The Losing War: Plan Colombia and Beyond

SUNY Press
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Critical analysis of Plan Colombia, a multibillion dollar US counternarcotics initiative.

Plan Colombia was an ambitious, multibillion dollar program of American aid to the country of Colombia to fight that nation’s recreational drug industry. First signed into law by President Clinton in 2000, the program would, over a twelve year period, provide the Colombian government with more money than every other country in the region. But how successful was Plan Colombia, and is it a model worthwhile in applying to other countries? In The Losing War, Jonathan D. Rosen applies international relations theory to understand how the goals and objectives of Plan Colombia evolved over time, particularly after the events of 9/11. Rosen analyzes the evolution of Plan Colombia and evaluates whether this initiative achieved its goals. Various individuals, including Álvaro Uribe, the president of Colombia from 2002–2010, and George W. Bush, argued that Plan Columbia should be used as a model to help other countries combat drug trafficking. Plan Colombia was not mentioned in the Obama administration’s 2011 budget proposal and no longer exists today. Rosen concludes that the policy failed to make substantial inroads in curtailing drug cultivation, production, or trafficking, thus calling into question the value of applying the same strategy to other countries, such as Mexico, in the present or future.
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About the author

Jonathan D. Rosen is Research Professor at the Universidad del Mar.
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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Sep 30, 2014
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781438453002
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Latin America / South America
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Scientific Study from the year 2001 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Topic: European Union, grade: keine, erg International School - Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (Department for Political Science), 48 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The first part of the paper deals with the most ‘European’ aspect of security creation, namely ‘soft’ security or the EU as a ‘civil’ power . The European concept of achieving security not by gunboat diplomacy, ‘realpolitik’ pacts and other methods of power politics but rather by ‘breaking out of’ the “security dilemma” to achieve a common future guided by principles of co-operation and consolidation was novel to the world. Never before had such well-established, diverse and fiercely competitive nations undertaken to curtail their own sovereignty in favour of a combined future. When the colonies in North America joined to form the United States they shared a common anti-colonial struggle, a common language and a vast ‘land of opportunity’ before them. At first they did not give up a lot in terms of identity and freedom . In Europe the situation was so different that it precludes comparison altogether. But the “European experiment” worked and as of yet has prevented another European ‘civil war’ between the West European states. The idea of ‘soft’ security was in fact implemented and has remained a unique achievement throughout the world. Other regional regimes, be it in Africa or Asia, have not been able to muster the same sort of determination for such an integrative effort. Thus, in the next section I will examine what the underlying values for this idea are and how these values determine Europe’s security understanding and policies. ‘Soft’ security influences its security approach till today, and while Europe seeks increased involvement with peace creation in the world, the Balkans and Eastern Europe remain the EU’s most pressing challenges and the venue of its most intense efforts.
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This perceptive book critically explores why the United States continues to pursue failed policies in Latin America. What elements of the U.S. and Latin American political systems have allowed the Cold War, the war on drugs, and the war on terror to be conflated? Why do U.S. policies—ostensibly designed to promote the rule of law, human rights, and democracy—instead contribute to widespread corruption, erosion of government authority, human rights violations, and increasing destabilization? Why have the war on drugs and the war on terror neither reduced narcotics trafficking nor increased citizen security in Latin America? Why do Latin American governments, the European Union, and U.S. policymakers often work at cross-purposes when they all claim to be committed to "democratization" and "development" in the region?

Leading scholars answer these questions by detailing the nature of U.S. economic and security strategies in Latin America and the Andean region since 1990. They analyze the impacts and responses to these strategies by policymakers, political leaders, and social movements throughout the region, explaining how programs often generate or exacerbate the very problems they were intended to solve. Reviewing official policy and its defenders and critics alike, this indispensable book focuses on the reasons for the failure of U.S. policies and their disastrous significance for Latin America and the United States alike.

Contributions by: Adrián Bonilla, Pilar Gaitán, Monica Herz, Kenneth Lehman, Brian Loveman, Enrique Obando, Orlando J. Pérez, Eduardo Pizarro, Philipp Schönrock-Martínez, and Juan Gabriel Tokatlian
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