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The International War Against Terrorism, The Plan Colombia and The Andean Regional Initiative

Ricardo Soberón G.

November 15, 2001

As a result of the attacks against the New York Twin Towers and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on September 11 of 2001, the United States has launched a world-wide military campaign in Afghanistan within the framework of a political, military, judicial, financial and policing strategy against international terrorism. Apparently, the Philippines and Colombia might also be targeted in this war.

Thus the US State Department has built a large coalition of countries united against terrorist activities within which there has been practically no divergence. There is, on the one hand, United Nations support through Security Council Resolution 1373 which authorizes the US to use forceful measures, together with the recent 56th General Assembly in New York itself. While on the other, NATO has invoked its mutual defense clause, and even the Inter-American Mutual Assistance Treaty (IAMAT) mechanisms for mutual defense were called into force, within the framework of the Organization of American States (OAS)[1]. Sometime in the near future, its successor will also be molded by the events of September 11th.

The world is still going through a period of transition during which the concepts of balance of powers, international and national security as well as the role of security forces will be profoundly redesigned, on a daily basis. Even Russia is the victim of fundamentalist terror and as such benefits from this concerted effort of nations in combat against international terrorism. Countries, which were hitherto hesitant to back foreign military interventions ¾such as Germany, Japan, and even Italy¾ have volunteered military capability and troops to this new campaign whose starting point is Afghanistan. If there’s anything about which we can have no doubt, it’s the consensus surrounding a stance which condemns these terrorist acts. One cannot say that this also holds true for the Islamic community of nations, particularly considering the turn of events in Palestine and continued military measures.

As concerns our region, the Andean countries have not been exempt from this new crusade. Two circumstances portray what the regional context was prior to the attacks of September 11th. First, conflict escalation as compared to the weakness of peace negotiations. Second, a redefinition of US hemispheric security in a post Cold-War environment. The continuos erosion to which the parties to Colombia’s armed conflict are submitted, the increasing number of internal displaced peoples and of refugees escaping the country, as well the critical situation of the peace process make it necessary for us to carry out exhaustive analyses regarding the impact in the coming months for the Amazon Andes of the development of this recent international stance by the United States.

[1] RC 24/Res 1/01 of September 21 Ministros de Relaciones Exteriores en Consulta y resolución de apoyo a medidas individuales y colectivas concerted que adopten los EE. En legítima defensa
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