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News (Media Awareness Project) - US: PUB LTE: The Drug War Is Longer Than Iraq Or Afghanistan
Title:US: PUB LTE: The Drug War Is Longer Than Iraq Or Afghanistan
Published On:2012-01-21
Source:Wall Street Journal (US)
Fetched On:2012-01-23 06:02:10
THE DRUG WAR IS LONGER THAN IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN WARS

While military pressure has been exerted in all coca-producing
nations at different times, the military defeat of guerrilla
organizations, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia,
known as FARC, or the Sendero Luminoso, hasn't halted the cocaine
mafias' operations and ability to adapt to narcotics-control efforts
because the goals of the cartels and the guerrillas are intrinsically
different. (Cocaine: The New Front Lines," Review, Jan. 14).

Since the defeat of the Cali Cartel in 1995, the mafias have
developed an organizational structure similar to a multiheaded hydra,
which can't be defeated by killing one head. Learning from the
Medellin and Cali cartels, the mafias keep a low profile and feed
their inputs into Mexico where the cartels vie for control over the drug trade.

While Plan Colombia has brought much-needed security to that country
by halting the FARC's terrorism, kidnappings and extortion, it hasn't
defeated the cartels, associated paramilitary groups and their
corrupting influence over Colombia. Plan Colombia and other
narcotics-control programs implemented since 1972 have been unable to
address the endemic corruption that pervades the region, as well as
the economic factors that drive coca production.

William L. Marcy IV

Buffalo, N.Y.
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