The New York Times | 7/16/2009 12:00:00 AM
U.S. Close to Deal With Colombia on Base Access
Jul 16--The United States and Colombia are nearing agreement on expanding the American military’s presence here, probably basing several hundred troops in a central valley to support Air Force drug interdiction missions.
Opponents worry that an expanded role for the United States military in Colombia, the world’s No. 1 cocaine-producing nation, could antagonize Colombia’s leftist neighbors and draw the United States deeper into Colombia’s complicated, long-running conflict involving leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary groups.
Most details of the negotiations have remained secret, but senior Colombian military and civilian officials said the goal was to make Colombia a regional hub for Pentagon operations.
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