U.S. Requests More Support for Colombian War

As part of its ongoing support to the Colombian government and its counter-insurgency war, the U.S. Congress recently passed House Resolution 358.

According to the resolution, passed on March 6, President Bush should send legislation to Congress to help Colombia "protect its democracy from U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations and the scourge of illicit narcotics."

In addition, the resolution proposes that the U.S. Secretary of State designate a high-ranking official to coordinate all U.S. assistance to Colombia "to ensure clarity of United States policy and the effective delivery of United States support."

The resolution was introduced by Representative Henry Hyde (Republican of Illinois), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, and Representative Tom Lantos (Democrat of California), the committee's ranking Democrat.

Also, on March 14 the Washington Post reported that the Bush administration plans to ask Congress to lift restrictions on American military aid to Colombia in order to help the government's war effort. The request seeks to lift the cap on the number of American military personnel in the country, and to no longer link assistance to the government to its progress in curbing human rights abuses within its armed forces.

The U.S. is already heavily engaged in the counter-insurgency war in Colombia. Under the cover of "fighting drugs," over 2,000 U.S. military advisers are assisting the Colombian army, thousands of Colombian troops have been trained by the U.S. and over a billion dollars in military assistance has been sent to the country in recent years.