from transcript, Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on
"Overview of Foreign Policy Issues and Budget," March 8, 2001
OF HON. COLIN L. POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE
In addition to what
I have already highlighted with respect to the money for the Andean region,
you know that much of that money is directed at Plan Colombia.
We are asking for
money to continue and expand programs begun with the 1.3 billion dollar
emergency supplemental in FY 2000.
Colombia is the source
or transit point of 90 percent of the cocaine and over 50 percent of the
heroin that arrives in America. Those percentages are increasing, by the
such as Bolivia and Peru, have conducted effective coca eradication programs,
but maintaining their successes will require vigilance and U.S. support.
The Bush administration
believes strongly that any successful counterdrug strategy in the region
must include funding to bring greater economic and political stability
to the region and a peaceful resolution to Colombia's internal conflict.
We must capitalize
on the ground work of programs funded thus far, including the expansion
of Andean eradication and interdiction programs, sustained alternative
development programs, and continued attention to justice and government
In addition, the
President's budget requests funding for Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, and
Panama, to strengthen their efforts to control drug production and the
drug trade. Our efforts must be regional in scope and this money keeps
Senator Hagel. Thank
you. Let me ask a broader question with my last few seconds about the
South American situation in a specific area, the Andean countries. A number
of my colleagues and I have just recently visited Colombia and Ecuador.
These are complicated problems, issues, dynamics. Regarding Plan Colombia,
I support Plan Colombia. Could you reflect on that a bit as to where you
are, the position of the President on that part of the world, what we
can look for from you in further support, and further action regarding
We of course support Plan Colombia, and I think there has been some degree
of success in the destruction of some of the crops in the Putumayo Valley,
so we will continue to support Plan Colombia.
But we feel just
as strongly that you cannot deal with a problem in one place without it
spreading to other parts of the region, so in subsequent years we will
be talking about an Andean strategy, and there is money in the budget
for that Andean strategy.
We will be talking
about how the Free Trade Association of The Americas plays into this,
how Andean trade preference extension plays into all of this, so we will
try to come up with a comprehensive strategy that deals with the whole
region, and not just singularly focusing on Plan Colombia.
Senator Hagel. Thank
Senator Thomas. A
total of 40,000. What was the dollars in Colombia? There were some commitments
last year to billions of dollars. Where are we on that?
A total of $1.3 billion was the U.S. contribution to Plan Colombia, a
roughly $7 billion program, the rest of the money being made up by European
contributors, as well as Colombia's own contribution of a little--close
to $3 billion to the effort. Ours was principally for the helicopters,
and the training for the helicopters.
Senator Thomas. So
there was a $7 billion effort?
The overall program was intended to be 7 or 7\1/2\, as I recall.
Senator Thomas. Have
the participants contributed all that money?
No. There has been a shortfall, so far, with the European contribution,
and the Colombians are still striving to make the contribution they promised
to the program.
Submitted for the Record
RESPONSES OF SECRETARY
OF STATE COLIN POWELL TO ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS
FOR THE RECORD SUBMITTED
BY SENATOR JESSE HELMS
ANDEAN REGION: PLANS
Question. How will
the Bush Administration assist all of our allies in the Andean region--not
just Colombia--to prevent a return of illegal drug cultivation and to
bolster their weak democratic governments?
Answer. We are developing
a coordinated assistance plan for the entire region, including Bolivia,
Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela, to prevent traffickers
from simply shifting operations in reaction to Plan Colombia and to help
these countries deal with varied threats. This initiative recognizes that
the problems confronting the Andean region--threats to democracy, weak
economies and narcotics trafficking--are linked and must be addressed
in a coordinated manner. Sluggish economies produce political unrest that
threatens democracy and provides ready manpower for traffickers and illegal
armed groups. Weak institutions, corruption and political instability
discourage investment, contribute to slow growth and provide fertile ground
for traffickers and outlaw groups. The drug trade has a corrupting influence
that undermines democratic institutions, fuels illegal armed groups, and
distorts the economy, discouraging legitimate investment. None of the
region's problems can be addressed in isolation. All need to be addressed
comprehensively, and be accompanied by appropriate public diplomacy initiatives,
to advance our goals in the region.
ANDEAN AND DRUG
Question 1. What
are your views on President Pastrana's current strategy of engaging Colombia's
narco-terrorists by granting them large tracts of land in exchange for
peace? Should the United States support an unpopular, unsustainable policy
that grants safe-havens to the narco- terrorists, allowing them to expand
their drug production and other illicit activities with virtual impunity?
Answer. We have
fully supported President Pastrana's efforts to negotiate a solution to
the Colombian conflict. We share President Pastrana's assessment that
Colombia's problems cannot be effectively resolved while illegal armed
combatants continue to wreak havoc upon Colombians and that Colombia's
civil strife cannot be won by military means.
With respect to the
advisability of the FARC demilitarized zone (``despeje'') or of the proposed
ELN demilitarized zone (``encounter zone''), we have deferred to the Colombian
Government on the utility of these specific mechanisms to advance peace
discussions. Fundamentally, the management of the Colombian peace process
is something to be negotiated between the Government of Colombia and the
illegal armed groups.
will not support any Colombian peace agreement that would impede our ability
to conduct counternarcotics operations in Colombia. We have told the Government
of Colombia that our support for the Colombian peace process is contingent
on whether it satisfactorily addresses our counternarcotics concerns.
To date, the existence of the FARC ``despeje'' has not interfered with
our counternarcotics efforts in Colombia, including our support of the
ambitious Plan Colombia strategy in southern Colombia.
Question 2. As you
know, the mycoherbicide technology is a promising new tool designed to
reduce the cultivation and supply of illicit narcotic crops. Do you support
the immediate testing, and possible deployment, of the mycoherbicide technology
Answer. The United
States government has supported research towards controlling the cultivation
of illicit narcotic crops for many years. Using funds appropriated by
Congress in 1990, USDA developed a proof of concept on the use of biological
control agents to control illicit crops, particularly coca. The Department,
after consulting with USDA, concluded that this would require conducting
limited field tests in the ``target'', i.e. foreign, environment where
the illicit drug crops are actually grown. The Colombian Government and
the U.N. International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) are discussing potential
cooperation to conduct these field tests, which are essential to developing
definitive data on the safety and efficacy of these mycoherbicides in
their intended environment. Testing in Colombia will proceed only with
the full cooperation and approval of the Colombian Government. This approval
has not yet been granted, pending the completion of an acceptable research
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