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Authored by Dr. Judith A. Gentleman.
The instability, corruption, displacement of people, and violence generated by Colombia s unholy trinity of narcotics traffickers, insurgents, and paramilitaries is spilling over into virtually all of northern South America and Panama. Thus, the stability and political sovereignty of the region are being compromised. And, at the same time, progress toward achieving the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the economic integration of the Western Hemisphere by 2005 is being severely threatened. The author outlines some of the detail and implications of the regional security crisis in the Andes and makes recommendations for U.S. civil-military involvement in the hemispheric security arena. She argues for the United States to lead in the articulation of strategic objectives, while designing a defensible and feasible policy that critical elements in North America, Central and South America, Europe, and Japan can understand and support. She specifically argues for the U.S. military to build stronger and more cooperative security relationships within the circle of affected states around Colombia.