WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four-Star General Barry McCaffrey (Ret), the former U.S. Drug Czar who helped formulate Plan Colombia, says that "the fifteenth anniversary White House celebration February 4 is proof of Plan Colombia's success. The U.S. cooperation with the government of Colombia led to massive cocaine transit reduction to the U.S., reduced crime, and improved Colombian stability."
However, Gen. McCaffrey, who led five missions to Colombia from 1996-2001 to develop and formulate the initial 2000 1.3 Billion dollar annual Plan in cooperation with the military and civilian leaders of Colombia, said he is "concerned that the pending Colombian deal with the FARC could maintain or increase cocaine and heroin production, ease transit restrictions and enforcement, keep enormous profits for the FARC, worsen the heroin crisis in our country, threaten the security of Colombia, and increase U.S. drug abuse."
Before serving as the Clinton-appointed National Director of Drug Control Policy from 1996-2001, McCaffrey was SouthCom Commander, overseeing all U.S. troops in Latin America, where he developed significant drug interdiction plans for the region.
On December 29, the White House announced that President Obama has invited Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to Washington for an official visit, including a celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of Plan Colombia February 4. The Colombian Embassy reported that Plan Colombia was "a bilateral initiative that laid the foundation for Colombia's remarkable turnaround" and "is considered by experts the most successful foreign policy initiative in 15 years. In 2000, Colombia was a country on the brink," but the largely McCaffrey-Colombian government conceived plan pushed back the FARC with military and anti-drug financial support and training for the Colombian government.
McCaffrey's missions included meetings with the Colombian president and military leadership and flights with the Colombian military to southern Colombia's deep jungle bases, from which they strategized and fought the FARC. McCaffrey also met with human rights trainers to assist in the mission and work to assure proper procedures.
President Clinton announced to a Cabinet meeting in 1999, "Barry wants a billion for Colombia." The President authorized the funding. The process continued under Presidents Bush and Obama. General McCaffrey helped conceive of Plan Colombia, he said, as "a way to assist the Colombian government, maintain its democracy and economy, and fight the drugs and the narco-rebels that threatened their nation and ours. I am extremely gratified that it has succeeded, but we must make certain that its mission remains intact."
Gen. McCaffrey also thanked Colombian Presidents Andres Pastrana, Alvaro Uribe, and Ernesto Samper for their "enormous leadership" in implementing Plan Colombia, former Senator and now Vice President Joe Biden for his guidance and leadership "at all stages", McCaffrey's ONDCP senior staff members Mark Coomer, Pancho Kinney, and Bob Weiner for assistance in the formulation and transparent dissemination of Plan Colombia and its message, and Ambassador Tom Pickering, Vice President Al Gore, and "above all," President Clinton for their leadership, guidance, and support in "making Plan Colombia a reality."
Contact: Bob Weiner 301-283-0821, cell 202-306-1200 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates