McClatchy-Tribune News Service | 3/13/2009 12:00:00 AM
Commentary: Plan Colombia is a failure and should be shut down
Mar 13 -- President Obama says he is determined to cut the federal deficit in half, so I have an idea that will start saving millions of dollars right now: Shut down Plan Colombia. To date it has wasted about $6 billion.
The program began in 1999, under President Clinton, and it seemed to make sense at the time. The United States deployed a small air force in Colombia, 82 aircraft, and began spraying coca plants with a non-toxic herbicide, while also helping Colombia fight insurgents and shut down processing plants that use coca leaves to produce cocaine. Back then, Colombian traffickers had 463,322 acres of coca-plant cultivation. From that, they produced 90 percent of the world's cocaine.
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