Revisiting the Supposed Success of Plan Colombia

America has spent over $13 billion over the past two decades on Plan Colombia, a policy aimed at combating drug trafficking and a violent anti-government insurgency in Colombia. Yet, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, cocaine production in Colombia is at its highest levels since the United States began Plan Colombia in 2000. Many rural areas are also experiencing record levels of violence and displacement. Colombia’s new left-wing president Gustavo Petro has called the U.S.-backed war on drugs a failure. Even so, the United States considers Plan Colombia a major foreign policy success. Why? IGA traveled to Colombia to find out.

This video includes references to the Eurasia Group Foundation, now known as the Institute for Global Affairs.

This post is part of Independent America, a research project led out by IGA senior fellow Mark Hannah, which seeks to explore how US foreign policy could better be tailored to new global realities and to the preferences of American voters.

A brighter future for all