Aug 17, 2009
The U.S. has spent ten years and more than six billion dollars arming and training Colombian military forces to suppress popular opposition to the government there. Now the U.S. is about to get an extra payoff for this effort: CBS News recently reported that Colombian Special Operations troops will soon be going to Afghanistan to fight alongside U.S. forces. General Freddy Padilla de Leon, Colombia’s top military official said, “Very soon ... maybe in August or September. This will be our first opportunity in our history.”
At a moment when European governments are backing off from their commitment of troops to the Afghan quagmire, the symbolic readiness of Colombia’s military to send troops is at least a propaganda coup for the U.S. government – a little added return on its investment in the Colombian military.