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Transcript of House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, April 10, 2002

Copyright 2002 Federal News Service, Inc. Federal News Service

April 10, 2002 Wednesday

LENGTH: 23436 words




BODY: REP. JIM KOLBE (R-AZ): The Subcommittee on Foreign Operations will come to order.

Mrs. Lowey will join us as soon as we have the votes, which are expected in about 10 or 12 minutes here and we will go as long as we can, interrupt and go vote and then come back. But I think in the interests of time, both of our panelists and of the members of the subcommittee and other events going on this afternoon, we need to get started. We do have the ranking member of the full committee here.

Mr. Obey, thank you. And, Mr. Lewis, thank you for being with us at the outset. Let me just say we're joined -- our hearing today is on a very important topic, and that is the subject of U.S. assistance to Colombia. It's our fourth hearing for this year and we're going to hear today from Marc Grossman, who is the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs; from Mr. Adolfo Franco, who's the Assistant Administrator for Latin America and Caribbean for USA I.D. We'll hear from Peter Rodman, who is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Affairs; and from Major General Gary Speer, who's Acting Commander in Chief at U.S. Southern Command in Miami. As I said, I think this is a very timely subject and one that's very important for us to be talking about and I appreciate all of our panelists for appearing today. Let me begin by saying that I have supported both this administration and the previous administration's policies. We're going to get through at least our opening statements here. I support both the administration and the previous administration's policies and requests for assistant to Colombia. Last year, funding for narcotics intervention in the Andean region proved to be very controversial, but eventually we did find a compromise and we appropriated $645 million of the president's request. The request total was $731 million for the Andean counter- drug initiative.

Most, but not all, of the money for economic developments for democracy building and drug interdiction for the Andean countries is in this account. One could have predicted a heated debate last year about our policy in Colombia, but no one could have imagined the developments that have led us to where we are here today. After nearly four years of fruitless and one-sided negotiations, President Pastrana called off the peace process a few weeks ago. I sympathize with the frustration that President Pastrana expressed at the time that he did that, and the frustration of the Colombian people for this attempt to negotiate a settlement to a 40-plus year conflict. I say that given the FARC's mockery of the peace negotiations by their continued kidnapping and bombing. We've seen IRA terrorists arrested after leaving the demilitarized zone and a renewed urban and infrastructure terrorist campaign.

Earlier this year a report that was paid for by USAID, but written by an independent contractor, known as the Gersony Report (sp), came to the conclusion that U.S. drug interdiction policies of crop spraying and alternative developments have been equally unsuccessful. Small farmers appear to have never intended to voluntarily eradicate their coca crops. Now with the release of new CIA unclassified numbers, we have to reluctantly but acknowledge -- honestly acknowledge that there has been a 16 percent increase in coca cultivation in Colombia. So we have a lot to discuss today.

Some members have expressed concern with the speed that the administration has moved in labeling the FARC and the ELN as terrorists. But it is also important to note that the AUC, the paramilitary group, is also on the administration's terrorist list, and as well it should be. I'm convinced that the link between the narco industry and corruption and money laundering and terrorism, all those links are very real. They demonstrate the problems that we're facing refining and focusing our policy. It's more complicated than simply debating whether or not we should be spraying coca fields from airplanes.

None of this discussion how we interdict the supply of drugs that flows nearly unimpeded into the United States begins to speak of the actions needed by all levels of government and the NGOs that perform heroic deeds outside the jurisdiction of the subcommittee, including drug treatment, demand reduction, interdiction. My colleagues and members of this administration, let's be honest about our policy regarding Colombia. Let's be honest about the complexities of the problems we face down there. Colombia is not Central America in the 1980s. It's not Vietnam in the early 1960s. We're dealing with terrorists who get their funding from narco trafficking and who thrive on the instability they create that then allows them to get more funding. Most alarming, of course, is this tremendous instability is right here in our own hemisphere.

On March 21 the president sent to Congress a $27 billion emergency supplemental. Included in the amount was a $35 million request for new assistance to Colombia and changes in the law for the Department of Defense and the State Department to allow them to use funds already appropriated in Fiscal Year 2002 and proposed sums for 2003, to allow them to use those in Colombia and be available to combat terrorist activities and the threats to Colombian national security.

I was pleased to see the president requested that these funds remain subject to what is known as the Leahy Amendment for Human Rights Review. The administration also proposes to retain the cap; make no change in the cap that now exists on the number of military and civilian personnel that are in Colombia. When we come back I will ask Mrs. Lowey for her opening remarks. I want to thank our witnesses for testifying today. I think it's the first time we've had all four of the witnesses before our subcommittee and we appreciate very much their ability to be here.

Let me ask if there's any other member -- Mr. Obey, did you have any opening comments that you would make? Are there any other members? I think we can get through -- we would like to advise you that your full summaries will be placed in the record, so perhaps we can get through at least one of the opening statements if you would summarize it, and I think we're going to go in the following order: Mr. Grossman -- we'll go through all the opening statements and then we'll go to the questions of the subcommittee after that. We'll go in this order: Mr. Grossman, Mr. Rodman, Mr. Franco and General Speer. We have about six minutes, so let's -- about seven -- maximum of seven minutes there. Secretary Grossman -- yes, before we all walk up and disappear.

MR. MARC GROSSMAN: No, I understand. I understand. I've often been known as talking very fast, but I'll see if I can do this in seven minutes, at least to convey to you as much of the overall policy as I possibly can.

And, of course, I'm very, very pleased to be joined by a number of colleagues on this table.

First of all, Mr. Chairman, members, it's very, very important that you invited us here to testify today on Colombia. Mr. Kolbe, as you said, I think it's time to be honest about our policy. It's time to tell exactly what it is that we're doing, what it is that we have accomplished and also to talk about the future. For me this comes down to one thing, which is that Colombia matters to the United States. Congress has been a key partner in our efforts to help Colombia defeat the demons that it now confronts in narco trafficking, underdevelopment, human rights abuses and terrorism.

One other point I'd like to make by way of introduction. Many members of this subcommittee have traveled to Colombia and I thank you for that effort. And those of you who have not traveled to Colombia, I would really urge you to do so because you really are for Colombians, and for us as representatives of the United States as you as well, real representatives of what we believe in in terms of trying to make progress on democracy and security and prosperity in Colombia.

I'd also like to thank the chairman and members of the committee for the strong support that we have received over the years from the subcommittee on these issues, whether it was the bipartisan resolution that was passed after President Pastrana made his decisions or, as Chairman Kolbe outlined, the money that you have provided over these many years. As Chairman Kolbe said, on March 21 we came here and proposed through a supplemental some changes in law and regulation. And we did that because we have come to believe, as Chairman Kolbe said, that the problems of narcotics and terrorism in Colombia are connected. And exactly as the chairman said, we seek these new authorities because we believe that we can do a better job and, more importantly, that Colombians can do a better job in dealing with their problems if we have this increased flexibility.

But I also want to highlight the points that Chairman Kolbe made, which is to say that our proposition would not -- would not -- in any way, shape or form seek to obviate the Leahy amendment. We want to continue to vet all of the people that we train. We think that's a very important thing for us and for Colombia.

And, secondly, we do not in any way seek to exceed the caps in what is known as the Bird Amendment: 400 people on the military side, 400 people on U.S. civilian contractors.

I look forward to discussing this with you today because I think one very important point as well is, of course, when we were doing consultations earlier -- late last year and earlier this year, what members said to us was, "Don't stretch the definition of counter- narcotics. Don't play games with the money that we have given you." And all of us who have sat in interagency meetings have talked to our principals about this, promised each other that we would not do that; that we would come to you straightforwardly and say, "We want to make a change in what we want to do and now the question is what will you do? And how will we debate that? And what outcome will come?" But the reason we've asked for this is because the invitation was there and also the instruction was there not to play games with the money we already have.

Mr. Chairman, I think it's very important to take an overview here on what we're trying to accomplish in Colombia, which is a hemispheric division of democracy, prosperity and security. I want to go into it in great detail, but you all know that in Quebec last year 34 heads of state and government of this hemisphere got together and did three very important things.

First of all, they passed a democracy clause which said that all countries in this region to be part of the conversation in the Western Hemisphere ought to be democracies.

Secondly, they discussed an improved action plan to promote economic prosperity, protect human rights, fight drug trafficking and organized crime and also set 2005 as a deadline for the free trade area of the Americas, democracy and security and prosperity. And it seems to me that the question we have to ask ourselves is: what good are all these principles if they get trampled in Colombia?

For me anyway, there is an assault today on Colombian democracy. The 40 million inhabitants of Colombia are under assault by the three narco terrorist groups: the FARC, the ELN and the AUC. And these groups, with combined membership of about 25,000 combatants, massacre, kidnap and attack good key infrastructure. The FARC and the AUC are involved in every aspect of narcotics trafficking and I think a very important fact here is that the income that they derive from narcotics, about $300 million a year, is one of the reasons that they have grown both in their capacity and in their ability to do damage to Colombia.

I'd also say that these are groups that do direct damage to your counterparts in Colombia. They have -- the AUC has killed two Colombian legislators over the past 12 months. The FARC has killed six Colombian legislators and kidnapped presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. Groups assassinated 12 mayors in 2001 and the FARC efforts to disrupt the March 10 legislative elections are also well documented.

The second point is if you have democracy, prosperity and security, we -- I also believe that Colombia -- there's an assault on Colombia's prosperity as well. The ELN and FARC bombings of the key Cano Limon oil pipeline cost the government of Colombia almost $500 million in lost revenue last year.

REP. KOLBE: Secretary Grossman, I'm going to interrupt you right at this point.

MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir.

REP. KOLBE: I do want you to be able to get your statement in because this is very important and we have just barely four minutes now. So I'm going to interrupt and we're going to recess the hearing and when we come back -- we thought we were going to have a little bit more time. When we come back we'll let you complete your statement, then I'll call Ms. Lowey for her opening statement.

MR. GROSSMAN: That's fine.

REP. KOLBE: The order for questioning will be in the order that we already have people arrive. So as we come back, we'll keep that order. Thank you very much.

MR. GROSSMAN: I'd be glad to slow down a little bit.

REP. KOLBE: It's just one vote so we'll be back forthwith. The subcommittee will stand in recess.

(Vote recess.)

REP. KOLBE: The subcommittee will resume.

We'll finish Mr. Grossman's statement then go to Ms. Lowey for her opening statement.

Mr. Grossman, Mr. Secretary?

MR. GROSSMAN: It's not on. Is it on now? There it is, that's good. If you don't mind, I'm going to slow down a little bit, if you give me an extra minute or two.

REP. KOLBE: Excuse me.


REP. KOLBE: Although I would like to remind you, we do have four opening statements and we have a lot of members that want to ask questions.

MR. GROSSMAN: No, no, I certainly don't intend to dominate this at all. I just wanted to say that again, to go back to where I was, if you've got this -- we think we've got a hemisphere consensus on security, prosperity and democracy and that these principles really are under attack in Colombia.

They're under attack in terms of Columbia's democracy, Columbia's attack on security and I would say also, I had a chance to show the question on Cano Limon pipeline and I was getting into that to show also that there was an assault by the FARC, the ELN and the AUC on Colombia's prosperity.

As I was saying, Mr. Chairman, the ELN and FARC bombings of this oil pipeline cost the government of Colombia about $500 million a year, which is equal to about one-third of Bogot's spending on health for its citizens. FARC strikes against the country's power grid in February, left 45 towns including two departmental capitals, without electricity for days. And the FARC also attempted twice to blow up dams near Bogot and had these efforts not been stopped, we believe they would have killed thousands and thousands of Colombians.

And finally, we have the question of this assault on Colombia's security. Terrorist attacks in Colombia have resulted in over 3,000 Colombians killed in the year 2001. Another 2,856 were kidnapped with ELN, FARC and AUC responsible for almost 2,000 victims and again, I show you a chart over the years on kidnapping in Colombia. In the former demilitarized zone the Colombian military recently found two large FARC run cocaine laboratories and 7.4 metric tons of cocaine. AUC Commander, Carlos Castano, has publicly admitted that the AUC receives 70 percent of its funds from narcotics.

We believe also that the FARC, the ELN and the AUC threaten regional stability because they regularly use the border regions of Panama, Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela for arms and narcotics trafficking, re-supply operations, rest and recreation. And it also has a great impact on us as well. Since 1992, the FARC and the ELN have kidnapped 51 U.S. citizens and murdered 10. Colombia supplies 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States and it is estimated that 60 percent of the heroin entering the United States is of South American origin, which is primarily Colombian.

Mr. Chairman, I'd like to talk for just a moment about Colombia's response to this attack on its prosperity, its democracy and its security. And that is as you all know, President Pastrana, in 1999 put out Plan Colombia, a $7.5 billion plan which calls for substantial Colombian investment in social reform, judicial, political economic reform, modernization of the Colombian armed forces. And with your help, we have done the major job in supporting Plan Colombia. Since July of 2000, the United States has provided Colombia with $1.7 billion to combat narcotics trafficking, terrorism, strengthened democratic institutions and human rights, foster socioeconomic development and mitigate the impact of violence on Colombian civilians.

The question is have we had any success? While you were out, sir, I was talking to Congresswoman Lowey and I promised I'd give her some examples of where we believe, since July 2000, we've had some real success in supporting Plan Colombia.

First, we have delivered to the Colombian national police, eight of the 11 helicopters to be provided under Plan Colombia and the Colombian military has received 35 of the 54 helicopters that it is programmed to receive.

Second, the government of Colombia has extradited 23 Colombian nationals to the United States in 2001, an unprecedented level of cooperation and I draw your attention to that chart on extraditions. And I believe that the reason we've had this increase in extraditions, is the increased engagement we've had with Colombia.

Third, we have trained, equipped and deployed the Colombian Army's counter narcotics brigade which destroyed 818 base laboratories and 221 HCL laboratories and provided security for our aerial interdiction operations in Southern Colombia. General Speer, perhaps will talk more about this, with this unit operating as part of joint Taskforce South, is judged to be the best brigade sized unit in the Colombian military.

Next, Colombians and Americans sprayed a record potential 84,000 hectares of coca cultivation last year, up from 58,000 in 2000. And we've set a goal of 150,000 hectares in 2002 and I call your attention to the chart.

Mr. Chairman, if I also might say I took note of the point that you made that there is an argument now about what the right numbers are, in terms of this -- in terms of the spraying and I can tell you that the Office of National Drug Control Policy, at our request, has asked for an outside expert to come and see if we can sort out what the right numbers are. And I hope that they will do that soon.

Another on my list of 11 is that through Colombia's Ministry of the Interior we have funded since May 2001, a program that has provided protection, like our witness protection program, to 1,676 Colombians whose lives were threatened, including human rights workers, labor activists and journalists. We have also funded early warning systems which alert the Colombian authorities the threats of potential massacres and other human rights abuses in other -- enabling them to act in advance. And to date, we have already used this system 106 times.

Next on my list. The United States working with non-governmental organizations and international agencies have provided assistance to 330,000 Colombians who have been displaced by violence since mid 2001. We have a program to help immobilize child soldiers. We have a program to help the government of Colombia reform its administration of justice system and we've opened 18 houses of justice which provide cost effective legal services to Colombian who've not previously enjoyed access to the country's judicial systems. We are also helping municipalities increase their ability to manage their policies and their funds and we're working closely with the prosecutor general's office to set up human rights units throughout the country to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of human rights abuses. And the prosecutor general, as many of you know was here a couple of weeks ago, and we had a chance to talk to him about the progress we are making in that area, as well.

So there are 11 things that I think we have a right to be proud of. Eleven things that show the way for our support for Plan Colombia and if we can build on them, I believe we can do even more. Mr. Chairman, you raised the question of alternative development which we remain committed to and I'm going to let Mr. Franco present to you a revised strategy in dealing with that today.

I want to take one minute and focus hard on the question of human rights, because it's a concern that is central to our Colombian policy. I can tell you that in all of our meetings with Colombians whether they be civilian or military or the NGOs, all of us at this table and all of us who represent the United States focus in on the questions of human rights. And as I was reporting to Mrs. Lowey last week, the Chief of the Army Staff, General Shinseki and General Speer went to the highest levels of the military and said that human rights must, must, must, be among the most important of your calculations as you move forward.

And I believe, Mr. Chairman, it's right to say that our human rights message is making a real difference. The Colombian military captured 590 paramilitary members last year and killed 92 members in combat. Eight military personnel including two colonels and a lieutenant colonel were charged in civilian courts with collaborating with paramilitaries or committing gross human rights violations in 2001. And that list goes on. Still, too many Colombians continue to suffer abuses by state security forces or by terrorist groups acting in collusion with state security units and those responsible must be punished.

New situation, Mr. Chairman, you referred to it. Since February 20th, the Colombian military has reoccupied the main urban areas in the former zone. President Pastrana came to us with three requests. He wanted increased intelligence, wanted help with the terrorist threat, and he wanted to do more in terms of dealing with the FARC. We answered Pastrana's request by providing increased intelligence support on terrorist activities, expediting the delivery of helicopter spare parts already paid for by the government of Colombia, and assisting the Colombians with eradication, through other eradication activities in the former zone.

But as we consulted with all of you after the 20th February, you recommended to ask that if we wanted to do more we should come and seek new authorities, and that is what we have done. We are seeking new legal authorities that would allow our assistance to Colombia including assistance previously provided, to be used, and I quote from the proposition we have made to you, "to support a unified campaign against narcotics trafficking, terrorist activities and other threats to new authorities.

" Expanding the authorities for the use of aircraft and other assets to cover terrorist and other threats to Colombian democracy will of course not ensure that this battle will be won, because they are working against multiple threats. However, we believe that if you approve this proposition they will give us the flexibility we need to help the government of Colombia more efficiently and more effectively, attack the problems that they face.

Mr. Chairman, I've already committed to you and committed to the rest of this committee that our request for these new authorities are not a retreat from our concern about human rights nor does it signal an open ended U.S. commitment to Colombia. As you said, we are not interested in breaking the personnel caps and we are also not interested in changing the rules on vetting the kinds of forces that we hope to train in the future, in Colombia.

Mr. Chairman, in addition to the new legal authorities we also seek 35 million (dollars) in the counter terrorism supplemental to help the government of Colombia protect its citizens and if members would like to talk about that I'd be glad to talk about that in further detail. Two more points and then I'll stop.

First, on the peace process. We remain committed to supporting President Pastrana in his efforts on the peace process. We supported him when he was having the peace process with the FARC and ELN. We continue to support the peace process with the ELN if that is what President Pastrana wishes to pursue.

Finally, a point about Colombia's commitment. Colombia's got to take the lead in this struggle. Colombians need to do more. All of our conversations with Colombia have made this a very important point that it is their democracy, their security and their prosperity that is under attack and they need to do more in all areas to try to protect it.

Mr. Chairman, all of us look forward to answering any questions that members might have. But as I say, we have this proposition in front of you. We have some principles we think are very important in Colombia and we look forward to conversation.

Thank you very much.

REP. KOLBE: Thank you very much, Secretary Grossman.

We're going to go next to Mr. Peter Rodman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. And let me say before we do, that I'm going to ask -- I'm sorry, we're going to hear Ms. Lowey's statement first.

Ms. Lowey, sorry.

REP. NITA M. LOWEY (D-NY): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

And I too welcome our principal witness Mark Grossman and our other witnesses to the subcommittee's hearing on our assistance programs for Colombia. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our chairman for holding this hearing. As he has indicated, we intend to address both the FY 2003 request and the FY 2002 supplemental request for Colombia.

As we begin our discussion I want to emphasize that I support the efforts of the Colombian government to fight terrorism and narcotics trafficking. President Pastrana and his government face a daunting challenge and I'm confident that he enjoys broad support here in the United States Congress. However, we have an absolute duty to be clear eyed and realistic about the challenges and it is in this context that I will comment, today.

When Congress first considered the request for over $1 billion for plan Colombia about two years ago, the plan as represented to Congress, involved the expenditure of $7 billion from a combination of sources including the Colombians themselves, the United States, and our European allies. The original plan involved a sizeable obligation of economic assistance from all three sources in recognition of the simple fact that any long term solution to Colombia's problems would have to include significant new investment in rural areas of the country.

Many members of Congress who were really quite leery of deepening our military involvement in Colombia supported plan Colombia on the basis of its balance. That is, a commitment to economic assistance along with the strengthening of the military and police forces. I count myself among them. Unfortunately, that fundamental premise has not yet been fulfilled and our partners in plan Colombia have not lived up to their original commitment. In making this statement I acknowledge that there have been numerous complicating factors that were beyond the control of the Colombian government. However, as we reassess our policy and decide whether it ought to be expanded, we should not delude ourselves. Because winning this war will take many years and significant resources from the United States. Support here at home for the provision of those resources over an extended period cannot be sustained without a genuine commitment from all elements of Colombian society.

The administration has requested open ended authority in the FY 2002 supplemental to expand the use of U.S. resources to directly engage the FARC in military operations under the broad rubric of fighting terrorism. The administration has also requested $6 million in the supplemental to begin training and equipping the Colombian Army to accelerate its oil pipeline protection program. This request comes despite the fact that alternative development programs in Southern Colombia have been almost completely ineffective. The strength and reach of paramilitary forces has increased in all areas of the country with no check from the Colombian Army and the area of coca cultivation increased significantly last year, despite our aerial spraying campaign. Further, no real commitment to economic assistance in infrastructure for rural areas, has been forthcoming from the Colombians and desperately needed judicial reforms have stalled since the new Attorney General. Spending more to fight terrorism in Colombia may be the appropriate step at this time, but it cannot be effective without some fundamental shifts in our policy. With our comprehensive policy changes we will merely be putting a Band-Aid on a hemorrhaging wound.

I would sincerely hope, Mr. Secretary, that the administration will work with Congress to alter our policy so that we can make the necessary commitment of time and resources with confidence. None of us will be well served by repeating the contentious atmosphere and divisive debates of earlier times involving our policies in Central America.

If we take this approach, the administration needs to do several things in my judgment immediately. The first is securing a real and verifiable commitment from the Colombians on the extent to which they're willing to alter their own budget and policy priorities to strengthen their own military and to provide additional resources to rural areas.

The second is a fresh examination of what direct role the United States should play in the reconciliation processes of all rebel groups.

Finally, we must re-examine the wisdom of plans to accelerate aerial spraying throughout the country. Recognize and act on the need to increase resources to the DEA to arrest and prosecute major narcotic traffickers, including members of the FARC and the paramilitaries and address the need to immediately reorganize our efforts to improve judicial systems in Colombia.

These are not simple changes. Cannot be achieved in the short term, while the fundamental shift in policy that Congress has been asked to approve appears as simple words -- word change in the law is likely to lead to huge expenditure and expanded United States military deployments to Colombia. I believe there is an opportunity, Mr. Secretary, to work together on this because, as I said earlier, there is broad consensus in the Congress to help Colombia. However, we need to have better cooperation on the part of the administration than we have seen so far and that translates into recognizing that our program is out of balance at the moment. And that clear benchmarks for action by the Colombian Government need to be delineated and achieved.

My final observation is that approval of this policy change may be premature, given the upcoming presidential elections in Colombia. How can Congress act on this fundamental shift in policy without any assurance that the new government of Colombia will stick to any of the objectives of policies of the Pastrana Government?

It is perhaps wiser to wait until those commitments are forthcoming before approving this expanded role.

I thank you again, Mr. Secretary, for your testimony. I thank you for your statement and I look forward to the testimony of all of our witnesses.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

MR. KOLBE: Thank you Mrs. Lowey. My apologies for -- Pastrana --

MS. LOWEY: No problem. No problem.

MR. KOLBE: We're going to go to Mr. Rothman for an opening statement.

Let me say before he begins, however, I'm going to ask the three remaining panelists to limit their statements, their verbal statements to five minutes. I ask subcommittee members to hold their questions until that time and I'm going to ask you to do the same because we're never going to get the questions unless we do that. The full statement will be placed on the record.

Secretary Rothman?

REP. STEVEN R. ROTHMAN (R-NJ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I promise to be brief. You have my full statement.

I'm pleased to be here with my colleagues because it's important that all of the different elements of the executive branch that are represented here have come together in support of these -- the administration's approach which does, as representative Lowey suggested, include a new element. It's a modification of our existing policy and, if I could sum up in a nutshell the reason why we have come together on some new elements and some new approaches, is because a lot of things have changed in the past year.

It's not only that September 11 happened and heightened our consciousness of the evil of terrorism. In Colombia itself, I think over the past year, we've perhaps come to a better awareness or understanding of the link between narcotics and terrorism. In addition in Colombia as has been discussed, the diplomacy that President Pastrana had committed himself to has tragically come to a dead end. And, so President Pastrana has made a, in my view, a courageous decision to draw conclusions from the failure of the peace process and to challenge the FARC and that is something that cries out or calls to us for a response.

And, lastly, I would say in our view that the improved performance of the Colombian military over the past year is impressive. I think this must be at least in part the result of the assistance that we have been providing to the Colombian military. They're able to confront the challenge more effectively. I think if a peace process were to resume at some point, a Colombian Government would be able to conduct such diplomacy from a position of strength.

All of this is what leads us in the administration -- encourages us to believe that an additional increment of support and including the modifications we have proposed, will be effective -- will have an effect -- will enable the Colombian Government, which is after a friendly democratic government, to establish basic security and effective sovereignty over Colombia's national territory. That is -- this is the position of the executive branch.

I certainly believe that a consensus between Congress and the Executive is a prerequisite for an effective US policy and it's in that spirit that we've come here today. Thank you.

MR. KOLBE: Thank you Secretary Rothman.

Mr. Franco?

MR. ADOLFO FRANCO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm pleased to be here as the President's representative for USAID and to appear before the subcommittee.

Mr. Chairman I request that my prepared statement be included in the hearing record.

MR. KOLBE: Yeah, it will be.

MR. FRANCO: Mr. Chairman, USAID is proud to contribute to a broader US policy objectives in Colombia because, as Secretary Grossman has said, Colombia needs our help. I've tried to sympathize my testimony by starting by stating very clearly conducting development programs in conflicted areas like Colombia is difficult and dangerous but we believe that USAID has the experience and expertise needed to succeed despite these challenges.

Some have suggested that alternative development programs are failing because they have not yet delivered adequate levels of assistance in remote parts of southern Colombia.

Mr. Chairman, I'm here to tell you that these statements are, in my view, overstated. While there have been some initial setbacks, USAID's program is on track and making progress. So far USAID has begun work with more than 5,000 farm families in southern Colombia and we're moving quickly to deepen and extend our reach while continuously learning and adapting it to ever changing circumstances in that area.

Since assuming my position as Assistant Administrator for USAID's bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean two months ago, I've begun the process of conducting a comprehensive review of USAID's Colombia program and expect to travel to the region again in the near future.

What is clear to me so far is that there are some unrealistic expectations and myths with respect to alternative development. It is essential to understand that we get pas these fallacies and concentrate on the task at hand.

Mr. Chairman, please permit to enumerate briefly four of these myths. First, that wherever coca poppy is grown it is possible substitute an equivalent cash crop.

Second, coca farmers will switch to other crops and will not revert to planting coca if they're simply provided with alternatives.

Third, coca growers cannot cope on their own without coca.

And fourth, that large scale assistance to provide new sources of income in this case to 37,000 families in southern Colombia can be identified, tested and delivered in one year.

Mr. Chairman, the reality in southern Colombia is much different. There is no alternative agricultural production that can match the income of coca leaf and coca paste production by small scale farmers workings on a few acres of land. What can be done to help coca growers' transition to other livelihoods, is to focus on larger job and income generating programs in areas where they have a chance to work.

This is something we intend to do and we will make adjustments. In southern Colombia this will require developing other forms of income and employment besides agricultural products and work beyond the immediate vicinity of coca plantations.

In the interests of time, just briefly, because I know there's a lot of interest on the committee on alternative development, although I'd like to talk about other aspects of our program.

Of the 42.4 million that was appropriated to AID for alternative development in September 2000, depending on security conditions which continue to monitor, we expect that approximately 36 million of this total will be expended by the end of December 2002. The goal of our multiyear program is to gradually wean Colombia and other regions from coca and opium poppy production into share reductions in drug cultivation achieved forced eradication efforts that must be sustained.

While Colombian Government efforts began earlier, implementation of our own USAID finance programs started only in May 2001 with the mobilization of a technical assistance team in Colombia.

As I mentioned earlier, the USAID program is not one year old. We anticipate that, as a consequence of adjustments to the program, we will meet the needs of the region by providing alternatives for infrastructure development and small manufacturing as well. There's intensive labor infrastructure programs in the region to address the needs, but we ask the committee for the time necessary to accomplish our goals.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. KOLBE: That was well within your timeframe there.

General Speer?

GEN. GARY SPEER: Mr. Chairman, Representative Lowey, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to represent the men and women of the United States Southern Command and discuss Colombia and other issues with you today.

First of all, thank you for your unwavering support of Southern Command in not only this program but in our activities throughout the region. And especially today, thank you for your support of the men and women deployed around the world. It's very important.

Latin America and the Caribbean is an area of increasing importance and significance to the United States based on demographics, trade, resources and the proximity to the United States at large. But over the last quarter of a century there's been tremendous progress in this region toward moving in the direction of the hemisphere as a community of democratic nations.

Much of the credit for that transformation goes to the men and women in uniforms serving in the region and their day-to-day interaction with our host nation counterparts, joint exercises and training, and the opportunities for foreign officers and non- commission officers to attend professional military education in the United States, where U.S. service members served as a role model for the conduct of a military and a democratic society with a respect to the rule of law, human rights and subordination to civil authority.

But many of these democracies remain fragile and face the challenges of the reason stemming from instability and corruption that evolved from drugs and arms trafficking, illegal migrants, terrorism and other transnational threats. Nowhere is this more evident than in Colombia where the FARC, the ELN and the AUC exact terror on the population of Colombia, financing their activities through drugs, kidnapping and extortion.

Colombia is important to us for all the reasons Ambassador Grossman highlighted, and it is the lynchpin in the NDN (ph) region and as such there's a vital interest to not only what happens in Colombia but what happens around Colombia. Certainly 20 February and President Pastrana's decision to terminate the despeje in the FARC safe haven, change the landscape in Colombia. The Colombian security forces moved in very deliberately to protect the population as they reoccupied the cities in the despeje. But the real bottom line is the Colombian military and the police lack the resources in terms of manpower, mobility and air mobility to reestablish a safe and secure environment. And as Representative Lowey highlighted, in order to get to those other aspects of planned Colombia, alternative developments, social program, judicial reform, we first must reestablish a safe and secure environment to let those other programs to take hold.

As we look to the region, many of the other militaries and security forces lack the resources and capabilities to protect their own borders. In fact, although we've had great increases and we appreciate your support in terms of FMF and IMET over the last year. FMF over the last decade along has been insufficient to provide for the sustainment of the equipment that we have provided in the past, much less to address legitimate modernization requirements, our demands for evolving challenges.

These are the challenges that we look forward to addressing, and I thank you, the members of the committee, for your support of U.S. Southern Command as we try to address those challenges so that we don't sacrifice the gains of the past 25 years. I look forward to your questions. Thank you.

REP. KOLBE: Thank you very much. We appreciate all of your opening statements. I'm going to limit my questions, at least in this first round, to one question because we have a number of people here that wish to speak. But my first question will be for Secretary Grossman.

Secretary, the supplemental request of the administration has sent to us $35 billion -- has $35 million for additional assistance to Colombia. There is accelerated training for the pipeline protection, there's funding set up for an anti-kidnapping unit and police post reinforcement. In addition to the funding, the supplemental of course includes some language, fairly general language, that would lift the restrictions on assistance for Colombia, though it keeps the limitation. It's based on human rights performance as well. As we've both said in my statement and yours, keeping intact U.S. military and civilian personnel caps.

Mr. Secretary, in proposing to lift the restrictions on counter- narcotics aid you're asking Congress to give the administration, it seems to me, an unprecedented level of discretion over policy decisions with respect to Colombia. And if we're going to have that, if that's going to be the case, we're going to grant the administration that level of discretion, it seems to me there has to be a concurrent flow of information and consultations with Congress.

Yet in the supplemental transmission beyond what I just outlined in a half a dozen words or so at the beginning there of my question or comment here, there really are no specifics about this proposal and I don't feel really that I know any more about what U.S. policy regarding Colombia, what it's proposed to be, then it was before the supplemental was transmitted. So my question to you is to ask you to be as specific as you possibly can about which funding in this supplemental and in the current year 2002 budget, and which asset, U.S. assets in Colombia, does the administration propose to use for counterterrorism purposes.

MR. GROSSMAN: Mr. Chairman, first of all let me take the general point that you've asked, which is the need for more consultations and more conversation with this subcommittee and with Congress. Point taken, and I'd say that's also an important point that Ranking Member Lowey said as well. We can't possibly accomplish this task, as Assistant Secretary Rodman said, unless we're working as closely as possible with you. I hope that you would consider this hearing to be the beginning of that, and we're glad to do as much of this, either in public or in private sessions, any way that you want.

The second point that I would make is one of the reasons to go back to a conversation you and I had some weeks ago. One of the reasons that we came forward with this change in legislation was because after the 20th of February, when we had a chance to consult some of you, members said please don't pretend that counterterrorism is counter-narcotics. Don't stretch the law, don't fool around here. If you're going to do different, say you're going to do different.

So one of the reasons that we're here testifying and one of the reasons that we made this proposition is to put it out on the table. And the question right now is, since the 11th of September have our views changed, have your views changed? Since the 20th of February, do you want to do different in Colombia, do we want to do different in Colombia? We make a proposition to you, a proposition I believe one that would -- one that you asked for in a sense, to make sure that we were not stretching the laws that already existed.

The way I would understand this, Mr. Chairman, and maybe my colleagues can help me out, is what we want to do with this new authority is essentially to make it possible for the Colombians to use the helicopters that have already been delivered to fight terrorism. Right now, if the FARC is attacking place X, Y or Z in Colombia and it's not connected to narcotics, we don't allow the Colombians to use those helicopters. And so we'd like to make it possible for them to use that equipment, this is the focus of it. We'd like to make it possible to use that equipment to fight terrorism.

How we do that and the way that we would work out the mechanism is something that we need to consult with you and we also need to consult with the Colombians, because we want to make sure when we do so, as General Speer said, we're dealing with vetted units. We're dealing with units that we've trained. We're dealing with information that we believe, so that we're not creating more trouble than we're trying to solve. But this is really a focus on these helicopters that we've already given.

You asked me to be a little bit more specific about the $35 million. What I would say, Mr. Chairman, is that the 25 in what you all know as the NADR account -- Non-Proliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs -- this is funding for anti-kidnapping training and equipment group for the Colombian police. As we showed here, Colombia -- kidnappings in Colombia have just skyrocketed.

Colombian -- kidnappings in Colombia are too many. And what we want to do, like we have in the United States, is give anti-kidnapping and anti-hostage groups in the police and in the military, training in hostage negotiation, to have the right kind of equipment that our SWAT teams have so they can deal with the intelligence with the incident and try to get some of these hostages back and some of the kidnappings. So that's what we're focused in on.

In terms of the $6 million for foreign military funds for training of the Colombian military unit, we said, look, we put 28 -- we put $98 million in the FMF proposal for this year. But the attacks as we've shown you on the Cano Limon pipeline are happening now, and so it was the judgment of our military colleagues and our Defense Department colleagues that if we spent $6 million today or whenever the supplemental is approved, if it's approved by the Congress, that we would be able to get a head start on dealing with the Cano Limon pipeline, get some of that more secure and get some of that money flowing back to Colombia.

And finally, the $4 million in the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement account is to help organize, train, equip and deploy Colombian police units. As Assistant Secretary Rodman said, if you get this all down into one -- we're trying to do. We're trying to allow a democratic Colombia to again have control of its territory. All of what we're doing breaks down to that, and we want the police to be out there to show Colombian control.

REP. KOLBE: Well, that took up my time. Let me just ask -- which I think you were going to answer in one sentence, one follow-up. Is any of USAID or Department of Justice moneys from 2002 or prior years going to be reprogrammed at the start of this authority?

MR. GROSSMAN: No, sir. Can I give you one sentence. We are not seeking the authority to reprogram money. What we're interested in is a helicopter that is already delivered would be used for counter terrorism. But if we were to reprogram, we would come back and seek the authority of the Congress.

REP. KOLBE: But that is not your intention?

MR. GROSSMAN: It is my intention.

REP. KOLBE: It's not your intention to reprogram?

MR. GROSSMAN: No, absolutely right. I'm sorry. But if we were to reprogram, it is not our intention to change the way we do business.

REP. KOLBE: Thank you.

Ms. Lowey?

REP. LOWEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to follow up on my statement, Mr. Secretary, and I would like to ask you to comment on the extent to which the administration is willing to reexamine all the elements of our Colombian policy in the context of the standing current authorities, to allow use of United States resources in the support of military operations in Colombia. There are a couple of points that I want to mention, that I'd like you to address.

First of all this statement indicates that Colombian's have committed to an increase of 10,000 in the size of their army and an increase of 110 million (dollars) in their military budget. Even with that the Colombians only devote about 3.5 percent of their GDP to anti narcotics operations. Specifically, what are the Colombians willing to do to increase their military and police budgets to fight the war, and what is your understanding of the leading presidential candidate's positions with respect to the question of more resources and increasing the size of the army. Maybe I'll just lay these three items out and then you can just comment.

What are the Colombian armed forces doing to take effective measures to sever links including by denying access to military intelligence, vehicles, other equipment or supplies and ceasing other forms of active or tacit cooperation at the command battalion and brigade levels, with paramilitary groups and to execute as standing orders for capture for members of such groups which is required by United States law as a condition of receiving assistance. And when can we expect the decision of the FY 2002 funding with respect to this certification?

And three, given the failure of the alternate development plans for Southern Colombia and the failure of spraying to decrease coca cultivation, why shouldn't we stop aerial spraying until the Colombian Government, with our help and direct input from regional and local authorities, has developed an effective means of leaning farmers from coca cultivation with real economic alternatives? So if you could just comment on those three areas, I'd be appreciative.

MR. GROSSMAN: Sure, I'd be glad to, Ms. Lowey.

If I could just take one other point out of your statement. You rightly said that this support for Plan Colombia was supposed to come from us, from the Europeans and from the Colombians and I would say that the Europeans, in this case, certainly still need to do more. We're kind of doing our part. I think it's fair to say the Colombians are doing their part. We need to focus in on the third part and I wanted you to know that we were listening to that.

Let me take each of the points in turn. First of all, I think it's clear in all of our conversations with Colombians that Colombia knows it needs to do more. It needs to do more militarily to help itself and as I said in my statement, you know this is a Colombian problem for which the United States, for all the reasons that we have said, needs to be involved. You said in your statement that you were concerned about U.S. military deployments and one of the things that I can say is that not a single person here, nor have we other talked about U.S. combat troops ever going to Colombia. This is a Colombian problem that Colombians need to solve, and they need to do more.

I think we ought to have a conversation with them about increasing this level of GDP and also making some other changes in their military so that not so many people, for example, are exempted from conscription, that more people go fight. So that they show that they have the social willpower to take this on.

In terms of the leading presidential candidates, I had the good fortune -- actually with a couple of my colleagues here -- to meet all three of the leading presidential candidates when I was in Colombia last February. And my position to them was pretty straight forward, which was that we will continue, I hope, to support Plan Colombia but they need to do a lot more to support themselves and certainly to do more in the area of human rights. I think all three of them recognize that Colombia needs real armed forces. And I was telling you during the break, I had a chance to meet with a number of human rights groups there and to a person, each one of them said that one of the most important things for Colombia right now, would be to have a professional, trained military. And we are the people who can help them do that.

On your third point, in terms of certification. We have not, Ms. Lowey, made a recommendation to Secretary Powell about that certification. We intend to do that soon, but the reason we haven't so far, is we want the Colombians to recognize that they have to meet the standards of the law. And to meet the standards of the law we've asked for four our five very specific things and we hope that we will get those things, and we hope we will get them soon. I, myself wanted to have the benefit of hearing this committee before we made a recommendation to Secretary Powell but I can tell you we intend to make it when we're convinced that we've got what we need from the Colombians and certainly when we've consulted with the Congress.

And finally, although perhaps Mr. Franco or Assistant Secretary Franco will help me a little bit here. I think this question of alternative development, why shouldn't we stop until the Colombians do more, is kind of a larger question on all the things we are doing. You, in your statement said, you know maybe we should just wait until there's an election and see who's the next president. Our challenge in all of this is, is that the FARC, the AUC, the ELN, they don't stop their attacks waiting for an election. They're attacking today and tomorrow and yesterday. And this coca continues to grow and it continues to come into the United States.

I think the Assistant Secretary said, we've got some big adjustment to make in that program.

But I, in my travel there, and as much as I've been able to learn about it, I'm convinced, as he is I think, that without some spraying, without some real penalty for growing this stuff, alternative development won't work and we won't get our way through this.

REP. LOWEY: My time is up so I don't have a chance I guess -- we'll pursue it later. Thank you.

REP. KOLBE: Mr. Obey is next.

REP. DAVID R. OBEY (D-WI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

First of all, Mr. Chairman, let me simply say I want to congratulate you personally for your performance on your trip to South Africa. Now everyone I've talked to on both sides of the aisle indicated what a spectacular job you did in driving home the message that needed to be driven home with respect to the AIDS problem in that country and I congratulate you for it.

Let me simply say, gentlemen, I know you have a tough job. But you will pardon me if I don't approach this issue as though I'm the permanent president of an optimist club. Did you ever hear of Leo Durocher? There's the old story about Leo Durocher when he was managing the Giants and he was hitting ground balls to Eddie Stanky in practice, infield practice and De Stachy at second base kept dropping the ball. And so Durocher said, Stanky, give me the glove, let me show you how you do it. And the very first ball that was hit to Durocher, Durocher dropped. And Durocher turned to Stanky and said, Stanky, you've got second base so screwed up nobody can play it.

I sort of think that's the way the Colombian power elite is behaving on this issue. To me, and this is not a question it's just an observation. To me the question is not whether or not it is theoretically desirable to engage in order to try to deal with the FARC and others who are destroying that country. Obviously, if conditions are right it would be a good idea. The question to me is whether Colombia has the capacity, as a society, as a government and as an economic and political elite, to actually do what's necessary in order to give us a decent chance of winning. And frankly I think our chances of seeing Colombia produce on that score are less than our chances of seeing the Chicago Cubs win the pennant this year. I wish I thought otherwise but I don't, based on my almost 40 years of observation of that society. And I just want to reiterate my specific concerns.

When we fought World War II, almost 90 percent of the federal budget was the military budget. When we fought World War II we had about $46 billion in total revenue in this country, in 1944 and we spent more than twice that amount, just on the War. I don't see that kind of effort coming from Colombia. They're spending for military budget, about 3.5 percent of GDP. You might be able to beat Grenada with that kind of a budget, but I don't see them handling their own military problems.

They still, as you know, have loopholes in the draft big enough to drive a 65 foot truck through and their attorney general is sleepwalking. In addition to that, while one of you -- I've forgotten whom, said that our alternative crop program for some reason is not a failure. If it's not I'd certainly would hate to see what one looks like.

And I don't say that by -- in order to imply I'm criticizing you or the administration. You didn't start this. We got into this under the previous administration, at the request of the White House and the speaker, so there's plenty of responsibility for our being involved and I don't -- I think you've got an impossible job.

But I guess I'm old fashioned enough to think that if we're going to commit American prestige and American money and other American resources, and if we're going to get into a job, we at least need the tools to do the job. And I don't think Colombia is providing us with the tools. You can all do your job perfectly and if the Colombian government and the Colombian political elite doesn't step up and do theirs, this is futile.

And so I don't want to be a nay-sayer but in my view there's nothing that I've heard here today that doesn't remind me of what I've heard many times in the past. Lots of individual items that can be pointed to, to show miniscule progress here and there but overall when you put the picture together there's nothing that comes into focus that's worth looking at, in my view.

So I simply want to say that I remain a skeptic. I would like to know what chance you think we have of seeing Colombia double or more its percentage of GDP that goes into military spending and I certainly would like to know when you think they're going to fix the draft problems? I would certainly like to know when you think they are really going to show the kinds of self-sacrifice that the power elite in that country needs to demonstrate in order to have a chance of a snowball in Haiti of winning this argument with the FARC who I regard as nothing but thugs and useless terrorists?

REP. KOLBE: Would one or more of you wish to comment briefly on the statement and the question that was contained in there? Secretary Grossman.

MR. GROSSMAN: Sure. Congressman Obey, I can't compete either with 40 years of experience or with a good Durocher quote, so I'll just give that a pass. But I mean, listen, I think it's a good thing to be a skeptic in all of this, and one of the reasons that we have come here to have this conversation with you, is that all of us are taxpayers and all of us have a responsibility and we ought to ask all of these questions.

And the chairman started this hearing by saying we ought to be honest about all of these things and that's what we're trying to be. And I hope you appreciate that because we do have a hard job and we're trying to move our way through this in a way that's sensible for you and sensible for us.

You asked me three questions. First of all, when did I think the Colombians would double spending on their military? Only the Colombians can answer that question. I hope somebody's heard it from you here today. But one of the things that I would say, and I don't mean to sort of press this point, but I'll take my chance when I have it, is that if we could get this pipeline back into business and if we could get $500 million, $600 million a year of revenue back to the Colombian government, I think it might be a start on some of the things that they might be able to do.

Second, you asked me about the draft. As I tried to answer Ms. Lowey, we think in our conversation with the Colombians that they do need to do something to slim down some of these exemptions so that more people in Colombia take responsibility for fighting. And that's something that I know I've talked to the Colombian Ambassador about -- we'll continue to do so, and we'd like to see that happen as well.

And third, the question of self-sacrifice. I can't speak on behalf of the Colombian power elite -- Lord knows -- but what I can tell you, sir, is that there was a very big difference in the attitude between my trip to Colombia in August 2001 and my trip to Colombia in February of last year, and that attitude changed, I think, over September 11. And I don't know how this is going to come out and I don't know whether, you know, all of these things will happen on the right timetable, but when I went there last August everybody thought I was the enemy, everybody had questions for me, everybody was focused on all the things we were doing wrong.

But I must say, when I was there in February, people were much more purposeful in the need to deal with the terrorism problem, deal with the human rights problem and deal with their economic problem. So, I say, I -- you know, our job, all of us, it seems to me is to spend the taxpayers money sensibly and I don't want to get into an argument here, but I give you my, I give you my perspective back on your questions.

REP. OBEY: Well, I just -- my time is up but let me simply respond by saying this, a few years ago when I, after another round of reapportionment, I inherited a new county and a new city and I met with the Chamber of Commerce and the president of the Chamber of Commerce said to me, "Obey, what are you going to do for the city of Superior?" I said, "I'm not going to do a blessed thing for the city of Superior until Superior figures out what it wants to do for itself, what it wants to be."

And I pointed out that they were sitting there, trying to compete with Duluth. Duluth had 18 planners in the mayor's office. Superior had one half-time planner. I said, "To me it doesn't look like a real effort." That's changed somewhat since then but all I have got to say is if we're going to commit our resources and our effort and our prestige then we ought to do it after Colombia has demonstrated it's willing to belly-up to the line not beforehand. I don't believe in buying the meal until after I know what it's going to be and whether the other guy's got a decent chance of picking up the check.

REP. KOLBE: Thank you, Mr. Obey, and let me just say as the cup spins, this might be the year.


Mr. Lewis?

REP. JERRY LEWIS (R-CA): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Gentlemen, we very much appreciate your presence here today and I'd like to begin, Mr. Secretary, by getting some general response.

The Plan Colombia dollars involves $7.4 billion out of the United States that flows, or is in the process of flowing, some of it, a good deal of it's spent here in the United States for equipment et cetera, but could you kind of break that out in gross numbers for me as to how that money is being, or has been, spent, what percentages may very well go to the helicopters and equipment here in the United States and then from there I'm interested in getting a sense for what kind of oversight we have relative to the way that money is being used, that is, delivered in Colombia?

And I presume, Secretary Grossman, we should start with you, but I'm not really certain.

MR. GROSSMAN: If I could, Mr. Lewis, I'd be glad to start out and maybe ask General Speer to help me on the military side.

Let me take, kind of, the first and third of your points. Plan Colombia, of course, is a $7.4 billion plan of the Colombians to which we have pledged our support and I think, over the years, as I have said we have, you and the Congress have appropriated the money, and right now what we've done, just to give you the gross figures -- I mean in 2001 we had in counter-narcotics area $154 million, enacted overall $48 million for Colombia. FY 2002 $731 million of which $398 went to Colombia -- I'm sorry, that was the proposed, the enacted was $645, as the chairman said, and $380, I apologize. And then we've come to you with a supplemental of $35, which I tried to explain, is $25 and $6 and $4. And then our proposal for 2003 is $731 in the Andean counter-narcotics initiative and $439 of that would go to Colombia and $98 million of which then in FMF for the very first time for the Cano Limon pipeline.

I think the -- there are two questions here. One is whether we want to sustain our effort and I think we do; and secondly, whether the Colombians, as Congressman Obey said, are prepared to sustain their effort.

Two points I'd make on the Colombians past -- they really should speak for themselves -- but until now they've now spent, if I can get this number right, $426.5 million on social and institutional development and $2.6 billion since the beginning of Plan Colombia on infrastructure projects and increasing their own military capacity. And that's not a small amount of money, and we believe that they are on track to meet their commitment to what they signed up to do in Plan Colombia as well.

Take the third point, which is, how do we look after all this money. The first thing is we rely very much on the outstanding people we have who serve in the United States embassy in Bogot -- Anne Paterson and her crowd -- whether it is her military assistants, whether it is people who work in AID. The other thing is we have any number of reporting requirements, and properly so, to the Congress about the number of people we have, the way we're spending the money, certification is, as Congressman Lowey, said, and we in Washington, obviously, are trying to spend as much time and effort as possible to make sure the taxpayers money is spent properly. So it's a combination of those things.

I ask Gary Speer to talk a little bit about the military side.

GEN. SPEER: Thank you, sir. It's important to point out, first of all, there's a great misconception that the $1.3 billion of the 2000 supplemental was a military program. In reality the Colombian military directly benefited from only $183 million out of that $1.3 billion. Now, what we did with that money, the fundamental capstone was the training and equipping of the counter drug brigade, which included training and equipping three infantry battalions and a brigade headquarters. They became operational in December of 2000. The third battalion completed training in May of 2001. And it is that ground force that provided the security for the spraying operations in Cucuta and Putumayo departments of 59,000 hectares of coca and then that was the Department of State contract spraying.

Additionally, the helicopters are a big part of the program. The total helicopter package in Plan Colombia was $328 million. Where we are on that all 33 UH-1Ns which are being managed by the Department of State were operational as of December of 2000. All 14 of the Blackhawk helicopters for the Colombian Army have been delivered, were delivered between July and December of last year. The training for that is -- continues and will be concluded in July of this year. And we just delivered last month the first six of 25 Huey Two helicopters. There is a parallel training program for that aircraft as well.

Additionally, $180 million of that $1.3 billion went into -- let's call it "U.S. Military Support to Colombia" and this provided for the ISR aircraft that flew intelligence collection missions in support of counter-drug operations in Colombia. And then there was another $116 million for FOL upgrades predominantly in Manta, Ecuador but also Kurasel (ph) and design work in Kumbalapa (ph).

REP. LEWIS: All right. General, first I want you to know for the public record that I'm very proud of southern command and the job that you're doing within the region, specifically however, within this area there is a request for new authority that involves activity in -- narcotics problem that we have in Colombia. With the spreading thin of funding close so far, where do you anticipate the money's going to come from, the very forward activity regarding this broadened request for authority?

GEN. SPEER: Thank you, congressman. At least as I understand the language in the '02 supplemental proposal, the authority transition doesn't come with a bill to you. In other words what it means to me in addition to what Secretary Grossman said about the ability for the Colombians to use Colombian helicopters, not just for counter drug missions, but for any tactical mission, or the Colombians ability, Colombian Military to use the counter drug brigade in the Putumayo department which is the best trained and equipped brigade in the Colombian Army for any mission and not just a mission that starts out with a counter drug linkage. So that's what it means to them.

What it means to me is that right now, any intelligence collection mission I fly with counter drug funded assets, must be tied to an intelligence requirement that is counter drug specific or force protection for those participating in counter drug operations. So, without any additional funding what the authority would give us is the ability not to look at Colombia through a soda straw that defines counter drug, but to look at the FARC not only as a drug trafficker but to look at the FARC as a terrorist and to look as the FARC as an insurgent across the board. It also means from a maritime interdiction standpoint again, with the assets already provided, instead of just trying to interdict drugs leaving Colombia, we can look for the weapons going in that are fuelling the FARC. Those are just examples, sir.

REP. LEWIS: I yield my time.

REP. KOLBE: We'll come back for another round of questioning.

Next, Ms. Kilpatrick.

REP. CAROLYN C. KILPATRICK (D-MI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, gentlemen.

Continuing with Chairman Lewis' thought this extended authority gives me real queasiness for a lot of reasons that Congressman Obey already mentioned and some of the things that have been discussed today. General, you just went over, and in your own every day language I'm sure all of you all understood what you just said, as a former school teacher and now a congressperson who knows a whole lot about -- I should put that in -- knows a little about a whole lot of subjects, this is not one of my great ones, so you're going to have to break that down for me.

But the expanded authority that you're asking for in the legislation, and Mr. Grossman, I think you -- I was going to ask you until I heard what he just said, because you said you want to use the helicopters. Well, hell I want you to use the helicopters.

I'm just not sure I want to give the expanded authority. And I want to know if I could -- is there such a way that we can do what you just said, general, and allow you to do that. Expanded authorities means a whole lot of things. Expanded almost means no oversight from the Congress, number one, and that you can do anything you need to do, to get to what you got to get to, or what you've seen necessary to get to. Is there a way to crack that better than the language that's in front of me which gives you carte blanche everything. There may not be, you know, it's somewhere for letting use the helicopters to doing what the general said. Is this the only way that we can get to that?

MR. GROSSMAN: I'm sorry. Let me start an answer and then I think it's -- it also would be good if General Speer talked a little bit and as you said, in plain everyday language. I did too, but that's -- we're sick people though.


So far the answer to your question is 'no,' that the law is tightly drawn and you drew the law very tightly --

REP. KILPATRICK: To be tight, that was the intent.

MR. GROSSMAN: Absolutely right. And so, we've lived by the law and the law says, counter narcotics, counter narcotics, counter narcotics, nothing else but counter narcotics and we have lived by the law. And so we've looked at this any which way from Sunday and we cannot find a way other than breaking the law or as you all told us not to do, to stretch the law, to get this job done. And all of us have been sitting in the situation room at the White House talking about this pipeline, way before September 11th and we made a promise to ourselves that we were not going to fool around, we're not going to stretch the law. We were going to come up and say, here it is, let's debate it. Let's see whether people are prepared to do something different.

And I would say, Congresswoman, that our objective here is not to get carte blanche. Our objective is not to throw off all the restrictions. I think if we were interested in doing that we'd have come up to get rid of the Leahy restrictions and we don't want to do that.

REP. KILPATRICK: Okay, hold it, hold it, this woman gets five minutes and she's got sand running.


The provision would allow broader authority to provide assistance to Colombia to counter the unified cross cutting and then it goes on. Tell me what broader authority you need. Why can't we do that rather than say broader authority. I mean, you know -- you know this better than I. I'm trying to give it to you but without having you trample everyone's civil rights in this country and that.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I'm certainly not interested in trampling anybody's civil rights and as I say -- as I was trying to answer the question, you have -- you wrote the law in a very strict manner. And we're trying to live up to the law. And we will continue to live up to the law until the law's different. If we wanted broader authority we would have asked to get rid of the caps. We would have asked to get rid of the certifications. We would have asked to get rid of the vetting of units. But we don't want to do any of that. Vetting is one of the most useful and important things going.

REP. KILPATRICK: I -- we agree and we thank you for not asking for that, that would have been a little bit --

MR. GROSSMAN: Right. So the idea somehow that we kind of want to run rampage, and skirt the Congress and not listen to anybody anymore, I think's not right.

REP. KILPATRICK: So, you're saying the only way you can get to where you need to be to combat the violence and terrorism that you see, is to give it to you like I'm bread here, the broad stroke.

MR. GROSSMAN: That is our -- that is our conclusion and our proposition to you.

REP. KILPATRICK: I'd like to talk to you more on it as the supplemental goes --

MR. GROSSMAN: Any time, any time.

REP. KILPATRICK: -- there's got to be a better way. It's what over 12 million Colombians are African Colombians. Many feel that their crops have been taken and fumigated. Some livestock have been affected, some people have been affected. Not just with the African Colombians, but people throughout the country. Is the State Department using their own guidelines and law in this regard as well as they fumigate crops and move them across the country. Are there problems? Are you aware of them or am I the only one getting them?

MR. GROSSMAN: No, no, they're -- we hear lots of reports of problems. We hear lots of reports of people who feel that they have been hurt in some way. And I can tell you that our embassy in Bogot and Ann Paterson (sp) in particular has done all that she can to make sure that we investigate all those things. For example, last year she contracted with Colombia's sort of leading doctor in this area to review all of these cases. And they came up with not one --

REP. KILPATRICK: No, no, he's messed with my saying too --


MR. GROSSMAN: And they came really with not one case where the stuff we spray hurt any individuals. But there are reports, we try to follow them up. And one of the things that I promised to do, Congresswoman, when I was in Colombia in August was I said, look, let's just get to the bottom of this. Let's see if we can find a third-party to go out and look at all of these controversies and see what we're doing. And we're about to ask the Organization of American States to do this. We think that they'll have credibility in Colombia, they'll have credibility in the United States, and we look forward to their report, but we're very confident that this is a safe program.

REP. KILPATRICK: Okay, I'm got some real concerns there I'd like to work with you there.

And finally, Mr. Chairman, the 3.5 GDP that Colombia now put in is not enough. You know, you're asking us to put in more dollars and America's in a recession, although many say we're coming out of it, it's 16 percent production and the drug is still increasing. It's 90 percent of the cocaine still comes from there. I live in Detroit, urban America. We have problems that we can't get treatment under, and all the other money shifting away to the war on terrorism, which is taking everything, it's hard to -- I hope you can understand, it's hard to continue to do this, what we see as a failing effort as it relates to the people that we represent at home.

I don't know if you have a -- you have a job to do, but so do we. We have to represent to the very best of our ability. And somehow this is getting -- you know, not only taking more dollars than we can afford from our own treasury, but at the same time, many of us feel that Colombia is not doing their part in their military, which is lax, as well as losing more of their own dollars to combat the problem.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, that's a very important message that comes from you, and it's also a very important message that comes from us, the Colombians, so we appreciate it.

REP. KILPATRICK: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

REP. KOLBE: Thank you, Mr. Bonilla.

REP. HENRY BONILLA (R-TX): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Secretary, I want to talk about demand reduction efforts for just a second. I want to quote something from the March 2002 strategy report from the INL. It says:

The need for demand reduction is a fundamental and critical part of control in the illicit drug trade. Escalating drug use and abuse continue to take a devastating toll on the health, welfare, security and economic stability of all nations.

As a result, foreign countries increasingly request technical and other assistance. Our response has been comprehensive and balanced and -- comprehensive, balanced and coordinated response in which supply, control and demand reduction reinforce each other.

I read that because I want to point out that the budget for 2002 was $842 million, but only $5 million was allocated to drug demand reduction programs. This seems to be an obvious great disparity, and does not comply with the goal of -- the strategy report of comprehensive balanced and coordinated approach. The demand reduction program is one of few, if not the only program at INL that directly fosters the development of civil societies. You've seen first hand how effective drug demand reduction initiatives have been for the NGOs. As a matter of fact, INL evaluations have validated the success of positive outcomes of the program, yet demand reduction receives less than one half of one percent of the INL budget.

My question is, isn't this an obvious imbalance in allocating funds? Why is this such a disparity between the two goals?

MR. GROSSMAN: Sir, let me first of all commit to get a fuller response to you in writing, but I think the answer to your question is that the INL budget, of course, is basically focused on interdiction and eradication overseas. If I was here from the office of National Drug Control Policy I would think I would tell you we spend billions of dollars a year in the United States on demand reduction. And John Walters, who I think is doing a wonderful job as the new head of that, has talked about demand reduction. He's talked about treatment and interdiction. So this is all part of one whole.

So I hope you won't consider that because you look at this small part of our budget that we're not interested in demand reduction. In fact, President Bush, every time he talks to the foreign leaders, especially in Colombia, he says, "The first things we've got to do is we've got to kind of dampen the demand in the United States because it just sucks in all the things that we're doing."

So there's a huge amount of money being spent in the United States on demand reduction, perhaps just not in Randy Beers' (sp) budget.

REP. BONILLA: Well, that's what we -- this has been drawn to my attention, and I'm going to work very hard to try to create a more balanced approach on these dollars, because unless we discover something, and we've researched this quite a bit, otherwise this is a great imbalance here in the way these funds are allocated, so we'll be working on that.

I want to just ask a couple of other quick related questions on drug certification. Last year, when the secretary appeared before us, I talked about -- and I put some language in a bill because I raised concerns that the drug certification process was not exactly reflecting true reforms in what countries are actually doing to combat drugs in their particular countries. So there any efforts now planned for the near future to replace this ineffective certification process with a system of true accountability? I've talked about this for some time now, I've put some report language in the bill last year in the hope that we can see some progress on that.

MR. GROSSMAN: Would the chairman mind if I just asked Assistant Secretary Beers to answer that question so we can get an answer? Mr. Chairman, is that -- I don't know what the protocol is here but I can -- I'm sure Randy can answer that question of the congressman if you'd allow him to.

REP. KOLBE: Yes, we would, but ask him to step -- he needs to step up to the microphone and identify himself here so that we have it for the record.

MR. RAND BEERS: Sir, we --

REP. KOLBE: For the record identify yourself.

MR. BEERS: I'm sorry. I'm Rand Beers, the Assistant Secretary of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs with the State Department.

REP. KOLBE: Thank you.

MR. BEERS: With respect to the annual drug certification process, yes, sir, we did comply with the revised legislation this year. We did find it to be useful and an improvement over the previous legislation. We're in the process of putting together a final proposal to come back to you all with respect to where we ought to be going in the future. You all gave us only one year worth of this process so we owe you, and the secretary took a question in that regard in an earlier hearing.

REP. BONILLA: What's your projection for the time that we'll --

MR. BEERS: In the very near future, sir. We've been deliberating on that since the secretary took the question in the earlier hearing, so I anticipate in the next --

REP. BONILLA: Just to give me a -- I know you --

MR. BEERS: -- next couple of weeks. Two to four weeks, sir, we'll get back to you by then --

REP. BONILLA: Thank you very much

MR. BEERS: -- to the committee.

REP. BONILLA: Thank you. Thank you, Secretary Beers.

And finally, I just have a question that might seem like it has an obvious answer, but I just want to state for the record the tie-in in trying to promote trade packs, and how this can help the whole drug effort. One of the main focuses in our plan for Colombia is a fumigation of coca areas, a sustainable reduction of drug crop productions through alternative development. The U.S. has already engaged in about $9 billion bilateral trade with Colombia. However, would it not be an effective tool for President Bush to have trade promotion authority and the Andean Trade Preference Act?

Wouldn't this allow the president to move more effectively and quickly to offer Colombia and other countries in the region some alternative means of income for their farmers? And wouldn't that authority expedite USAID's five year goal of eliminating the production of over seven million acres of illicit crops? Again, I think this is -- there's an obvious answer here, but this is very important. Very important in tying it into this problem.

MR. BEERS: Yes, sir --

MR. GROSSMAN: That was a real hardball.


MR. BEERS: Okay. And I'm going to take the advantage to take in. Actually I made --

REP. KOLBE: Please. We do need to make it quick. We have to get on with it.

MR. BEERS: No, I made a mistake. In my -- you'll see in my prepared statement, congressman, a very strong endorsement of ATPA, a thank you to this committee and to the House for passing ATPA, and a call on the Senate to do the same. And I apologize, I took it out of my spoken statement to get the time down. I should have left it in there. We agree with you completely.

Thank you.

REP. KOLBE: Mr. Rothman?

REP. STEVEN ROTHMAN (D-NJ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'll be brief, I want to catch Director Ridge's testimony before another subcommittee that I have the pleasure of serving on. But I'd be interested to know what the Colombian officials say to you when you express to them, which I'm sure you have, that it's the view of many in this country that Colombia is not expending enough of its own resources to defend itself and its people from FARC.

What do they say to you as to why they're not spending more?

MR. GROSSMAN: The reason I hesitate is that I think I would have gotten a different answer than I got this year. Last year I think I'd have heard more, well, we're in a peace process maybe it will work out, this isn't so bad, we can handle this along with your support. But I must say, sir, as I tried to say probably not very well previously, September 11th had a big impact on Colombians I think in their psyche. And I believe that what happened on September 11th made it more possible for President Pastrana to take the decision he did on the 20th of February. I found people in Colombia much more purposeful the second time I was there, and I believe now that they are much more open to the kinds of conversation we've been having here that they need to do more.

REP. ROTHMAN: Forgive me and if you've covered this already, I apologize. But what evidence do you have or can you tell the subcommittee that would demonstrate your belief that they now have a new attitude about the necessity to spend a greater proportion of their resources on the threats that they face?

MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir. I think the most important evidence of that was the decision President Pastrana took to end the zone and to say finally that he wasn't getting anywhere with the FARC and that the peace process would end and that he was going to make the expense, not just in terms of money but effort and possibly also lives, to go in there and clean it up.

REP. ROTHMAN: Forgive me, but did he come up with a specific sum of money or an increase in percentage?

MR. GROSSMAN: Again, the Colombians should obviously speak for themselves, but I know that President Pastrana has recently proposed a considerable increase not only in the number of people who should be in the Colombian military, but also an extra $100 million in spending on the Colombian military.

REP. ROTHMAN: And what percentage of that -- how does that boost their percentage of spending relative to the GDP on defense?

MR. GROSSMAN: How it would raise the 3.5 percent I'm not sure. I'd be glad to get back to you, Mr. Rothman.

REP. ROTHMAN: It can't be a heck of a lot?

MR. GROSSMAN: No. I mean, I don't think $100 million would raise it that much.

REP. ROTHMAN: Therefore, from what you've told me today, I'm not overwhelmed with a sense that they yet feel the need to do much more than they're presently doing. And until I'm presented with evidence to the contrary, I'm going to be reluctant to want to do more from the U.S. taxpayers; notwithstanding the fact that I am otherwise extraordinarily sympathetic to your request to allow us not to look at them through -- as the general said, through the straw, but in our own self-interest to make -- put these terrorists out of business for our own self-interest, as well as for the interests of the people of that region. I would be otherwise be extraordinarily sympathetic to expanding your authority. But in terms of additional dollars, I'm concerned that expanding our authority -- or allowing you to expand your authority might of its own nature require additional expenditure, or additional requests for greater expenditures.

And I don't want to go down that road if Colombia is playing us for some suckers, or they're being irresponsible. I feel badly for the Colombian people if their own leaders are being so apparently -- I won't use that word. If their own leaders are not doing what they should to address the magnitude of this problem.

MR. GROSSMAN: Mr. Rothman, part of the challenge I think that we both have is -- and I don't mean to be colloquial here -- but kind of who goes first? And if you consider, for example, the report that General Speer gave you, we spent money training what is now the best military unit in Colombia. They go out and they knock over, over 800 narcotics labs in the last year. Does that show that they want to do more? I think it does. Would they have done this by themselves had we not had this training for them? Probably not. The Cano Limon pipeline, for example, they'd like to have the $500 million a year that now dribbles away because that pipeline is closed 226 days a year. But they can't do that, they can't make that extra effort that you seek until they've got a trained and sensible armed forces, which Gary Speer is going to do if you give him the money. So, you know, as someone said before, it is a complicated problem and --

(Cross talk.)

REP. ROTHMAN: Maybe I'm wrong, but if it were my country and I didn't have America to look to, I would spend, as Congressman Obey said, a far greater percentage than the three point whatever they're presently spending and not look to anybody else. Initially I would spend whatever it took: 100 percent or 200 percent of the budget to protect, with all these kidnappings and murders of government officials and regular folks on the street.

So it doesn't compute to me that they would withhold from making that effort, saying, "Well, we won't do it until America coughs up more money." It doesn't make -- it doesn't ring true to me and so I'm left with questions that, until they're answered, are going to prevent me from doing what I would otherwise be very sympathetic in allowing you folks to do. Again, I may ultimately end up supporting you because I want support our efforts in that region, for America's interests as well as for the interests of the Colombian people, and damn the Colombian elected officials if they can't do their job right. But it does inform me about how I want to treat and relate to the present Colombian leadership in the future.

MR. GROSSMAN: Just for the record, I just want to be clear that I don't want to be in a position of saying -- because I don't think I said -- that the Colombians won't do anything until we pony up. I think our objective here is to make sure that the lines intercept in the right way, so that Pastrana comes out, he proposes this plan for Colombia, the United States supports it. Colombians identify a military unit to train. Gary Speer does a great job training it. They go out and knock over --

REP. ROTHMAN: Mr. Secretary, I must say Colombian people are very smart people. I don't think they need us to tell them -- to suggest to them that they need to defend themselves, and that they probably could come up with their own ideas about how to protect the men, women and children whom they're supposed to be protecting. Anyway, I'm going to go and thank you.

REP. KOLBE: Mr. Kingston?

REP. JACK KINGSTON (D-GA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I do want to say for the record that I believe that our military spending is about three percent of GDP, and we're at war. So they're not, at three-and-a-half percent, exactly taking it lightly. Now, I believe that's approximately right, I'm a little loose with the numbers.

My question though, General Speer, you had testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, March 5, made a number of interesting statements about Ecuador and I'm just going to quote here and there: "Ecuador remains the country most vulnerable to any spillover effects from the narco terrorism." You made big points about, "Ecuador soldiers are inadequate. Seven thousand Ecuadorian soldiers on the border, but they need about 10,000." The ration is 12 Saltines and 15 grams of tuna, or a can of tuna, a day. They're paid the equivalent of $280 a month, which is actually less than the monthly wage for members of FARC."

So, you know, a lot of concerns here about Ecuador. And also you made some very good points about 12,000 Colombians fled to Ecuador in 2000 and 4,600 Colombians requested refuge status there.

My question is: how would you assess the threat to Ecuador and what can the United States do to help Ecuador?

GEN. SPEER: Thank you, Congressman. I gotta be honest and tell you I can't take credit for all of that, but it sounds right.

I still remain convinced that of the neighbors, Ecuador is probably the most susceptible to spillover from Colombia. We already see the FARC operating at will across the border into Ecuador. The Ecuadorians are taking steps in terms of reorganizing the Army, specifically the 19th Jungle Brigade in the division they have located in the north to try to focus on that area. As is the case throughout the Andean Ridge, the Ecuadorian military is under-resourced to do the security job that needs to be done to protect its borders from external threats, these transnational threats that move back and forth.

In the planned Colombia 2000 supplemental, it did include $20 million for Ecuador, of which $6 million of the 20 will actually go to the military. That will buy, in fact -- it will deliver a combination of communications equipment and some vehicles to give them some mobility. The fundamental problem, again, is a lack of mobility to really patrol the area. There has recently been a change in military leadership in Ecuador. Each of the services and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff equivalent. I'm very optimistic with the leadership change. They've still got the -- shall I say the gap in terms of being able to resource, whether it be from Ecuadorian sources or external support, the security force requirements they need for that northern border.

REP. KINGSTON: Mr. Franco, I have a question for you. I understand that Ecuador under the ARI did not receive the funds that they expected, and they got a disproportionate reduction -- or a proportionate reduction in the level of AID monies, as compared to other Andean countries. Can you explain that?

MR. FRANCO: Mr. Kingston, we're in the process currently of conducting a review of our program in Ecuador. In fact, just to tie on to what General Speer said, we're looking at the projects that we're carrying on along the border of the Putumayo River. We're concerned obviously, just as the General has said, about the spill over effect. Our program has been concentrated in that area, precisely for that reason.

However, there is a distinction and I alluded to this in my testimony, and that is unlike Putumayo on the other side of the river, where we see and I've tried to highlight this, security and other significant problems from a development standpoint -- really from every standpoint, governance rule of law issues and so forth. On the Ecuadorian side of the border which is a very similar terrain in every respect, including a lack of access to markets -- it's very difficult in Putumayo and Colombia to access other markets. In Ecuador, the Northern part of the country is also isolated. So they share similarities in almost every regard. The only difference I would say, from the standpoint of the development standpoint, is that we are able to carry out programs in Ecuador in a fashion that we're not able to do so in Putumayo.

That does not mean we're not concerned about -- just as the General has pointed out, the spillover effect in that area. That has led us, in terms of priorities and I'm not punting here, I'm new to the job. I've been on the job 60 days but we are conducting a review of the program. But initially I can tell you that our priorities were largely driven about putting resources in those areas where we saw the conflict to be the greatest. And in Northern Ecuador where our program is concentrated, from a development standpoint, the news is fairly good. In fact, I might add that the successful productive activities -- and infrastructure I should say -- infrastructure programs in Northern Ecuador are things that we look to replicate in Putumayo and Colombia. So I will review that aspect of it.

REP. KINGSTON: I appreciate that and I see I'm out of time, but given the General's testimony in March at the Senate Armed Services it does appear that it is a dire situation and it would be in our interest for you to review it.

MR. FRANCO: We're in the process of doing that, sir, and we'll get back to you on that.

REP. KINGSTON: Thank you.

REP. KOLBE: Thank you, Mr. Kingston.

We're joined today on the subcommittee dais by a member of the full committee, Mr. Sam Farr, who has a great deal of expertise in Colombia, having spent years there himself in the Peace Corps. We are pleased you are with us here today, Mr. Farr, for your questions.

REP. SAM FARR (D-CA): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I appreciate the invitation to sit on this panel. I'm not a member of this subcommittee, but I am really keenly interested in Colombia. As you said, I lived there as a member of the Peace Corps and while I was there my sister, my younger sister was killed in an accident and I've been sort of really involved in Colombia emotionally and politically ever since. And some of my best Colombian friends have all been killed in this on going violence.

I came here today, and it's in my written testimony, to sort of talk about the issues that I think committees like this always get into, which is the edges. Nobody talked about campesinos and spraying and pipelines and human rights and fair trade coffee.

But after hearing Mr. Obey and thinking of what we really need to do in Colombia, I'm just -- I've changed it and I'm going to say some things then ask just for a general questioner. I have three questions I want to ask and I'll just put them in my remarks.

I think we're going to hear a lot about the issues that I came here to talk about because in nine days there's going to be about thousands and thousands of people descending on Washington in a thing called Mobilization Colombia -- Colombia Mobilization, to essentially petition our government to get out of Colombia and we're going to be sitting here defending all these pieces of why we ought not to get out. I think what the American public believes is that we're not having any effect there. And I think the American public think we're not having an effect there because we, as political leaders, and the administration hasn't been very effective in communicating that the problem is not Colombia. The problem is an America problem.

It's drugs in North America and now drugs in Brazil and it's really a lack of leadership in the Americas. And I wouldn't say it's a lack of leadership on the American President's side. It's a lack of leadership in the presidents of Central America and Latin American countries to really recognize that this problem is a Latin American problem and Colombia is where it's focused. And I think we need to -- we need to insist that all the resources that we put in Latin America and any country, ought to be tied to those countries helping upgrade the democratic institutions in Colombia. If Colombia doesn't make it, they're not going to make it.

And I disagree with you. Ecuador is so poor and so rural that if the pressures that Ecuador had that Colombia has, they don't have the infrastructure, the government infrastructure. They don't have the way to respond as sophisticatedly as Colombia has been able to. It's just a matter of time before it squeezes into Ecuador, it squeezes into Venezuela, it squeezes into any other areas.

All of you on this panel, your titles of Under Secretary of State, of Secretary of Defense, of U.S. Southern Command, of the Administrator of Latin America are all about that region and my plea is that we need to -- we need to make that entire region supportive of what we need to do to upgrade democratic institutions and eradicate poverty and eradicate the drugs. I don't think we're going to do it by just coming here which I would have done, like everybody else in Colombia has to raise more revenue and commit to that. This is an election year in Colombia. No politician in America is going out and campaigning, saying I'm going to get elected on raising more taxes. And neither should we expect that anybody in Colombia is going to do that.

But if we don't support whatever -- who ever is going to get elected, if that next government has to come here and beg for our help and start all over again, we have lost this thing. So we have got to institutionalize the upgrading of these institutions greater than just trying to figure out whether we need to -- do crop eradication differently. I think we need to -- here's what I suggest needs to be done.

I think that Latin America needs to show it's support of Colombia and this administration needs to provide the leadership in doing that. And I suggest this administration very strongly indicate that all of the aid to Latin America will be tied to the success of all of those countries helping upgrade those institutions within Colombia.

I think you need to reschedule Secretary Powell's visit to Colombia, the visit that was cancelled after 9/11. I think Secretary Powell has to make it very, very clear to the Colombians that they've got to re- institutionalize a firewall between them and the paramilitaries.

This idea that we put in our legislation -- which I think is what ties us to just using all our equipment for narco suppression and not allowing the Colombian military to use this for other purposes which may be justified now. But nobody's going to buy it here in America, nor are they going to buy it until we see the Colombians being able to create a firewall that will really, in that country, work. Because I think they give -- I mean we read the polls. The Colombians are -- we would do it in this country. If we had a crime spree in any community, or in any state that was like Colombia, all you'd have to do is run on -- I'll use every force I can, I'll bring back the vigilante -- and people would support that.

So I can understand why the popularity for the paramilitary is going up because all these other institutions are failing. I think you need to take the money that we're doing for spraying and put it into economic development. The campesinos that I talk to in Putumayo, and I speak their language, told me, "if we sign those contracts, our lives are threatened." What the hell kind of an offer is that? You're going to offer them some money so that they can grow an alternative crop versus somebody offering, you sign the contract and you're dead.

We don't back it up. We can't protect those campesinos after they sign the contract. We think Colombians can. And we don't have any economic incentives. Why would you want to go where the government play in Colombia? Where are the schools, where are the roads, where is the infrastructure? People in America don't care just about the economics of our community, or their jobs. They care about the ability to have a quality of life, to send their kids to school, to get health care when they need it. That's the same for any campesino anywhere in the world. And we don't do enough to sort of develop that governance ability there.

So I think that you know, you're not going to find a great infrastructure in the jungles of Colombia and Putumayo or out in the Andes, but until we start improving the ability for Colombians to develop and deliver their institutions of democracy, which we all praise and why we're there in the first place, I don't think we're going to win this plan. I think David Obey is right. We are rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.

So my suggestion to you, and you said you wanted to listen to members of Congress, is one, engage all of Latin America in this and find some Latin American leadership outside of just Colombia itself. Because it's in their self interest as for playing Colombia. But it ought to be in the interests of all Latin America.

Secondly, since we sent Secretary Powell down there with very strong statements that this paramilitary process -- this (suspection ?) of theirs that there's collusion and all the reports that come back from all the human rights groups -- they're the ones that come back and report to members of Congress. So you can sell this committee that, you know, all of these details may be necessary but you can't sell it to the whole body out there, you know, trying to -- you can't even get them to come to a meeting on it and in ten days they're going to be listening to their constituents who are going to be here by the thousands telling them not to do any of the things you're asking today.

So, I think we have a real credibility problem that we've got to correct immediately and that's going to be done by addressing this a Latin American issue, not just as a Colombian issue.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. KOLBE: Well that was -- I think we'll just allow a couple of brief comments if you want to respond to that and then we'll have Mr. Callahan back to ask some questions.

MR. GROSSMAN: Sure. Mr. Farr, thank you very much. I don't know if we really want to respond so much as to say that I agree with practically everything that you said and I appreciate your points.

REP. FARR: Well, what are you going to do about it?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, let me -- I was just trying to be polite. Let me try to answer your question. First, I think in terms of bringing the hemisphere together, that is absolutely right, and one of the things that President Bush tried to do when they were in Quebec and put out this theme, as I tried in my testimony to do -- democracy, democracy, democracy, the rule of our human rights, prosperity and security is now a goal of the entire hemisphere. And I agree with you completely, that we need to do more in the countries around. We've had some success, actually a lot of success, with getting Mexico and it's new government better, more involved in Colombia and I was in Brazil a few weeks ago and they are also, I think, coming to recognize that how goes Colombia is going to go the whole area for 10 or 15 years.

The second thing -- I think that Secretary Powell would like to reschedule his visits. You know, we have kind of set this up, we designated the AUC as a foreign terrorist organization on 9th September and we wanted him to go there on 11th September to give that message precisely. I've tried to give it, General Shinseki,

General Speer tried to give it, but I know Secretary Powell would like to go back not to go back -- I think he needs to go, because I take your point, that may be he would do a better job in making this point. If I could just turn to Administrator Franco for a minute -- may be I'll turn to --

MR. FRANCO: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Mr. Farr I know about your Peace Corps experience in Colombia, your commitment to it. I know your staff was just recently in Colombia so I know you're expert in these issues.

I have to say you've laid out a lot of challenges before us. There's no disagreement that law enforcement of building institutions is a critical component and we talk a lot about alternative development and it's a key component, but our democracy program and good governance program is a large part of our program in Colombia and elsewhere in the Andean region, including Putumayo.

REP. FARR: How much are you putting into the rural economic development?

MR. FRANCO: The rural economic development is $56.6, $56.5 million of the --

REP. FARR: How much is the entire Plan Colombia commitment?

MR. FRANCO: How about the USAID portion?

REP. FARR: Yes. Well, what about --

MR. FRANCO: $104 million, of which $24 million is dedicated to the democracy programs in the '02 money that --

REP. FARR: My point is, that of the 13 -- the $1.3 billion -- that's a very small amount.

MR. FRANCO: Well, I wanted to get to another component where -- I'm being candid with you about crop substitution, you made a lot of points. I just wanted to start out with the law enforcement and the good governance.

We agree, and we're helping the government of Columbia in that regard. We're going to be in Putumayo. The secretary referenced the 18 cassas (ph) of astacia (ph) that we have supported and we're going to go to 40 by 2005.

Working with communities -- we agree in an integrated development approach. Two things you mentioned, Congressman Obey and Mrs. Lowey. Mrs. Lowey said this cannot be achieved in the short term. We agree. There's just -- this will take some time. It's a critical component. But, alternative development, and you know this, there isn't a crop, and this is not crop substitution, there isn't a crop that can compete with coca. There just isn't.

Therefore, we need to have that law enforcement. We need to have good governance. We need to work in that -- in a situation in a country in which security is just not present throughout the country. That's our challenge.

REP. FARR: You just buy Colombia coffee at a higher price.

You'd be better off.

Thank you. We've long over exceeded the time here. We'll come back if you'd like to ask some more questions. Mr. Callahan has rejoined us.

Mr. Callahan?

REP. SONNY CALLAHAN (R-AL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Ambassador. Good evening. Sorry I missed most of the testimony and questions. Some of it will be repetition and I apologize to you for that. I had another committee hearing that I have jurisdiction over that I must attend. But I did have jurisdiction over this committee when we aimed last year, or the president came to the Congress and asked me to spearhead the effort to participate in Plan Colombia.

Originally, it was proposed to us, the Congress, that our contribution this -- our contribution of $1.3 billion was part of a $7 billion world contribution, including $2 billion from Panama towards this effort. I guess my first question is, how much we put up our entire $1.3 billion, how much has the rest of the world provided on their commitment?

MR. GROSSMAN: Sir, I answered the question before. We have put up our commitment, thank you very much. I think the Europeans and others have put up practically nothing and we need to do more to get them there, but the Colombians themselves have spent, thanks for the reminder, $426.5 million on social and institutional development and $2.6 billion on Plan Colombia related infrastructure projects and improving the military. We think that's a substantial commitment and we think they're well on their way to meeting their part of the $7.4 billion.

REP. CALLAHAN: Why has not the European community provided? I mean, they are now complaining that these drugs are now moving vastly, or changing direction, not towards the European community. Why are they not participating?

MR. GROSSMAN: We have made the point to them, again and again, that they need to participate, and it was a little bit like I was trying to answer Mr. Rothman's question -- I have really seen a change, Mr. Chairman, in European attitudes since the 11th September. Before the 11th September it was hard to get some of our colleagues in Europe even to accept that the FARC and the AUC and ELN were narco- terrorist organizations. That's really changed since the 11th September.

I don't tell you we don't have some work to do, but I think we could use this change in attitude to get it done.

REP. CALLAHAN: What other nations other than European nations were part of the coalition to raise the $5 billion that was to be raised in addition to what the United States was putting up -- $4 billion I guess.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, there was a large number of countries. I represented the United States not two weeks after I took this job, at a conference in Brussels, to try to raise some of that money and I said at that time that if we had taken the salaries and all the money that was spent to bring that conference together and applied it to Plan Colombia we would have been better off, cause we didn't get any extra money out of that.

So, what I'm hoping is, and I commit to you is that we've got to use the change in attitudes after 11th September to build that money up. The truth is, though, that it's only the European Union that's got money and they need to be involved in this in a much bigger way.

REP. CALLAHAN: How about Japan?

MR. GROSSMAN: I know the Japanese were represented at that conference. I'll tell you the truth, we haven't been back to the Japanese since that time -- oh, I'm sorry -- and they're not on this list. I'd be glad to check.

REP. CALLAHAN: Well, you know, I'm just concerned, because my philosophy, when I chaired this committee and certainly it's the philosophy of most of the members is that we understand the constitutional role of the administration to engage in foreign policy and that the least interference from Congress you have the better you are able to perform that function effectively. And I certainly don't want, at this stage of my life, to jump in start now saying I'm not going to agree with giving this administration total support for their foreign policy, because I intend to do that.

But I don't want Colombia to turn into the Middle East of our contribution to foreign aid, and I'm afraid that's what's happened. We provided Colombia with more money than any other nation in this hemisphere -- now we're proposing another half a billion dollars towards that effort to resolve a problem that really as Nancy Palosey (sp) used to say, is our own problem, because we keep buying these drugs and creating the market and we have a big problem here.

But I don't want to turn this into a Middle East dependency which I'm afraid that that's where we're heading. I'm also concerned about the fact that the administration is not showing due respect and appreciation to Colombia for the effort that they have made in the total eradication of this problem and, I mean, Bolivia, and this total thing -- the very idea that we're going to tell Bolivia you're doing a good job so we're cutting you off, and we're going to reward the countries that are not making any progress whatsoever according to the figures that I've seen -- conflicting figures as to how many hectares have been reduced.

And the same thing with Ecuador. We don't want to just push this problem in Peru and Ecuador and back into Colombia, or even over to Africa, but here we are today, saying look, the $1.3 billion didn't work, now what you told the Congress or what the Japanese and Europeans told the Congress three or four years ago, they didn't keep their word, therefore come up with another $500 million and we'll go to work now trying to get them to fulfill the commitment that they've already given. So I -- I don't know what I'm going to do, Mr. Secretary, at this point with respect to the committee level and to floor level. But I will tell you that I am not at all satisfied with the progress that has been made, with the commitments that have broken, with respect to world involvement with the commitments that Colombia has not kept, with the progress that has been made and simply pouring another half-a-billion dollars in there, in my opinion, is not the correct solution.

Maybe I'm wrong, and probably I might be because you all are professionals and I respect that, I certainly respect you and your ability to negotiate and your ability and your mission, I respect that. And I respect the president, but we're talking about a lot of money going to a very small area that is making zero progress, that can show me nothing that has been accomplished with the 1.3 billion (dollars) that I spearheaded when I was chairman of this committee.

So, I apologize if my view is different from yours but I do respect your position and I certainly don't question your motive or your aims. Nor do I question anyone in the administration. But I just think we're turning Colombia into the new recipient of aid for this hemisphere when we have such tremendous needs for assistance to other nations in this hemisphere that we're totally neglecting. Not necessarily in drug interdiction but in economic situations that we are totally eliminating all of our -- not all of them, but most of our efforts to -- for human rights, for quality of life improvement, educational opportunities, or trade opportunities, we're neglecting and putting all of our moneys into a country such as Colombia that is not showing me any strong indication of being able to make any improvement in problem that they're creating for us.

MR. GROSSMAN: Mr. Callahan -- Chairman, I'd just like to respond in a couple of ways. One, Mr. Callahan, I made a mistake. Luckily there are smarter people behind me and so I want to apologize for mis- speaking. The Japanese actually have pledged $175 million into the general international fund, Spain $100 million, European Union 95 -- it falls off from there.

Maybe you'd allow me to send you this as an answer for the record so that you can get --

REP. CALLAHAN: -- thank you very much.

MR. GROSSMAN: -- and I'd like to then see kind of how people have met the --

REP. CALLAHAN: Excuse me, pledged?

MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir. That's what I say --


MR. GROSSMAN: Exactly.

REP. CALLAHAN: What's shown up?

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, that's what I've got to find out. See I have that -- I have all the pledges and then I got to make sure I've got all the --

REP. CALLAHAN: That was my point. I know what the pledges are.

MR. GROSSMAN: No, I understand.

REP. CALLAHAN: The pledges total four plus million -- billion dollars.

MR. GROSSMAN: Exactly.

(Cross talk.)

REP. KOLBE: Which is easy -- I'll make a pledge of a billion dollars to the -- this year, I don't think I'll be able to fulfill it.

MR. GROSSMAN: No, fair enough. But I'd like to -- I think we ought to -- but I think we ought to get the facts here. We ought to answer this question --

REP. CALLAHAN: -- because I don't want to go to the floor and fight the administration on something that I believe the heart's in the right place and certainly your aims are correct, your goals are absolutely noble. I don't question that at all.


REP. CALLAHAN: But we're talking about a half-a-billion dollars and we're -- if we're talking about that for foreign assistance. Now, I had the same problem with the Clinton Administration with Haiti.

Finally, they gave up on Haiti when they saw there was no way to make any progress in that country, they almost gave -- they stopped pumping money into Haiti and I think it's time that we looked at the possibility of, if we're talking about $500 million of diverting this to some countries that are showing progress and that do have true economic and social needs that we could really make some improvements in these countries. And then at the same time beef up the coast guard and beef up the DEA and all of these agencies which I visited this weekend that are fighting this battle, this war, of drugs departing Colombia, both on the Pacific side and the Atlantic or the Gulf side, coming to the United States.

In any event, Mr. Ambassador, I hope that you don't think this is any criticism of you because I have great respect for you and all of you and what you're doing. But at the same time we do have an obligation that we must look at how we're going to distribute the money. You see the question is not -- whether or not we're willing to give you the 500 million (dollars) but whether some of it ought to be spent in Ecuador, some in Bolivia, some in other South American nations to help them in real crisis situation.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, I appreciate what you say in terms of motivation because I think we all have the same motivation. I would say and if -- I know Chairman Kolbe would like to finish this, a longer conversation, but I tried in my statement and I'd like to come talk to you about it some more. I think actually we can demonstrate some real progress since July of 2000 in Plan Colombia. Is it as much as we'd all like? No. But I think there is real progress to be demonstrated and I'd like some day to comment and visit with you about that.

The other point I'd like to pick up is your point about human rights and trade. I think that's exactly right. But one of the things, and perhaps Congressman Farr is right, that we've not done nearly good enough a job, is making people understand that your vote for Plan Colombia and all the support we give for Plan Colombia is not just military. We do have a trade component. There is a human rights component and in a way of the 11 things I listed here today, in terms of things that I think we've got done, the majority of those are on the democracy side. The majority of those are on the human rights side and I think we've got some things to be proud of.

And on the trade side I couldn't agree more with Congressman Bonilla, we really appreciate the fact that the House has passed ATPA and we call on the Senate to do so.

REP. CALLAHAN: Well, once again no reflection on the professionalism of any of you guys because I think you're new on the job to an extent -- although you're not real new on the job -- you're new on -- in this administration, is a new administration and I want to help. But at the same time I want to give you constructive advice. I don't want to just block it -- not that I could, but I could certainly stand on the floor and suggest to my colleagues that maybe the money is not spent wisely, but I hope we don't reach that position.

REP. KOLBE: Thank you. Mr. Lewis has been waiting patiently for second round questioning.

Mr. Lewis?

REP. LEWIS: Mr. Chairman, thank you for your courtesy very much.

Nine eleven, did an awful lot here at home in terms of Americans resolve, a totally non partisan response to the fact that we needed to be together fighting a thing called terrorism of -- including going to Afghanistan and other places and identifying leadership people especially within a thing called Al-Qaeda, and either making efforts to capture or kill sizeable numbers of people, almost beyond the former psyche of the American public's view of the way we should operate in the world.

In Colombia when you have a combination of pipeline $500 billion loss, the capital of the world in terms of people who have been kidnapped, I'm not sure how many kidnapped and killed, but nonetheless almost a 9/11 certainly for that country's circumstance. I'd like to know what I don't know about Colombia's policies, what they are doing to coordinate intelligence activities with information activities, with military activities and otherwise, to identify the leadership -- hard for me to separate narcotics, development, trade, et cetera from terrorism. Hard for me anyway.

What are they doing about identifying who the leaders are in the three organizations, but mostly the FARC, and either capturing or killing in sizeable numbers? If you send a serious enough message and then you combine that with saying to the farmers, we're sorry, we're going to eliminate one way or another this growth, even if we haven't been able to substitute crops, we're going to eliminate this growth. I'm talking about some very hard lines here. What is the thinking in Colombia about that kind of hard line?

MR. GROSSMAN: Let me start and then maybe General Speer can help me as well.

I think 9/11, as I tried to tell some of your other colleagues, had a big impact on Colombia as well. And I believe, Congressman Lewis, that had there not been 9/11, I doubt President Pastrana would have taken what I consider to be a courageous decision, that he took on the 20th February and the peace process and deal in his own way with the FARC. I think that's a product of his own frustration but also a product of 9/11. Both General Speer and I have talked a lot to the Colombians about the need for them to bring together in an integrated way a real plan that has to do with their security, their information activities, their intelligence activities, all of these things to get on top of this program.

And when we were there together we had dinner with President Pastrana in February and I think that's something that he understands that they need to do and there's work going on to do it. We also took the occasion, General Speer and I, to make those same points to the three leading presidential candidates as well.

Maybe I'll just let Gary Speer talk for a moment about his perspective on this.

GEN. SPEER: Thank you, sir.

One of the things that probably hasn't hit the press that I can report to you, first of all I think the Colombian military and the Colombian police leadership, through their intelligence efforts, have pretty good visibility on who the leaders are in each of the three organizations, and at least within the FARC, a pretty good idea as to the general areas that they're located in.

Now, in terms of that seems real simple, why don't you go out and do something about it kind, which is the next question, I'm talking about general areas as opposed to specifically where now the results since 20 February. There have been several, and fortunately in this forum I'd by happy to provide you with something for the record. Several FARC front leaders that have been either killed or captured based on focusing on leadership of FARC fronts. What the Colombian military did on 20 February is, the first thing, the Air Force attacked known FARC infrastructure inside the Despeje, where there were no civilian population centers.

The second thing that they did is they moved in very deliberately to secure the five major cities within the Despeje at an effort to minimize the chance of civilian casualties. And now I think their focus is shifted toward trying to get into leadership, because what the FARC has done in the meantime is avoid contact with the Colombian military. They've broken into small groups and kind of gone back into the jungle, and instead of focusing on the Colombian military they're using explosive tactics, and that's just trying to interdict the power pylons, telephone towers and things of that nature. So I think there is some progress in that area.

REP. LEWIS: Well, it certainly strikes me that we identified 2,000 people within Al-Qaeda that we wanted captured or killed because of the international threat of terrorism. Someone did that at Colombia and they aggressively -- you get to about the top three levels and pretty soon things are going to change without any question. So I would hope, Mr. Ambassador, and General, you could come and maybe talk to me in circumstances where we can talk off the record about that.

Mr. Chairman, I was going to ask a question about building a balanced, talented, capable military in Colombia, extending it over time, and ask for comments about FMF and IMET, but I'm afraid the audience I was going to ask the question about that for is missing from the room. So in the meantime, anything you want to add for the record by way of my questions or otherwise I'd appreciate. Did I make that point clear enough or was it too esoteric?

REP. KOLBE: I think we understand.

Mr. Callahan has one more question.

REP. CALLAHAN: Two questions. I think they've already been asked, I think Mr. Franco and General Speer, with respect to the ARI and Ecuador. That's already been asked, I think, and I'll read that for the record. And also your assessment of the threat to Ecuador. That's already been asked and I'll read it for the record.

But let me just forewarn you and the chairman and the members of this subcommittee of something else, and also to the Colombian officials that might be present here today. What I ran into when I went to Ecuador -- I mean Colombia, and I talked about this, $1.3 billion for Colombia. I got all of the heads of all of the armies that were on our side. I got the Navy there, the Army there and the police chief there and the president in one room, and we had a sit down agreement, and this was what they needed, $1.3 billion, and there was not going to be any independent lobbying to Congress from these branches of government in Colombia only to find out two weeks later that the police chief and the head of the Navy were up here in Washington lobbying for funds for their own jurisdiction.

And President Pastrana got to realize that -- got to emphasize to these people that he is the president and he is the one that we are responding to if we respond, and that we can't tolerate them going behind the president's back, individually lobbying members of Congress to try to disrupt what the president of Colombia is trying to do. So let me forewarn you to tell President Pastrana that he ought to make certain that he reemphasizes. Tell him last time in the last two weeks, tell him to reemphasize it a little stronger, and maybe he'll keep the chairman from having a lot of problems when members who are being lobbied by these people start saying this money ought to be earmarked accordingly, so that's something this hearing is for.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. KOLBE: Thank you, Mr. Callahan.

I realize we've gone beyond the time we thought we would go and I have some questions I think we'll probably put on the record but I'm just going to ask a couple here very quickly.

One, Mr. Franco, about the Gersony Report that I spoke of in my opening remarks about, that deals with the eradication alternative developments, a pretty bleak picture that it paints in the Putumayo region. I know this is classified as confidential so I'm only referring to findings that have already been reported in the press, specifically the LA Times and the New York Times.

But basically the conclusion is that based on the last two years, security is really the key and you're not going to have alternate development that's going to work in an area where the AU or -- the AUC or the FARC are in control. So my question to you is, what impact has the security situation or the deteriorated -- or at least not improved security situation, has that had on USAID's alternative development program in Colombia?

MR. FRANCO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

You're absolutely right that we did commission a report and it is classified, and I wanted to say at the outset it's one of many sources that we use. It's not the only source that we rely upon as we assess the situation in Putumayo and elsewhere in Colombia. The situation there has deteriorated. Our program, as I mentioned in my testimony, is only nine months old, and that's why I, at the outset, wanted to make very clear that I think it's important for all of us to understand that development is a very long-term commitment. That doesn't mean that when we run into obstacles, as we have in Putumayo because of the security situation that has deteriorated, that we don't, respective of the long-term process involved, take stock on this and make adjustments accordingly.

So what we have done, and what we are ongoing process on this, is to look at alternatives that address some of Mr. Farr's concerns that have to do with good governance and rule of law in areas where we, (A) can work, in Putumayo and other places in southern Colombia, turn to alternatives beyond the small farmer focus of the initial program. Not abandoning that, though. We are working with farmers currently in the region, irrespective of the security problems to do voluntary eradication, and we've had some success in this regard. But we are looking for infrastructure development and other alternatives that are non agricultural in nature, and I will say securities are at the top of the list, but there are other concerns, marketing concerns.

I brought a little prop. It's a can of hearts of palm that's being produced in Putumayo currently with our assistance, and marketed in Bogot. So there are things that we can do and are doing and will continue to do.

REP. KOLBE: I got a can of that last year when I was down there.


Mr. Franco, though, just to follow that up, I think as I understand it you've kind of revised your strategy so that the -- your alternative development strategy now relies not on individual farmers but more on getting the entire community involved.

But the question still is with the security situation, how is that going to be any more effective?

MR. FRANCO: Well, the security situation is a problem, but we are able -- and I want to make this very clear. We're not abandoning Putumayo, we're able to -- we are working in Putumayo and we intend to continue to work there. We need to assess the degree in the types of projects in the areas in which we work, and that is an ongoing process. But we're not abandoning Putumayo, we just want to underscore that. As the securities situation, if it were to worsen then we would take stock. But at the current time, we don't think it's an impediment to carry out projects such as the hearts of palm projects and other infrastructure that we have planned in Putumayo and elsewhere in southern Colombia.

REP. KOLBE: Well, I just hope that the security situation allows you to carry this out. I sense that that's the big problem, the big question.

MR. FRANCO: It is the big question. It's something that we look at repeatedly and my assessments, conversations with the mission, with the embassy. Of course we coordinate. We don't dictate from Washington. And people on the ground is that we can carry out some of these infrastructural problems we -- projects. We're looking to establish a cassarustici (ph) in Poytrasese and Putumayo, so there are things we can do. We don't want to abandon the region. And it is an issue, I don't want to minimize it. I just think it's important to put it in the context of expectations of very rapid developments in light of the security problems are going to be something that's going to take some time for us to see the fruits of our investments.

REP. KOLBE: A final question for Secretary Grossman. The 2003 budget request has -- from the president's $480 million for anti- narcotics funding, $98 million of which is for Colombian military assistance, the supplemental language -- the language in the supplemental request specifically includes 2003 funds, which is kind of interesting as it includes funds that haven't been appropriated.

But my question is does this supplemental change the 2003 request in any way? Specifically, is there going to be a change in the amount that is requested for counter -- of the allocation of those funds for counter-narcotics, for alternative development, for counter-terrorism, for Colombian national security purposes? None of that has changed. I see Speer nod or his shaking his head. None of that has been changed in the 2003 budget request by this supplemental. Is that right?

MR. GROSSMAN: That's correct.

REP. KOLBE: So you have a supplemental that's over here but a development or a 2003 budget request that was prepared before or earlier and that's not been altered by the changed circumstances.

MR. GROSSMAN: Well, to answer your question is that a supplemental in this case from our perspective really was a supplemental. I mean, that $35 million was not money we were able to get in to the budget the first time around. I mean, for example, the $4 million on building police stations or the $6 million for the pipeline to move forward, the $25 million for kidnapping, are not things that made the cut the first time around inside the administration. It didn't make it up to the Congress. So when there was an opportunity to have a supplemental, all the people who were working on it --

REP. KOLBE: But my point is, the language you've got in the proposed supplemental in Fiscal Year 2002 and 2003 "funds shall be made available," and you've just told me you're not making any change though to 2003.

MR. GROSSMAN: Not in the levels, no. Not in the levels.

REP. KOLBE: Not in levels. You just told me also not in the uses.


REP. KOLBE: Or the distribution.

MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir.

REP. KOLBE: So why bother to have 2003 included in the supplemental? Why not just say in Fiscal Year 2002 funds available?


REP. KOLBE: I think I hear a chorus --

(Cross talk.)

MR. GROSSMAN: I actually can answer this question, and that is because, like the helicopters that are on the ground now -- if there were helicopters, for example, in the Cano Limon pipeline project, which there are, and if you all decide that we can go ahead with that in FMF and if there is a terrorist threat, we'd like to be able to use those helicopters as well.

REP. KOLBE: But that is not going to change the allocation.

MR. GROSSMAN: No, sir. No, sir.


I want to thank all of our participants here for their statements and for their participation here today.

We'll leave the record open if there's any subsequent statements that need to be made in response to questions, or other questions that will be submitted by the members of the committee, we will do so.

But I thank you. I think this has been very enlightening and I think it's the first step in a very long process that we have of considering how we're going to proceed and we thank you all very much.

The subcommittee will stand adjourned.

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