Historical Aspects of Colombia’s Strategic Landscape



The Colombian case is arguably the most important strategic crisis in the Americas at the dawn of the new millennium. It is Latin America’s epicenter of brutal warfare, narcotrafficking, and population displacement. Along with the Israeli-Palestinian war, and the contest between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, the Colombian imbroglio is among the oldest military conflicts in the world. Yet, except for the odd “sound-bite” or perhaps a brief story buried in the back pages of the international press, it has remained off the media radar screen. And despite the eclipsing fears of global terror and the quagmire in Iraq, Colombia is among the largest recipients of U.S. military assistance globally. For example, it ranked seventh with regard to U.S. foreign aid in 20051 and was the third largest recipient of U.S. military aid for a number of years between 1998 and 2004. Colombia, then, deserves more scrutiny than it has received. We shall explore Colombia’s strategic significance in relation to the RMA as well as the intriguing question of why this country has been relatively hidden from the global eye.


Social Force Labor Movement Historical Aspect Displace Population Guerrilla Group 
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© James F. Rochlin 2007

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