The Colombia Plan Essay Research Paper Take — страница 2

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which gave mandatory sentences of five to ten years to anyone possessing even a small amount of crack. (United States Sentencing Commission. Special Report to Congress: Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy. February 1995.) Predictably, the prisons are now filled to capacity with thousands of drug offenders, but the problem persists. Having failed to control demand in the U.S., America now wants to eradicate the supply in Colombia. The positive aspects of the plan are that it is an effort to fight crime and to reduce drug abuse. Cocaine, because it is so lucrative to sell, brings with it corruption and violence. The countryside and cities of Colombia are not safe in large part because of cocaine. It finances drug cartels and the rebels, two ruthless, violent organizations. In the

U.S., inner cities have become war zones where no one is safe because of the gang violence that goes hand in hand with the sale of crack. An entire generation has been lost in the inner cities because of crack and gangs. Moreover, the ravages of drug addiction are terrible to the addicts, their families and society. The negative aspects of the plan are that the Colombia Plan is heavily involving the Colombian military in what was formerly a police activity. Essentially, fighting crime is the responsibility of the police . By injecting the military into the problem, the United States is running the risk that there will be an escalation of the Civil War. Unquestionably, the rebels will fight to defend their source of financing and may retaliate by attacking more civilian targets.

The military in Colombia cannot defeat the rebels; most of Colombia is now under rebel control. Inevitably, the United States will have to become more involved by sending more money, more advisors and eventually troops: another Vietnam. The other problem is that with the military involved fighting may extend into neighboring countries requiring more aid to those countries: Plan Bolivia, Plan Ecuador, Plan Panama and so on. Also, there will be refugees crossing the borders that will require assistance. Worst, as cocaine cultivation is fought in Colombia, it will simply move to other safer havens. I am against the Colombia Plan because I think that it is wrong for the United States to condition aid on military involvement knowing that, with the strength and determination of the

rebel forces and their vested interest in protecting the drug trade, it will almost certainly lead to an escalation of the Civil War. Furthermore, I am afraid that once America commits itself financially to a military cause, especially one that so profoundly affects the U.S., the next step will be American military involvement, either to fight drugs or to prop up the government of its newfound friend, Andres Pastrana. Why then did the U.S. choose to put itself on the losing side of the oldest Civil War in South America? As Alexander Pope said, Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. (Essay on Criticism)