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Last Updated:12/9/00
U.S. Government Strategy Report required by Sec. 3202 of the Colombia Aid Package Law, October 26, 2000

Report On U.S. Policy And Strategy Regarding Counterdrug
Assistance To Colombia And Neighboring Countries

In accordance with Section 3202 of the Military Construction Appropriations Act, 2001 (Public Law 106-246)

October 26, 2000

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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release October 26, 2000

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE COMMITTEES ON APPROPRIATIONS, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

October 26, 2000

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I hereby report, in accordance with section 3202 of the Military Construction Appropriations Act, 2001, on current U.S. policy and strategy for counterdrug assistance to Colombia and neighboring countries.

The enclosed report sets forth the rationale for expanded support to Colombia and neighboring countries and highlights the comprehensive initiatives now underway in the Andean region in support of the National Drug Control Strategy.

Colombia's success in combating the threat of drugs is profoundly in the interest of the United States. A peaceful, democratic, and economically prosperous Colombia will result in a significant reduction of the supply of illicit drugs and help promote democracy and stability throughout the hemisphere. I am proud of the bipartisan effort that has made our Colombian initiative possible.

Sincerely,

WILLIAM J. CLINTON


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IV. B. Regional Strategy (Section 3202)

Within 60 days of the law's enactment (September 11, 2000), the President must submit a report to Congress on the United States' current policy and strategy for its counternarcotics assistance for Colombia and its neighbors. This report must address:

1. The key objectives of the United States' counternarcotics strategy in the Andean region, including a detailed description of the benchmarks that will be used to measure progress toward these objectives;

2. The actions the United States must take to support and achieve these objectives, including a schedule and cost estimates;

3. The U.S. role in the Colombian government's efforts to deal with illegal drug production;

4. The U.S. role in the Colombian government's efforts to deal with guerrilla insurgencies and paramilitary groups;

5. How the Colombia strategy relates to and affects the United States' strategy in Colombia's neighbors;

6. How the Colombia strategy relates to and affects the United States' strategy for fulfilling counternarcotics goals worldwide;

7. The United States' strategy and schedule for supporting the efforts of Colombia and its neighbors to defend the rule of law and to impede the cultivation, production, smuggling, and sales of drugs; and the schedule for making Forward Operating Locations (FOLs) fully operational, including cost estimates, a description of each FOL's potential capabilities, and an explanation of how FOLs fit into the overall anti-drug strategy. (FOLs are arrangements that allow U.S. military personnel to use foreign airports to conduct anti-drug surveillance and intelligence flights. Three such locations exist or are being established: Manta, Ecuador; Aruba and Curacao; and Comalapa, El Salvador.)

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Report On U.S. Policy And Strategy Regarding Counternarcotics Assistance for Colombia And Neighboring Countries

I. INTRODUCTION

This report is in compliance with Section 3202 of the Military Construction Appropriations Act of 2001 which states that the President submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, and the Committee on International Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, a report on current U.S. policy and strategy regarding U.S. counternarcotics assistance for Colombia and neighboring countries. In addition to addressing the eight elements identified in Section 3202 of the Act, this report also provides background useful to understanding the reasons for expanded support to Colombia and neighboring countries. The report reviews the comprehensive initiatives now underway in the Andean region in support of Goal 5 of the National Drug Control Strategy: Break Foreign and Domestic Drug Sources of Supply.

II. CONTEXT

1. Coca Cultivation and Cocaine Production Data

The final 1999 coca cultivation and potential cocaine production estimates for the Andean Region released by the CIA' S Crime and Narcotics Center (CNC) show progress in attacking the cocaine trade. Overall Andean net coca cultivation declined to 183,000 hectares in 1999, 4 percent less than the 1998 figure, and 15 percent less than in 1995. Potential global cocaine production fell to 765 metric tons, a drop of 7 percent from the 1998 figure, and an 18 percent drop since 1995. Although the overall coca cultivation trends are positive, this data confirms that there has been a major shift of coca cultivation from Peru and Bolivia to territory dominated by guerrillas and illegal mercenaries in Colombia.

ANDEAN POTENTIAL COCAINE PRODUCTION
(Metric Tons)

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
Peru
460
435
325
240
175
Bolivia
240
215
200
150
70
Colombia
230
300
350
435
520
Totals
930
950
875
825
765

ANDEAN COCA CULTIVATION
(Hectares)

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
Peru
115,300
94,400
68,800
51,000
38,700
Bolivia
48,600
48,100
45,800
38,000
21,800
Colombia
50,900
67,200
79,500
101,800
122,500
Totals
214,800
209,700
194,100
190,800
183,000

2. U.S. Interests

The ongoing, multiple and inter-related crises in Colombia directly affect a broad range of U.S. national interests. Among these are: disrupting the supply of cocaine and heroin that flows into the United States, supporting democratic government and rule of law in Colombia and the region, promoting adherence to human rights norms, advancing efforts to reach a negotiated settlement to Colombia's long-running internal conflict, maintaining regional stability, and promoting legitimate trade arid investment. U.S. financial, technical, and political support is essential if we hope to avoid allowing Colombia's inter-related crisis to affect our nation adversely, and to undermine democracy and stability in Colombia and the region in the near term.

Rapidly expanding cocaine and heroin production in Colombia constitutes a threat to U.S. national security and the well-being of our citizens. Ninety percent of the cocaine entering the United States originates in or passes through Colombia. The cultivation of opium poppies in Colombia has expanded from almost nothing in 1990 to some 7,500 hectares now, producing nearly 8 metric tons of high purity heroin -- enough to meet over half of the U.S. demand. Rising global demand for cocaine will continue to undermine peace and democracy in Colombia even as our own demand for cocaine continues to abate.

Despite an aggressive aerial drug eradication campaign, Colombian cultivation of coca, the raw material for cocaine, has more than tripled since 1992. Most of this expansion occurred in guerrilla-dominated southern Colombia which was beyond the reach of the government's aerial eradication campaign. The figures for 1999 indicate that the number of hectares of coca under cultivation in Colombia and the amount of cocaine produced from those crops continue to increase dramatically. Colombian coca cultivation rose 20 percent to 122,500 hectares in 1999; there was a corresponding 20 percent increase in potential cocaine production to 520 metric tons. Left unchecked, these increases in drug cultivation and production in Colombia will reverse gains achieved over the last four years in Peru and Bolivia. Continued expansion of drug production in Colombia will likely result in more drugs available for shipment to the United States and to an expanding population of drug abusers in Europe and Latin America.

3. Changes in Drug Trafficking Patterns

In large part due to successful counterdrug programs in Peru and Bolivia, the drug production pattern in the Andean Region has changed dramatically over the last decade. Until recently, most coca was grown in Peru and Bolivia, and coca base was shipped to Colombia for processing and distribution. Aggressive drug crop eradication, interdiction operations, and a broad array of law enforcement programs in combination with alternative economic development programs in Peru and Bolivia have reduced coca cultivation in those countries 66 percent and 55 percent, respectively, since 1995.

Drug traffickers adapted to the problem of unreliable coca leaf supply in Peru and Bolivia by moving cultivation into areas of Colombia beyond the control of the democratically elected government, converting Colombia into the world's largest producer of coca. Domination of Colombia's vast coca growing regions by guerrilla or illegal mercenary groups has limited Colombian President Pastrana's ability to reduce drug production or enforce Colombian national law. The migration of coca leaf production and cocaine manufacturing to areas dominated by illegal armed groups in Colombia required a change in strategy, policy, and resources in order to protect our nation from being flooded with dramatically increased amounts of cocaine and heroin and avert corresponding increases in drug addiction, violence, and crime in the United States.

4. Crisis in Colombia

The immense amounts of money generated by the drug trade are fueling violence, lawlessness, and Colombia's long internal conflict. Colombia lacks the resources to dislodge organized terrorists and private armies that provide a safe haven for a drug-based economy. These illegal armed groups have a dominant presence in about half of Colombia's national territory, predominantly in remote areas where government presence has traditionally been weak.

Illegal armed groups are responsible for the overwhelming majority of the human rights violations committed in Colombia, and they are a threat to Colombia's democracy and legitimate economy. High levels of violence, kidnapping and extortion, and attacks on infrastructure are displacing large numbers of rural inhabitants and discouraging both Colombian and foreign investment. Drug money and income from kidnapping and extortion has produced a paradoxical situation in which the guerrillas and mercenary groups are militarily strong, politically weak, and generally feared. The reluctance of the guerrillas to attempt an evolution from a military to a political force is undermining the Colombian government's good faith efforts to negotiate peace with them.

Lack of investment, insecurity, and poor economic management are among the principal reasons Colombia has entered its worst economic recession since the 1930s. Real gross domestic product is estimated to have fallen by 3.5 percent in 1999, the result of external shocks, fiscal imbalances, and a further weakening of confidence related to stepped-up activity by illegal armed groups. Unemployment increased from under 9 percent in 1995 to about 20 percent today, adding to the pool of unemployed workers who can be drawn into the illegal drug trade or into insurgent or illegal mercenary groups. The deep recession has also reduced government resources available for social and economic programs, law enforcement, and national security.

5. Plan Colombia

The Pastrana Government developed an integrated strategy, Plan Colombia, that recognizes that solving Colombia's inter-related problems will require significant action on a variety of fronts.

Plan Colombia focuses on five strategic issues:

  1. The peace process.
  2. The Colombian economy.
  3. The counterdrug strategy.
  4. The reform of the justice system and the protection of human rights.
  5. Democratization and social development.

These five planks respond comprehensively to Colombia's most severe problems. At the core is an effort to achieve peace through dialogue and address the need to strengthen democratic institutions as well as increase the capacity of the government to carry out its policy initiatives. Repairing the economy will make it easier for the Colombian people to provide for themselves and will decrease the attraction of the drug trade and other illicit activity. Breaking up the drug trade infrastructure will reduce the threat of corruption, allow for legitimate economic development, remove a principal source of economic support from the illegal armed groups, and contribute to making the negotiating table a more attractive setting than the battlefield for resolving problems. Decreasing the scale of the internal conflict will facilitate the reform of the justice system and lead to improvement in the human rights situation.

The Government of Colombia estimates that implementing Plan Colombia will cost about $7.5 billion over the next three years, and Colombia has committed to spending $4 billion of its own resources and international financial institution loans to execute the plan. The Pastrana government is asking the international community to provide the remaining $3.5 billion in bilateral foreign assistance. To date the United States, Norway, Spain, Japan, and the United Nations have pledged significant support for President Pastrana and Plan Colombia. The United States will continue to support the Government of Colombia efforts to obtain more funding from the international community, especially in the areas of economic and social development. There is a European Union donors conference scheduled for March 2001 to discuss support for Colombia.

6. Human Rights and the Security Forces

President Pastrana and the military high command have demonstrated a commitment to improving the government's human rights performance and have taken a number of important measures to that end. In 1999, President Pastrana removed from service four generals and a number of mid-level officers and NCOs accused of collaborating with paramilitaries or failing to confront them agressively. The new military penal code, which entered into force August 12, 2000, has the pocentia1 to improve military justice while ensuring that human rights cases are tried in the civilian justice system. The new code requires that the military legal system operate outside and independent of the chain of command, and provides for the installation of professional military judges. The Colombian military is in the preliminary stages of establishing a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.

A reform of the military career personnel statutes, which became law on September 14, 2000, gave the Military Commander the authority to dismiss officers with fewer than 15 years of service, meaning that he now has the authority to dismiss from duty all Armed Forces personnel credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights or to have aided or abetted paramilitary groups. According to the Human Rights Report of the Colombian Ministry of Defense, 32 members of the Armed Forces were separated from service between 1998 and 1999 for presumed human rights violations. Furthermore, the Ministry of Defense reported that approximately 63,000 Colombian security force members received human rights training in 1999. The U.S. State Department's annual human rights report has also documented a declining number of reported human rights violations attributed to members of the Colombian military. Nevertheless, serious problems remain. President Pastrana and the top military and police commanders are committed to ending impunity for human rights violations and eliminating links between members of the security forces and paramilitary groups.

III. U.S. POLICY

The United States seeks to combat illicit drugs and foster free-market democracies that promote the rule of law, internal peace, and human rights as well as economic and social development. U.S. support for Plan Colombia implementation will further these critical and enduring goals. While Colombia must assume the primary responsibility for addressing its urgent problems, in view of the significant implications of Colombia's crisis for our national interests at home and abroad, and in keeping with the ongoing U.S. commitment to promote democracy and human rights in Colombia, the United States is supporting implementation of the counterdrug and other critical components of Plan Colombia as a matter of national priority. Additionally, the United States has increased assistance for other countries in the region, primarily to consolidate counterdrug gains in the major Andean drug-producing countries and to ensure that successful law enforcement efforts in Colombia do not simply drive illicit drug cultivation and production into neighboring countries.

IV. REGIONAL COUNTERDRUG STRATEGY

1. Key Objectives of the U.S. Counterdrug Strategy in Colombia and Neighboring Countries, with a Detailed Description of Benchmarks by Which to Measure Progress Toward Those Objectives

Objectives

The overarching objective of the U.S. counterdrug strategy is to reduce the quantity of illegal drugs flowing into the United States. The National Drug Control Strategy calls for a 20 percent reduction in the world-wide net cultivation of illicit coca by 2002 (base year 1996) and a 40 percent reduction by 2007. The goal of President Pastrana's Plan Colombia (October 1999) is to reduce Colombia's cultivation, processing, and distribution of drugs by 50 percent over six years.

In addition to directly supporting U.S. counterdrug interests in Colombia and other nations in the region, U.S. assistance will go to strengthening democratic institutions and promoting economic and social development in Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. In Colombia, priorities include supporting President Pastrana's efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution to the country's long-standing civil conflict and promoting respect for human rights. To assist with the objectives of Plan Colombia and to accomplish the objectives of the National Drug Control Strategy, (including sustaining the reduction of drug-flow over time), the U.S. Government has developed a Colombia/Andean Region support package that is balanced and comprehensive. It is designed to advance the U.S. interest in a united, democratic, peaceful and prosperous hemisphere. The package supports counterdrug activities, alternative economic development, rule of law, human rights, good governance, and humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons. Specific, quantifiable objectives are currently being negotiated with the Government of Colombia. The administration will keep the Congress informed as to the outcome of these discussions.

Counterdrug Benchmarks

Benchmarks by which to measure progress toward U.S. counterdrug strategy objectives Colombia and neighboring countries consist of evidence that regional drug production is decreasing and that the infrastructure required to manufacture, transport, and market illegal drugs is functioning less effectively. Set forth below is a list of general indicators the administration intends to use in determining whether the U.S. contribution to Plan Colombia is successful; they should not be taken as negotiated objectives with the Government of Colombia.

  • Decrease in cultivation of new coca and opium poppy crops. Coca hectarage has increased at the rate of about 20 percent a year for the last five years in Colombia. Poppy cultivation, which for several years had been relatively static, increased by 23 percent in 1999. Future decreases in new coca and poppy cultivation in Colombia, combined with continued control of drug production in neighboring countries, would indicate progress toward the objectives of the U.S. counterdrug strategy.
  • Increased aerial eradication capability. Almost all of the new planting in Colombia has been in areas where there is limited or no eradication activity. In areas where the Government of Colombia can eradicate effectively, such as in Guaviare Department, total hectarage devoted to coca production has decreased, and attempts at new plantings have been less intensive than in areas where the government did not conduct intensive eradication. Increased ability to safely confront illegal crops in Colombia would indicate progress toward the objectives of the U.S. counterdrug strategy.
  • Increase in the amount of illicit crops eradicated. An increase in the amount of crops eradicated would indicate progress toward the objectives of the U.S. counterdrug strategy, provided the increase is not offset by new plantings.
  • Stress in the drug transportation network. In Peru, the value of coca leaf decreased when Peru's trafficker air interdiction policy made it difficult to convince pilots to transport coca base from production areas to refining laboratories. Inability to sell coca leaf reduced the value of the crop and convinced many farmers to abandon coca. In Colombia, most coca product is moved by road, river, or private aircraft from production areas to transshipment points outside of the production zone A reduction in the price of coca leaf or base; decreased cultivation of new crops; abandonment of coca fields; or decreased number of drug flights; changes in trafficker modes and routes; abandonment or destruction of cache sites, clandestine airstrips, and drug transportation support infrastructure, such as transshipment sites on the rivers, all would indicate progress toward the objectives of the U.S. counterdrug strategy.
  • Interruption of refining capacity. Future reduction in the number of cocaine laboratories through destruction or abandonment because of an inability to obtain essential or precursor chemicals would indicate progress toward the objectives of the U.S. counterdrug strategy. Elimination of refining capacity is the strategic objective. Elimination of a large cocaine hydrochloride (HCL) laboratory is more significant than elimination of many smaller cocaine base laboratories, which can be easily replaced. Reduced purity of cocaine HCL leaving Colombia, and reduced demand and/or prices for coca leaf and base, would indicate progress toward the objectives of the U.S. counterdrug strategy.
  • Kingpin incarceration. Arrest, conviction, prosecution (or extradition, as appropriate), and incarceration of more major traffickers in a prison from which they cannot continue to operate their criminal enterprises would indicate progress toward the objectives of the U.S. counterdrug strategy. Arrest of key criminal personnel temporarily or permanently eliminates trafficker ability to manipulate large amounts of capital required for major drug shipments, removes organizational leadership, and creates uncertainty in criminal networks upstream and downstream from the arrested major trafficker. In the longer run, secure incarceration of major traffickers may serve as a deterrent to would-be high-volume traffickers.
  • Capital reduction. Increased disruption of cash flow required for illegal drug enterprises through anti-money laundering measures, asset seizures and forfeitures, and reduced ability of traffickers to control legitimate businesses would indicate progress toward the objectives of U.S. counterdrug strategy. The largest cash flow generator for drug traffickers in the Western Hemisphere and the primary money laundering conduit for Colombian drug cartels is the Black Market Peso Exchange. U.S. and Colombian law enforcement agencies have developed and implemented initiatives to combat this major source of funding for the illegal drug trade.
  • Movement of drug workers and families into licit production. As an increased level of confidence in alternative employment opportunities is achieved among residents of drug-producing areas, increasingly larger numbers of people attempting to move into the legitimate economy indicates progress toward the objectives of the U.S. counterdrug strategy. Plan Colombia and the U.S. assistance package also address basic governance issues in Colombia that will be harder to quantify, such as strengthening and increasing access to the judicial system, improving prison security, and protection of human rights workers. Though we expect to see positive results over the next two to three years, this effort will require long-term commitment by the government and people of Colombia, and long-term support by the United States and the international community.

    2. Actions Required of the United States to Support and Achieve Counterdrug Strategy Objectives

    Implement the Colombia Initiative (including its Regional Component)

The U.S. initiative to support Colombia and the region is a $1.3 billion assistance package carefully crafted to respond to urgent identified needs. It supplements ongoing United States Government counterdrug programs of $330 million for Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001. It also builds on long-standing, significant US. counterdrug assistance programs that have been operating in Colombia for the last decade. The assistance package for Colombia and the region is balanced and comprehensive. It supports counterdrug activities, alternative economic development, rule of law, human rights, good governance, and humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons. The interlinked elements of the assistance package break out as follows:

  • Provide counterdrug equipment, training, and technical assistance to help the Colombian police and military increase their capability to curtail the cultivation and production of illicit drugs in Colombia, including illicit crop eradication, drug processing lab destruction, and other law enforcement activities. The assistance will also help to increase the interdiction capabilities of both the Colombian National Police and Armed Forces with respect to incoming precursors and outgoing drugs. These programs will augment the existing coca and poppy eradication and drug interdiction efforts that have been in place for years.
  • Supplement major increases in Colombian alternative economic development programs, including new job generation, to offer alternatives to small farmers and migrant workers currently cultivating and harvesting drug crops and prevent population displacement. U.S. support for alternative economic development programs is in addition to the U.S.-funded alternative development programs started in the poppy-growing regions in 1999. The package also provides emergency and longer term assistance to displaced persons.
  • Strengthen governing capacity and enhance programs to support respect for human rights and promote the rule of law in Colombia. U.S.-supported programs build on existing administration of justice programs administered by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
  • Support Colombia's economic recovery. The Government of Colombia needs to attract more domestic and foreign investment. The United States will provide $1.5 million in technical assistance to initiatives related to economic recovery.
  • Promote progress in Colombia's peace process. The Government of Colombia needs to create better conditions for a successful peace process. The United Staets will provide $4 million to fund training for Government of Colombia negotiators and policy advisors to facilitate progress in the peace process.
  • Enhance regional capacity for drug interdiction and interdiction of essential and precursor chemicals. The supplemental assistance package includes $25 million for interdiction in Bolivia, and $12 million for interdiction in Ecuador. Those funds augment ongoing programs and are included to maintain pressure on drug transportation routes throughout the region to prevent displacement of the drug trade.
  • Support alternative development programs that build on successful efforts in Peru and Bolivia and help initiate such programs in Ecuador. Peru will receive about $27 million in alternative development funding through the regular budget process for Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001. Bolivia will receive $14 million in FY 2000 and $17 million in FY 2001 through the regular State Department budget. The supplemental assistance package will provide an additional $85 million to Bolivia and $8 million to Ecuador for alternative economic development programs.

    Support of Initial Plan Colombia Implementation in Southern Colombia

The Colombian National Police (CNP) will continue to be the primary agency responsible for drug law enforcement operations, including drug crop eradication, lab destruction, chemical and drug interdiction, and investigation and dismantling of trafficking organizations. The CNP's crop control efforts are severely limited by the danger posed to eradication aircraft and personnel by guerrillas arid illegal mercenary forces. Military support is required to provide a sufficient level of security for the CNP to perform their law enforcement mission.

The U.S. assistance package will enable the Colombian Army to operate jointly with the CNP as they move into the dangerous drug production sanctuaries in southern Colombia. To achieve this, the assistance package provides funds to stand up two additional Army Counternarcotics Battalions. The first Army Counternarcotics Battalion, which was trained and equipped by the United States, became active in early 2000. The second Counternarcotics Battalion has been through human rights vetting procedures and completes training in December 2000. The third Counternarcotics Battalion will begin training in January 2001 and should become active in April 2001. The assistance package will also provide resources to increase intelligence for the Colombian Joint Task Force - South, based at Tres Esquinas, which includes fully vetted participants all the military services and the CNP.

Drug producing sanctuaries exist in Colombia because illegal armed groups are able to take advantage of Colombia's rugged geography, lack of basic infrastructure, and poor road network, to set up areas in which they can rule by force of arms. The emergency supplemental funding provides air mobility assets for the Counternarcotics Battalions so that they can operate and provide security for law enforcement in the vast coca-growing areas. The 13-16 (depending on configuration) UH-60 (Black Hawk), 15 UH-1N, and up to 30 (depending on configuration) refurbished UH-1H (Huey II) helicopters Congress authorized for the Army Counternarcotics Battalions will help provide the needed mobility. These aircraft join eighteen UH-1N helicopters delivered to Colombia in 1999 for this purpose.

Additional CNP Funding

The assistance package includes $115.6 million in additional support for the Colombian National Police, to include procuring one or two UH-60 helicopters (depending on configuration) and additional spray aircraft, upgrading existing helicopters and planes; providing training, equipment, and secure communications; and building new bases and enhancing security at existing bases. This will augment the existing State Department-funded country program and air wing support (around $80 million per year). DEA will continue to fund its critical cooperative initiatives ($3.5 million for FY 2000) in the areas of investigations of major trafficking organizations, intelligence collection and analysis, anti-money laundering measures, chemical control, lab destruction, and interdiction of drugs in transit.

Intelligence Enhancements

The assistance package includes $92 million to enhance the Colombian and United States Governments' ability to collect, analyze, and disseminate intelligence necessary to support all aspects of operational planning and execution. A portion of the funding goes toward improving the Colombian Government's ability to field effective intelligence programs in support of police and military counterdrug operations. Other funds will support Colombian and U.S. counterdrug investigative and information gathering efforts in Colombia, including those being carried out by U.S. law enforcement agencies. There is also $30 million to procure a U.S. Army Airborne Reconnaissance Low aircraft for counterdrug intelligence collection.

Interdiction Support

In addition to crop control efforts, the Government of Colombia needs vigorous drug interdiction operations. U.S. and Colombian analysts assess that the air transportation servicing Colombian cocaine labs and growing areas is vulnerable to interdiction. The goal is to cause a major disruption of the traffickers' ability to move their product. A successful interdiction campaign, similar to the Peruvian airbridge denial effort, is required. The nearly $78 million in funding for Colombian air interdiction programs in the package will establish Colombia's ability to interdict drug air transit in southern Colombia, and improve upon existing capability in northern Colombia through aircraft upgrades, additional ground-based radars, and improvement of existing air bases near the drug-producing regions.

Nearly $22 million is provided to improve Colombian riverine, maritime, and overland interdiction efforts to prevent the traffickers from moving to alternative transportation routes or methods as air transport is disrupted.

To enhance regional interdiction efforts, including detection and monitoring missions over Colombia, the assistance package includes $116.6 million to fund construction and upgrades at the U.S. forward operating locations in Manta, Ecuador; and Aruba and Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles as well as planning and design costs at a potential FOL in El Salvador. U.S. detection and monitoring aircraft are flying day and night missions out of Manta, Aruba and Curaçao. The package also includes $68 million to fund radar upgrades to four U.S. Customs Airborne Early Warning Radar equipped P-3 aircraft for increased detection and monitoring missions in Colombia and throughout the region. The radar upgrade is required to ensure that scheduled missions are not lost due to the current lack of parts and technical suport for the older system.

Human Rights

In accordance with U.S. law and policy, delivery of all assistance to the Colombian police and armed forces is contingent upon successful completion of a human rights screening process. No U.S. Government assistance is provided to any unit of the Colombian police or military for which there is credible evidence of gross human tights violations by its members, nor will any assistance be provided to such units, unless, as required by U.S. law and policy, the Secretary of State determines that the Government of Colombia is taking effective measures to bring those responsible for gross human rights violations to justice.

The Colombian military has improved its human rights performance in recent years. The United States has urged the Government of Colombia to take effective steps to end abuses and impunity within its security forces and to ensure that links between members of the security forces and paramilitary groups are severed. Other recent Administration reports have outlined progress in these areas to date. We expect the Government of Colombia will continue to make steady progress towards improved human rights performance.

Bolstering Government Capacity and Alternative Development

The Government of Colombia will need to provide improved local government services and licit economic alternatives to the illegal drug trade to consolidate its authority in the drug-producing regions. The assistance package contains a major increase in U.S. support for Colombian alternative development programs and funds to improve the delivery of municipal government services in the affected areas.

In the package, the United States commits $228 million over the next two years to alternative development, enhancing good governance, judicial reform, and human rights protection in Colombia. The goal of the expanded alternative development programs in the support package is to provide assistance and possible alternative employment for a displaced coca labor force. Alternative development programs have been a key factor in recent, record-level reductions in coca cultivation in Peru and Bolivia. It is imperative to expand and continue efforts to provide licit economic opportunities in all three of the principal coca source countries so that there are alternatives to coca production and other illegal activity.

Strengthening the Justice System

Colombia's ability to enforce drug control laws is weakened by poorly functioning courts, by untrained or inexperienced judges and prosecutors, by threates, and by corruption. The support package contains a significant administration of justice element to help Colombia strengthen its criminal justice capacity to create long-term counterdrug capability, enhance the rule of law, and increase public confidence in the justice system. The programs will support law enforcement, the police and prosecutor investigative capabilities, and increased prison security.

The $111.5 million in the assistance package for justice-related programs contributes to a comprehensive solution to the problems in Colombia and to protecting human rights and the rule of law. Many of the dramatic and inter-related challenges to the rule of law that Colombia faces stem from a culture of violence bred by a long-standing insurgency and weak governing institutions in the interior of the country. The booming illegal drug trade has spawned additional violence and corruption. U.S. assistance to justice programs includes increased training for the police, prosecutors and judges in the areas of human rights, drug trafficking, maritime and border security, corruption, kidnapping, and money laundering/asset forfeiture cases. U.S. funds will also be used for security and protection for witnesses, judges and prosecutors in the criminal justice system; assistance for prison design and administration; support for the multilateral case initiative; and assistance for a comprehensive law enforcement response to organized financial crime in Colombia. Additionally, U.S. support for Plan Colombia will provide for procedural and legislative reforms to ensure that the judicial system functions fairly and effectively, with particular emphasis on the transition to a accusatory system, including oral trials.

Aid to the NGOs

Other initiatives related to increasing Colombia's governing capacity are U.S. assistance to international organizations and to Colombian and U.S. NGOs helping Colombians displaced by the internal conflict, as well as funding for programs designed to protect human rights workers, strengthen Colombian government and non-governmental human rights entities, and establish and train specialized units in the Colombian National Police and Prosecutor General's Office to handle human rights cases.

Economic Recovery and the Peace Process

The remaining Colombia-specific programs in the supplemental support package are designed to address inter-related issues that exacerbate or facilitate the drug trade in Colombia. The Governmetn of Colombia needs to create better conditions for a successful peace process and needs to attract more domestic and foreign investment. The United States will provide $1.5 million in technical assistance to initiatives related to economic recovery. The United States will also provide $4 million to fund training for Government of Colombia negotiators and policy advisors to facilitate progress in the peace process.

3. The Role of the United States Government in the Efforts of the Government of Colombia to Respond to Illegal Drug Production in Colombia

The role of the United States Government is to assist the Government of Colombia with equipment, training, fuel, crop eradication supplies, technical expertise and information in an effort to reduce the production of drugs in Colombia and stop their transport to the United States. Colombia and the United States also cooperate on police investigations and judicial matters.

The bulk of new assistance for Colombia and the region approved by the Congress in Fiscal Year 2000 will be used for a mobility package to enable the Colombian armed forces to provide security for illegal drug crop control programs, law enforcement, and government assistance programs in the major coca-producing regions of Colombia, primarily in the departments of Putumayo and Caquetá.

4. The Role of the United States Government in the Efforts of the Government of Colombia to Deal with the Insurgency and Paramilitary Forces in Colombia

Our increased support for the Colombian National Police (CNP) and Armed Forces will continue to be focused on the common counterdrug objective. As a matter of administration policy, we will not support Colombian counterinsurgency efforts. The United States Government will, however, provide training, equipment, and intelligence support, in accordance with existing authorities, to the Government of Colombia for force protection and for security directly related to counterdrug efforts, regardless of the source of the threat.

5. How the Strategy with Respect to Colombia Relates to and Affects the United States' Strategy in Neighboring Countries.

The U.S. strategy with respect to Colombia is based on an assessment that the drug problem is a regional one, with Colombia as the center of gravity. The U.S. Colombia Initiative has a regional component that includes $85 million for alternative development in Bolivia and $8 million for alternative development in Ecuador. These funds will be in addition to the substantial alternative development programs going on in Bolivia and Peru funded through the regular budget process. The supplemental assistance package also includes $25 million for interdiction in Bolivia, $12 million for interdiction in Ecuador, and $32 million for KMAX helicopters for the Peruvian National Police. There is $18 million in the package to support drug interdiction efforts in other countries, and to maintain support for income generating alternatives, particularly in Peru and Bolivia, which have demonstrated success in reducing coca production over the last four years. This support should help ensure that drug traffickers do not simply relocate cultivation, production, and transportation to other nations as Colombia intensifies its counterdrug efforts.

6. How the Strategy with Respect to Colombia Relates to and Affects the United States' Strategy for Fulfilling Global Counternarcotics Goals

The Colombia Initiative support package is in line with the National Drug Control Strategy -- a comprehensive approach focusing on: educating children about the dangers of drug use; decreasing the addict population; breaking the cycle of drugs and crime; securing our borders; and reducing the supply of drugs. U.S. support for Colombia and the region directly supports Goal 5 of the National Drug Control Strategy: Break Foreign and Domestic Drug Sources of Supply. Pursuant to this goal, the United States seeks to: "(1) eliminate illegal drug cultivation and production; (2) destroy drug trafficking organizations; (3) interdict drug shipments; (4) encourage international cooperation; and (5) safeguard democracy and human rights." As the largest producer of cocaine in the world and the foremost supplier of heroin to the United States, Colombia must be a focal point of this global strategy.

7. A Strategy and Schedule for Providing Material, Technical, and Logistical Support to Colombia and Neighboring Countries

In the first two years of the Colombia Initiative, the U.S. strategy calls for assisting the Government of Colombia in implementing Plan Colombia in the South, coupled with increased support of: air, ground, and riverine interdiction efforts; CNP law enforcement capabilities; alternative and economic development; and programs relating to human rights, humanitarian assistance, and judicial reforms.

Specific objectives call for a southern Colombia emphasis extending over a two-year period, roughly corresponding to Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002. Successful implementation of this strategy in southern Colombia will strengthen the development of Colombia's presence in the area and will reduce the cultivation, production, processing, and trafficking of illegal drugs. This objective will establish the security conditions needed to implement programs in the southern municipalities of Mocoa, Villa Garzón, Puerto Guzman, Puerto Caiceido, and Puerto Asís. The plan will extend to cover the entire country over a six-year period.

Some of the key dates related to support the strategy implementation are:

  • September 1999 - The 1st Counternarcotics Battalion is formed, vetted, and begins training (Completed)
  • February 2000 - The 1st CNBN begins operations in the south of Colombia (based in Tres Esquinas). (Completed)
  • August 2000 - The 2nd CNBN is formed, vetted, and begins ongoing training at Larandia.
  • December 2000 - The 2nd CNBN completes training and begins operations.
  • January 2001 - The 3rd CNBN is formed, vetted, and begins training.
  • April 2001 - The 3rd CNBN begins operations.

To support these efforts, 33 UH-1Ns (in addition to the 18 UH-1Ns currently in Colombia), 13-16 (depending on configuration (UH-60s (Black Hawks), and up to 30 Huey IIs (depending on configuration) to support the Army CNBNs will be operational following funding, acquisition, and placement in Colombia. These units will all be used in implementing Plan Colombia in the southern phase of the strategy. The package will provide one or two additional UH-60s (depending on configuration) and nine additional Huey IIs dedicated to supporting the CNP.

The State Department expects that the additional 15 UH-1Ns can be restored and delivered to Colombia by January 2001. Actual delivery dates will be subject to availability of Department of Defense transport.

There are currently 10 Huey IIs for the CNP in the production pipeline from previous funding. The current rate of production is about 2 helicopters per month. The State Department expects that rate of production to continue for the additional Huey IIs included in the emergency supplemental package. Actual delivery dates are subject to the availability of Department of Defense transport.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has been tasked with managing the purchase of the UH-60 helicopters for the Colombian. Army. They are in the process of working with the Department of State and Sikorsky Corporation on the contract. The first UH-60s should be delivered to Colombia in mid-2001, with the balance delivered by the end of the year. Current projections indicate that the necessary support infrastructure in Colombia should be in place, and that Colombia should have sufficient pilots trained to fly these additional UH-60s in time to meet this delivery schedule.

There are currently 47 Colombian Army officers in various stages of pilot training in the United States and Colombia. A full training schedule to ensure adequate personnel to fly and maintain the new air assets is under development by the Department of Defense and the Colombian military.

The assistance package includes funding to purchase nine additional spray planes for the CNP. The Department of State is in the process of negotiating the contract to purchase these aircraft. After the contract is let, it should take about six months for the first plane to be produced, with a subsequent rate of production of about one aircraft per month.

The upgrade to the U.S. Customs Service P-3 radars will be completed as soon as possible following the procurement process. Customs estimates that the lead time to contract for these modifications is 12 months. Estimated downtime for each aircraft during modification is six months. Two aircraft will be modified simultaneously, allowing all four aircraft to be modified in a 12-month period after the contract is signed.

USAID obligated $123.6 million of the funds appropriated for Plan Colombia on September 29, 2000. They are prepared to move forward at the same time on assistance to displaced persons. USAID's ongoing activities in administration of justice and human rights will be expanded in October, when USAID will initiate activities to support anti-corruption programs. The largest single USAID-managed program, alternative development in coca-producing areas, is to be competitively bid, with a bidders' conference scheduled for October in Bogotá. Meanwhile, USAID has already expanded its existing alternative development project in poppy to include the first steps in voluntary eradication of coca.

The U.S. Colombia Initiative assistance package also includes $93 million for alternative development for Bolivia and Ecuador. Additionally, there is $87 million in the package to support increased drug interdiction activities in other countries in the region, primarily for Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. The State Department has begun obligating these monies.

8. Strategy and Schedule for Making Forward Operating Locations (FOLs) Fully Operational, Including Cost Estimates and a Description of the Potential Capabilities for Each Proposed Location and an Explanation of How the FOL Architecture Fits into the Overall Strategy

A schedule for making each Forward Operating Location fully operational, including cost estimates, timeline of contracting, and construction with completion dates

Per Congressional instruction, the Department of Defense submitted a separate classified reports on the FOLs in September of 2000.

The level of development at each FOL is a capability driven process, based on requirements tasked to the Department of Defense and other agencies for counternarcotics detecton, monitoring, and tracking (DM&T) operations. The following chart outlines the current military construction (MILCON) projects to make each FOL fully operational to include costs and funding status of each project. Projects designated in the Colombia Supplemental (CO SUP) are funded and included in the Chairman Stevens and Senator Byrd Amendment, FY 2001 Military Construction Bill to the FY 2000 Emergency Supplemental for Counternarcotics Activities, Peacekeeping Operations, and other National Security Matters, dated May 9, 2000. These funds total $116.523 million and include $1.1 million for plan and design costs at the El Salvador FOL.

1. Project
Cost
Status
Plan and Design Aruba/Curacao/Manta
$10.8M
Funded
Manta Runway, Taxiway, Ramp
$38.6M
In CO Supl/MILCON Bill
Manta Vertical Construction
$22.673M
In CO Supl/MILCON Bill
Curacao Ramp, Taxiway, Rinse Facility
$29.5M
In CO Supl/MILCON Bill
Curacao Vertical Construction
$14.4M
In CO Supl/MILCON Bill
Aruba Ramp/Rinse Facility
$8.8M
In CO Supl/MILCON Bill
Aruba Hangar/Squadron Operations
$1.45M
In CO Supl/MILCON Bill
Plan and Design El Salvador
$1.1M
In CO Supl/MILCON Bill
El Salvador (CENTAM) Construction
$9.87M
Unfunded
GRAND TOTAL
$137.193M
$9.87M (Unfunded)

The following charts provide FOL timelines for contracting and construction with completion dates for Aruba, Curaçao, and Manta. The timelines for the El Salvador FOL are still under development.

Manta Runway, Taxiway and Ramp

Activity Completion Date
Authority to presolicit 21 Mar 00
Design complete 31 Mar 00
Authority to advertise 7 Apr 00
Advertise 14 Apr 00
Pre-proposal conference 5 May 00
Receive proposals 9 Jun 00
MILCON funds 17 Aug 00
Award 25 Aug 00
Notice to proceed TBD
Phase I & II complete TBD
Phase III complete TBD

Manta Vertical Construction

Activity Completion Date
65% design review 8 Mar 00
Authority to advertise 17 Apr 00
Design complete 28 Apr 00
Advertise 12 May 00
Pre-proposal conference 25 May 00
Receive proposals 6 Jul 00
Award TBC
Notice to proceed TBD
50% design review TBD
95% design review TBD
Support facilities complete NLT 01 Nov 01
Facilities completion NLT 01 Feb 02

Aruba and Curaçao Construction

Activity Completion Date
Complete survey data 30 Jun 00
35% submittal 14 Aug 00
Authority to advertise Estimated 4 Oct 00
100% submittal Estimated 16 Oct 00
Receive proposals Estimated 30 Dec 00
Source selection board Estimated 15 Jan 01
Award Estimated Feb 01
Construction complete Estimated Dec 02

A Description of Potential Capabilities at Each FOL

Once the military construction is complete, each FOL will have varying capabilities to support large, medium and small aireraft. (Note: Aircraft size is: large = E-3 AWACS and KC-135; medium = E-2, P-3, C-130 and ARL; small = F-15, F-16 and C-550.) The Manta FOL will support all counter-drug (CD) aircraft, to include E-3 AWACS and KC-135 operations. The Manta FOL ramp space will support up to four large and four medium aircraft. The Aruba FOL will support all CD medium-size and small aircraft with ramp space available for two medium and three small aircraft. The Curaçao FOL will support all CD aircraft to include E-3 AWACS and KC-135 operations. The Curaçao ramp space will support up to two large, four medium and six small aircraft. The El Salvador FOL at Comalapa will support all medium CD aircraft with ramp space for up to four medium aircraft.

How the FOL Architecture Fits the Overall Strategy

With the closure of Howard Air Force Base in Panama, the establishment of FOLs in the region is critical to our ability to implement the national Drug Control Strategy and execute the U.S. Southern Command's Counterdrug Campaign Plan. The FOLs are critical components in the post-Panama theater architecture extending counterdrug detection and monitoring (D&M) assets' operational reach into both drug source and transit zones.

The FOLs are not bases. They are existing airfields, which, with some modifications, will support the deployment of U.S. counterdrug detection and monitoring aircraft to provide consistent access into the region. Agreements are in place in Manta, Ecuador; and Aruba and Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles. Another FOL agreement is awaiting approval in the Salvadoran legislature. U.S. detection and monitoring aircraft are currently flying day and night missions out of Manta, Aruba and Curaçao.

FOL sites require extensive additional modifications to support the full range of U.S. detection and monitoring aircraft conducting day/night all-weather operations. When fully operational (in Fiscal Year 2001), these FOLs will allow increased coverage of key Eastern Pacific and Caribbean transit zones, and full coverage of the southern Colombia cocaine growing areas. The U.S. Colombia initiative support package provides $116.6 million for modifying the FOLs in the region to enable the United States to continue its robust regional interdiction initiatives. In addition, the Department of Defense has assumed responsibility for out-year funding of these locations.

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