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Last Updated:6/25/00
Speech by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California), June 22, 2000
Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, after I make just an opening remark, I will yield 5 minutes to my distinguished colleague from Vermont.

I am offering an amendment which is completely consistent with the Department of Defense guidelines on the activities of their own personnel in Colombia. It actually says that we support these guidelines, we think it is good to put limits on our involvement, and we should express ourselves on that point.

The first part of the amendment supports the prohibition of the DOD using its personnel, equipment, or other resources to get involved in the counterinsurgency; in other words, to get involved in what some call the civil war between the left and the right in that country.

Again, written by the Secretary of Defense in March 2000:

[Page: S5614]
I am directing that no DOD personnel, funds, equipment, or resources may be used to support any training program that engages solely in counterinsurgency operations.

That supports that DOD guideline.

The same thing occurs on the second part of my amendment; that we support the fact they shouldn't be involved, our own personnel, in law enforcement activities in Colombia. Again, that mirrors the position of our Secretary of Defense.

The third part of the amendment says we agree with the Secretaries that our personnel shouldn't conduct any counterdrug field operation in which counterdrug-related hostilities are imminent. That is to protect our people from harm.

Finally, we say we agree with the Secretary of Defense that U.S. military personnel should make every effort to minimize the possibility of confrontations with civilians.

Clearly, what we should do here is support our own Secretary of Defense and our own administration. I don't think it should be controversial.

I am hopeful it can be accepted because I believe we ought to go on record in support of these limits. I think it is sensible. I think the DOD is correct on this.

Yesterday, we voted millions and millions of dollars to send advisers. I think it would be wonderful if we stood with our own DOD and said there ought to be limits on the participation of our own personnel.

I yield 5 minutes to my friend from Vermont.

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