U.S. Security Policy in the Western Hemisphere: Why Colombia, Why Now, and What Is To Be Done?

  • June 01, 2001
  • Dr Max G Manwaring

This is one in the Special Series of monographs stemming from the February 2001 conference on Plan Colombia cosponsored by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College and The Dante B. Fascell North-South Center of the University of Miami. In substantive U.S. national security terms, the author addresses the questions, Why Colombia, Why Now, and What Is To Be Done? He explains the importance of that troubled country to the United States. He points out that the fragile democracy of Colombia is at risk, and that the violent spillover effects of three simultaneous wars pose a threat to the rest of the Western Hemisphere and the interdependent global community. Then he makes a case against continued tactical and operational approaches to the Colombian crisis and outlines what must be done. In that connection, he recommends an actionable political-military strategy to attain security, stability, democratic governance, and a sustainable peace. The proposed strategy would not be costly in monetary or military terms. It would, however, require deliberate planning, cooperation, time, and will.