The War on Drugs: Plan Columbia

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As we have discussed throughout the semester, the United States has made it part of their foreign policy to become deeply involved in Latin American affairs. The War on Drugs is a perfect example of United States intervention through a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid. The War on Drugs is an extremely costly campaign that has been viewed with mixed results. “Even by conservative estimates, the War on Drugs now costs the United States $50 billion each year and has overcrowded prisons to the breaking point, all with little discernable impact on the drug trade” . Plan Columbia is one of the most prominent and controversial initiatives on the War on Drugs. Plan Columbia has been an ineffective use of American tax dollars due to underwhelming results, apparent U.S. involvement in supporting their political interests and the damaging of other crops and adverse health effects from aerial fumigation.

Plan Columbia, is an attempt to combat the ongoing civil war, more specifically, cracking down on the growth and distribution of cocaine in Columbia before it reaches the United States. “The economy of cocaine, by far, is the biggest and most entrenched of these inter-American drug economies, worth almost forty billion dollars annually in prohibition-inflated U.S. ‘street sales’. The ongoing American ‘drug war’ was launched amid the passions of the cocaine and crack cocaine boom of the 1980s and cocaine remains the driving foreign nemesis” . Plan Columbia, however, has been met with widespread criticism. One of the main criticisms of Plan Columbia is that it simply doesn’t work. “The US Defense Department funded a two year study which found that the use of the armed forces to interdict drugs coming into the United States wo...

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... Affairs Officers that counter-narcotics was a cover story for curious journalists, friends, and family that our mission, in fact, was to further develop Colombians' capacity for counterinsurgency operations” . The government continues to spend millions of tax dollars on a failing War on Drugs when in reality it is just another excuse to intervene in Latin American affairs.

Works Cited

Chomsky, Noam. Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs. Cambridge, MA: South End, 2000. Web. 27 Apr. 2011. .

Gootenberg, Paul. Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2008. Print.

Wallace-Wells, Ben. "How America Lost the War on Drugs." Rolling Stone, 24 Mar. 2011. Web. 27 Apr. 2011. .

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