Colombia the Model


Alex Massie catches this bit in a New York Times article on Afghanistan: U.S. drug officials searching for rainbows and wishing the country could become more like Colombia.

While the Latin American nation remains the world's cocaine capital and is still plagued by drug-related violence, American officials argue that decades of American counternarcotics efforts there have at least helped stabilize the country.

"I wanted the Colombians to come here to give the Afghans something to aspire to," Mr. Balbo [the US Drug Enforcement Agency's Kabul chief] said. "To instill the fact that they have been doing this for years, and it has worked."

Like Massie says: "Just to be clear: if Afghanistan endures a half century of civil war—a good deal of it fuelled by American and European drug policies—this will be considered a success. Who are these guys? Characters in an Evelyn Waugh satire?"