Nonstate Actors in Colombia: Threat and Response

  • May 01, 2002
  • Dr Max G Manwaring

Colombia's deeply rooted and ambiguous warfare has reached crisis proportions in that Colombia's "Hobbesian Trinity" of illegal drug traffickers, insurgents, and paramilitary organizations are creating a situation in which life is indeed "nasty, brutish, and short." The first step in developing a macro-level vision, policy, and strategy to deal with the Colombian crisis in a global context is to be clear on what the Colombian crisis is, and what the fundamental threats implicit (and explicit) in it are. Political and military leaders can start thinking about the gravity of the terrorist strategy employed by Colombia's stateless adversaries from this point. It is also the point from which leaders can begin developing responses designed to secure Colombian, Hemispheric, and global stability. The author seeks to explain the Colombian crisis in terms of nonstate threats to the state and to the region--and appropriate strategic-level responses.