Background — Conflict in Colombia
Colombia’s peace deal with FARC risks dragging it further down. This recent (November 2nd) article is an essential first read on the topic. It covers the rejection of the recent peace agreement by voters, the problems with the agreement, and, most importantly, provides essential information on the history of the conflict in Colombia.
Background — Plan Colombia
Wikipedia Plan Colombia. This Wikipedia article comprehensively reviews the history and different components of the program. It does seem a bit dated — ending the review in 2008, but it is a good read for a basic understanding of the program.
USAID Assistance for Plan Colombia . Although it is a bit biased, this document from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) touts the non-military success of Plan Colombia in a variety of different areas. Con team should research these areas to develop different disadvantages to the ban.
Obama Colombia aid initiative plan announced. This article discusses the state-strengthening benefits of Plan Colombia and how the name may change to “Peace of Colombia.”
Note: This article does say that the name change is contingent on a peace agreement being signed. This peace agreement was signed but it was rejected by the voters.
Background — Current Events
The Losing War: Plan Colombia and Beyond. This book argues that Plan Colombia has completely failed to eradicate drug production but that it has served to strengthen the government/prevent the collapse of the government. If you have time to read it, it will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the plan.
Plan Colombia Vindicated: Colombia rejects peace. This article just explains that Plan Colombia has been rejected but it also explains that the US is providing substantial military assistance to the Colombian government.
Plan Colombia: An Analysis of its effectiveness. This report is highly critical of Plan Colombia but argues that modifications to the anti-drug campaign should be made if the program is going to continue.
Plan Colombia’s mixed legacy. The article covers some of the Pros and Cons of Plan Colombia. It does point out that aerial spraying has stopped.
Plan Colombia: Some has changed but much remains the same. This article briefly highlights some of the Pros and Cons of Plan Colombia.
15 years of Plan Colombia: Victories and failures. Plan Colombia has undisputedly contributed to strengthening Colombia’s state apparatus, economic growth and a major drop in violence, even if it failed its initial objective to seriously disrupt the country’s flow of cocaine to the United States and has come at a major humanitarian cost.
Plan Colombia at 15 years and lessons for Central America. This article, like most research on this issue, concludes that the governance portions of Plan Colombia are good and that the drug interdiction parts of Plan Colombia are bad.
The four lessons above can be applied to Northern Triangle of Central America, understanding that the isthmus is facing a very different situation today than Colombia faced one or two decades ago.
- The United States must offer flexibility on drug policy and focus its strategy on reducing violence and improving governance in Central America.
- The US must provide assistance that is both large enough to meet the scale of the problem and long enough in duration that it provides governments with an ability to plan their own long term efforts.
- Central American participation and leadership is vital to success, but the US would be wrong to wait for the perfect conditions of leadership in Central America before assisting.
- Any solution must include respect for human rights and cannot support shortcuts that use private or illegal groups as proxies for capable security forces.
Analysis of the conflict and the impact of the referendum on agriculture. This article argues that Colombia has a lot of agricultural potential. You can debate the role of Plan Colombia in agricultural development.
5 reasons the US should do all it can to see the peace accord come to fruition. This article argues that US support to Colombia is important to the peace deal and that the peace deal is good.
Colombian ambassador says peaceful transition is underway. The end of the article credits Plan Colombia with the recent increase in economic growth.
Plan Colombia, permanent war, and the no vote. This article is highly critical of Plan Colombia from a leftist perspective — It argues that PC supports militarism and war in Colombia.
US Policy in Colombia. This article is highly critical of Plan Colombia for supporting human rights violations but the article doesn’t call for ending it. It argues for reducing or eliminating the military aid and subjecting aid to human right certification standards. This article will probably be used more by the Pro, but given that it doesn’t argue for ending Plan Colombia, this article could fall into the Con as well.
Has Plan Colombia really worked?. This article identifies 8 very significant problems created by Plan Colombia.
Plan Colombia has been a drug war disaster. This article argues Plan Colombia didn’t reduce the drug trade and that it actually increased drug trafficking.
Human rights activists dispute success of Plan Colombia. This article is highly critical of Plan Colombia, arguing that it displaced millions of people and substantially increased violence.
US should avoid repeating Plan Colombia’s failures. This article elaborates on the problems cause by Plan Colombia. It also distinguishes Obama’s pledged economic and development aid from “Plan Colombia,” arguing that aid is part of “Peace Colombia.”
Rewriting the history of Plan Colombia. This article claims the benefits of Plan Colombia are based on false positives — the there was really no reduction in violence.
Persistent engagement with Colombia This monograph from the US military argues, “a combination of high quantity and high quality USSOF engagement bolstered Colombian capacity, and that it did so primarily by promoting the development of Colombia’s human capital. Decades of exposure to USSOF personnel, together with training and educational programs established by USSOF, gave Colombian security professionals newfound technical expertise, which enabled them to make use of advanced technologies and techniques provided by the United States. These capacity building activities also implanted in rising generations of Colombian military and governmental personnel certain cultural attributes that made them more effective in their jobs. It should be added that other elements of the U.S. Government also contributed heavily to capacity building, which serves as reminder that SOF are well-advised to coordinate their capacity-building activities with those of other U.S. organizations.”
Today, Colombia is far more secure and stable than it was 15 years ago. The cities are now nearly free of terrorism, and insurgents are largely absent from most rural municipalities. The Colombian government is much more capable of handling threats to its internal security than in the past. But, as many Colombian and U.S. officials note, Colombia still needs American help, and the United States still stands to gain much from providing that help. The FARC continues to pose a threat to the nation’s security, requiring the maintenance of large security forces. The political situation is still sufficiently fragile that the FARC and other far-left groups could win electoral victories in the future, and gain by political means what they were unable to obtain militarily. Drug production continues at high levels, fueling instability in Central America and Mexico and imposing heavy costs in the United States. Therefore, it would be mistaken to conclude that the successes achieved to date warrant the discontinuation of U.S. assistance.
Note: This report is not particularly card intensive. There is a lot of history in it that isn’t particularly relevant to your debates that you need to skim through, but there are some good cards here and there and some especially good ones in the last chapter.
Plan Colombia shouldn’t be the price of peace with FARC. This article celebrates Plan Colombia’s role in stabilizing Colombia.
Colombia’s resolve merits support. This article argues that US-Colombia cooperation stabilized Colombia.
Approaching peace a victory for Plan Colombia. USA Today editorial arguing that Plan Colombia has been a success.
The US Needs a Plan Colombia for Central America. This article is okay. It does argue that Plan Colombia was a success but it mostly focuses on how it should be utilized in other areas.
Plan Colombia to end decades of civil war. Interviews with different people who played major roles in Plan Colombia on the benefits of the program.
A geopolitical and bipartisan triumph. This article argues Plan Colombia is responsible for Colombia’s economic resurgence.
A new plan for Colombia . This article argues that Plan Colombia has been an effective as a counterinsurgency program and that the new round of aid will be focused on rural development.
Despite Failed Accord, Colombia still moving toward peace. This article argues there is momentum behind the peace deal now.
Peace Deal Bad
Despite Peace Deal, We Keep Dying This article argues the peace deal doesn’t secure peace for the Afro-Colombians.
How to make war with the forest: Development and peace in Colombia. This article argues the deal will widen the rich-poor gap and reduce t
Peace Deal Good
Peace in Colombia? . This article claims that there will be mass bloodshed if conflict re-emerges. It also claims discusses some of the obstacles to getting an approved peace deal.
What does peace in Colombia have to do with the environment? This article argues peace in Colombia supports environmental preservation.