The United States will fund the training of an expanding number of Latin American air forces by Colombia’s Air Force, according to media reports on Wednesday.
According to defense news source Security Assistance Monitor, developing Colombia’s air force capabilities in the campaign against drug trafficking have been essential to the U.S Defense Department (DoD) for more than 10 years.
Now, those expertise are being used through-out Latin America to train other air forces on drug interdiction and counter-insurgency operations.
In the last 15 years, an estimated $8 billion from the US has been invested in Colombia, in part to fund a US-backed security initiative for military and police-related training, according to news site Ozy.
A combination of training by the US and the long internal conflict has made Colombian military in “high demand.” The expertise of combating guerrillas has led to Colombian training of foreign ground troops in many Central- and South American countries. This is also the case for the Colombian air forces, which will now pass on the “know-how” to Latin American air force military in the fight against drug trafficking.
To this point, U.S officials have not tracked the change in quality after the training, so it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of this sort of program, reported Security Assistance Monitor.
Less expensive option for US to train allies
A recent DoD report stated that Colombians training of the Latin American military will be less expensive than direct training by U.S.
The DoD report also stated that in the fiscal year of 2014 $22 millions of the total $48,6 millions invested in counter-narcotics activities will be devoted to Colombian air force and the training of Latin American air forces.
For this reason training of Latin American air forces is envisioned to help decrease the amount of drugs traveling to the U.S from Central America, according to the the DoD report.
- Pentagon partners with Colombia to build Latin America’s air defense tactics (Security Assistance Monitor)
- Colombia, the United States, and Security Cooperation by Proxy (WOLA)
- Colombia’s Security Export (Ozy)