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Last Updated:3/20/00
Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, press briefing, December 2, 1999

DoD News Briefing

Thursday, December 2, 1999 - 1:30 p.m. EST
Presenter: Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, DASD PA

Bill?

QCurrent drug czar and former SOUTHCOM Commander, General Barry McCaffrey, was blaming yesterday -- blaming the Clinton administration and the Congress for failing to pass a $1 billion aid package for Colombia for the interdiction of drugs, basically. And he said Colombia is out of control. I quote, "It is a flipping nightmare," end quote. What does the DOD -- what is the reaction of the DOD to this very bad news coming out of Colombia?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Well, without -- I will let General McCaffrey's words speak for themselves, but I think the Defense Department's position in support of Colombia is very clear. We consider Colombia a strong ally. We consider it essential that the government of Colombia stand. We are providing assistance in a variety of ways, as we've described before, to support the government in Colombia.

Colombia is a major exporter of narcotics both to the United States and to other ports of the world. It is to everyone's interest that the government of Colombia remain stable and that the family of nations can do what it can to help stem the flow of narcotics out of Colombia to other parts of the ]world.

QNow does the Department of Defense favor the funding, further funding, of the Colombian military so they can fight heroin and cocaine exportation?

ADM. QUIGLEY: We have provided funding, equipment, people, training, and we will continue to do so.

QAnd will DOD lobby that the Congress should give this funding that is an issue here, this $1 billion? Is DOD basically in favor of it?

ADM. QUIGLEY: That's not an appropriate role for the DOD to lobby the Congress. I mean, we would provide our views to the Congress in a variety of forms -- written questions for the record, testimony, what have you. But that would not be an appropriate role for us.

QAll right. Thank you.

STAFF: Thank you.

As of March 13, 2000, this document is also available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec1999/t12021999_t1202asd.html

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