Pubdate: Wed, 11 Aug 1999
Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
Copyright: 1999 Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas
Author: Larry Nickerson


The Star-Telegram Editorial Board was right to express reservations Aug. 1
about U.S. military involvement in a real drug war in Colombia. Just as drug
czar Barry McCaffrey seems to be pointing in that direction, the loss of a
U.S. military plane and all seven crew members appears as though a portent
of future expectations with this strategy.

Not only is it impossible to arrest our way out of a drug war, but it is
impossible to invade our way out of a drug war. The drug-producing regions
of the Andes encompass a huge, mountainous and jungled region. That region
would have to be occupied -- a task beyond the capacity of any military
existing today -- for an extended amount of time to suppress the drug trade
in just that part of the world.

McCaffrey is a military man, so he must be aware of this, and one suspects
that the latest pronouncements are just more publicity moves. Swallowing
this latest drug war solution would be about as ridiculous as believing we
should swallow an avocado seed.

Larry Nickerson Fort Worth

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