Tags: Short Analysis: Colombia’s Counterinsurgency

Short Analysis: Colombia’s Counterinsurgency

Thursday, 14 July 2011 07:27 AM

President Santos this week announced new tactics against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. Santos and the Colombian Security Council decided Monday, after coordinated FARC attacks killed six and injured dozens over the weekend, to create a new army mountain unit to operate in traditional FARC strongholds, destroy houses used by guerrillas to carry out attacks, and provide helicopter support for ground operations. At the same time, Santos is returning 16 million acres of land to peasants and providing financial restitution to those impacted by the civil war.


Santos is marrying military operations with a hearts-and-minds campaign to undercut public support for the rebels in an effort to finally end the 47-year-old conflict. Land redistribution is a major demand of the FARC, and grants by the government could further erode already failing public support for the guerrillas. FARC involvement in drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion activities has alienated many previous supporters. Sustained military operations, FARC internal problems, and popular exhaustion with violence are working against the guerrillas. However, complete disarming of the rebels probably will only come through the capture of senior leaders and some form of amnesty for remaining fighters.

[Lisa M. Ruth is a former CIA analyst and officer. She is currently Managing Partner of C2 Research, a boutique research and analysis firm in West Palm Beach, Florida and is Vice President at CTC International Group, Inc., a private intelligence firm.]

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Short Analysis: Colombia’s Counterinsurgency
Thursday, 14 July 2011 07:27 AM
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