupted the Colombian Army officer corps all the way up, and the institution requires a dramatic house cleaning and structural reform . . .”

2 Responses to ““Elephant-sized worry” in Colombia”

  1. jcg Says:

    A pretty good column, definitely.

    The question is: should that dramatic house cleaning be done by Colombia alone, or should the U.S. pro-actively participate in it (not simply by providing any amount of aid and training, but actually helping to diagnose the problems and propose reforms)?

  2. richtiger Says:

    In this forum I recently wrote, “My solution to the conflict in Colombia, then, is very simple. Escalate the war against the FARC, ELN, and remaining paramilitaries. Militarily destroy them as a viable organizations.” Of course, that “simple” solution presupposes that the Colombian army is capable of defeating the various subversive forces. It may well be too corrupt to do the job.

    Likewise, the Colombian oligarchy may be too corrupt and self-serving to carry out the other part of my “simple” solution: providing food and health care to the poorest of Colombia’s citizens.

    If neither the military nor the civilian sector of the nation can act responsibly, the war will continue.

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