Colombia – a model for U.S. dealings wtih Afghanistan?

February 27, 2009

After more than seven years of U.S.-financed fumigation and eradication, Colombia is still producing at least 600 tonnes of cocaine a year. The U.N. estimated this month that coca leaf used to produce the drug covered 27 percent more land in 2007 than a year earlier. Violence from Colombia’s guerrilla war may have fallen sharply thanks to Washington’s funds, but the success of the anti-narcotics portion of the U.S. program is far less clear.

Now U.S. officials are touting their lessons in dealing with Colombian guerrillas as a possible model for fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and the poppy harvests and opium that help fuel that conflict.  Can the U.S. really claim success against Colombia’s coca trade and what if anything from Colombia can be applied to Afghanistan’s war?


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

600 tons you do the math i don’t think its working if there are still ilegal drugs coming to the united states then it’s not working. Or maybe i’m just dumb if so then it’s still not working we are locking people up left and right for this drug war people are die left and right in mexico because of this. Now if we just sent in death squads like we use to do in the 70’s we might solve the problem but rule 1# keep it to your selfs don’t let the press know about it.

Posted by victor | Report as abusive

I’m an American.. I have experienced the drug culture and have known many mexican mafia, bikers, black gangs, and so on… There is no stopping the use of drugs, the only thing that can be done is control drugs in regards to how and when they get used.. I have suggested to my Senator to provide hard drugs like cocaine and heroine and meth free of charge in private prisons or drug prisons… and when the user can go one year without using with it in their face everyday, then they can be trusted in society. The cops would go hog wild arresting hard drug users to get them into the prisons till there is none left to influence new users.. Marijuana needs to be legalized though.. There isn’t even close to enough prison space for all of that, and it is harmless anyways. Just hard drug users… The Government could purchase or contract the drugs from the producers in columbia, afganistan, etc and cut out the criminals from the profits.. eliminating street gangs and drug cartels..

Posted by US Citizen | Report as abusive

Afghanistan will sell pharmaceutical grade morphine and float the company on the US stock exchange. With permits issued by the Government to allow the poppy to be grown. With the profits put back into the Afghan Government coffers. The government will issue free seeds to grow hemp and provide environmentally friendly products such as soap, rope, shopping bags, clothes and wholesale hemp for other products. They can sell franchises to market their hemp products to the west and float the company on the stock exchange. That would get non government sponsored poppy production down to a level of around 25% and cannabis to around 50% meaning Afghanistan would only produce 75% of the worlds narcotics. Of course first the Talib has to be put down and the security situation need to improve. Just like Amsterdam there would be a small percentage of cultural cannabis tourism in a greenzone, the narco tourism has been occurring since the 60’s in small numbers. People have to take into account that hashish, cannabis and the opium have been part of Afghan culture for many centuries as such the transformation will take inter-generational change. We will figure something out, without creating factional war between the warlords or weakening that Afghan Governments standing in the community. Daniel and the FARC are still operational and in the safe haven of Venezuela and the violence has spread to Mexico.

Posted by no one important | Report as abusive

Living in both the United State and Colombia has shown me this conflict on both sides. In Colombia I witnessed the terror caused by cartels fighting each other and the government. The once “leftist” subversive groups (FARC and ELN,) took over the distribution of the crops after the cartels were brought down. These guerrillas once used to guard the crops and labs for Escobar and many other mob leaders. Now in control, they’ve brought back a similar war which is still hidden by a lost cause which Chavez refers to as “revolution”. It’s greed and income that keeps these guys in the jungle even after being (and still being) hit hard like last year when some of the commanding leaders were brought down. With the U.S. help and a Colombian government determined to end the guerrilla, some (or most) Colombians could agree that there’s been a periodical great success in achieving this goal. The U.S. has not wasted the financial aid given to Colombia. The news used to report how the guerrillas would kill, kidnap, take over, extort, etc., but now the news frequently report how the winning side is now the government. I think that the U.S. strategy could be applied to Afghanistan since there’s similar situation. However, my only concern is whether the Afghan government, along with the international community, is willing to respond to the problem in the same way Uribe’s government has responded. The problems affecting the U.S. and the afghan people in Afghanistan must be solved with a unitary compromise between both countries, politically and militarily.

Posted by Colombian-American | Report as abusive

wonderful issues altogether, you just gained a new reader. What may you recommend in regards to your put up that you made a few days ago? Any sure?

Posted by fifa 15 coins xbox | Report as abusive

5 Cheap Lululemon VLwD Lululemon Official Site RShF Lululemon Yoga Pants RSsS Coach Factory Outlet GReW Coach USA FSsN Coach Outlet Online GLeD Michael Kors Outlet FJhW Cheap Michael Kors DLdD Michael Kors Sale RSxF Michael Kors Factory Outlet FGhF Lululemon Yoga Pants VEhN Lululemon Yoga Pants DGeW Lululemon Yoga Pants RSxS Michael Kors Purses ROeN Michael Kors Outlet DKhZ Michael Kors Outlet FEdE Michael Kors Purses FLeZ Michael Kors Outlet Online DKdW Louis Vuitton Outlet DJhF Louis Vuitton Purses FEeF Louis Vuitton Outlet DReG Louis Vuitton Purses RGrE Foamposites For Sale FJeF Lebron James Shoes GRwN Foamposites ROwF Lebron 11 For Sale VLsE Louis Vuitton Handbags TdX louis vuitton luggage TuX Louis Vuitton Speedy RsE Louis Vuitton Handbags Xwo

Posted by | Report as abusive