The Times is running an opinion column by me this morning, about Colombia’s dangerous surplus of well-trained military veterans, who are being contracted for missions in Haiti and around the world.
Colombian leaders must address the lack of opportunity that has tempted some veterans to take illegal work or leave the country to be mercenaries. Colombia needs a version of America’s G.I. Bill — the legislation that helped propel millions of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans into the middle class — that would offer much more generous benefits than the Colombian government currently does.
The country is still cementing peace. With the 2016 accord, it seemed that Colombia could finally begin to jettison its painful international association with drug traffickers, hit men and guerrillas. It would be tragic for the country to trade that reputation for one as a land of available mercenaries.
This is my second Times column about Colombia since May, which is great because the readership is high.