The United States defense secretary guaranteed the continuation of military aid to Colombia Tuesday, along with military and logistical support, under the controversial Plan Colombia.
The U.S. government made the affirmations during a meeting between Colombia’s Defense Minister, Juan Carlos Pinzon, and the U.S. Defense Minister, Leon Panetta, in Washington.
As the main United States alley in the region, the presence of U.S. military personnel and advisers has been constant in an ongoing battle against insurgency and drug trafficking.
U.S. Defense Minister Panetta expressed support for the role that Colombia can play in providing regional security cooperation and combating drug trafficking, particularly in Central America.
Plan Colombia is a multi-million dollar, multi-faceted drug eradication program implemented in 2000 with the intention of combating drug trafficking groups, insurgencies and paramilitary groups in the country. It has been largely hailed as a success in reducing drug violence and reducing coca production.
However, a recent report by a group of American think tanks argued that the success of Plan Colombia has often been overstated and should not be viewed as a model due to a systematic failure by the U.S. to invest in prevention and treatment to reduce domestic drug demand.