Over the past 15 years, from FY1989-FY2003, the United States has provided Colombia with over $3.6 billion in assistance, most of it directed to counternarcotics or related efforts. During the first 11 fiscal years (FY1989-FY1999), when assistance totaled just over $1 billion, the annual levels were considerably lower than during the past three fiscal years and the current fiscal year. From FY2000-FY2003, assistance totals about $2,556 billion. The Clinton Administration increased assistance in FY2000 to fund its "Plan Colombia" programs to counter the spread of coca cultivation in southern Colombia. The Bush Administration has continued "Plan Colombia" programs through its Andean Regional Initiative (ARI), which also provides increased funding for Colombia's neighbors. In FY2002, President Bush also sought authority to expand the circumstances under which funding for the Colombian security forces can be used. As approved by Congress in 2002 and 2003, funding for FY2003 and previous years can be used for counternarcotics and anti-terrorist purposes. For FY2004, the Bush Administration has requested $573 million in State Department Andean Counterdrug Initiative and Foreign Military Financing funds, and estimates it will spend some $45 million in Colombia from the central State Department Air Wing account. The Department of Defense (DOD) estimates that it will spend almost $119 million for Colombia from its central counternarcotics account.
Over the past 15 years, from FY1989-FY2003, the United States has provided Colombia with over $3.6 billion in assistance, most of it directed to counternarcotics or related efforts. During the first 11 fiscal years (FY1989-FY1999), when assistance totaled just over $1 billion, the annual levels were considerably lower than during the past three fiscal years and the current fiscal year. From FY2000-FY2003, assistance totals about $2,556 billion. The Clinton Administration increased assistance in FY2000 to fund its "Plan Colombia" programs to counter the spread of coca cultivation in southern Colombia.
The Bush Administration has continued "Plan Colombia" programs through its Andean Regional Initiative (ARI), which also provides increased funding for Colombia's neighbors. In FY2002, President Bush also sought authority to expand the circumstances under which funding for the Colombian security forces can be used. As approved by Congress in 2002 and 2003, funding for FY2003 and previous years can be used for counternarcotics and anti-terrorist purposes.
For FY2004, the Bush Administration has requested $573 million in State Department Andean Counterdrug Initiative and Foreign Military Financing funds, and estimates it will spend some $45 million in Colombia from the central State Department Air Wing account. The Department of Defense (DOD) estimates that it will spend almost $119 million for Colombia from its central counternarcotics account.
While the United States has been providing counternarcotics (CN) assistance to Colombia at least as far back as the mid-1970s, former President George H.W. Bush dramatically increased CN aid to Colombia through his 1989 "Andean Initiative." Grant aid to Colombia had increased gradually, albeit not evenly, through the 1980s, as Colombia evolved from a major supplier of marijuana to the United States, to nearly the sole supplier of cocaine. By the end of the 1980s, with coca leaf cultivation and cocaine production rising in the Andean region, and Colombia suffering increased political violence from the Medellin drug-trafficking cartel, the former Bush Administration established its new CN program. Under this region-wide initiative, the United States substantially increased State Department support for Colombian CN efforts, and provided Colombian security forces, primarily the police, with equipment through foreign military financing grants and DOD equipment drawdowns. As part of the effort to bring military resources to bear on the "war against drugs," in 1991, Congress enacted "Section 1004" of the 1991 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (P.L.101-510). This provides the DOD with authority to provide transportation, reconnaissance, training, intelligence, and base support when requested by foreign law enforcement agencies for CN purposes.
Funding for Colombia dropped in the first two years of the Clinton Administration budgets. It began to increase in FY1997, with increased attention to eradication efforts. Until FY1998, however, the numbers fell short of the Bush years. (1) In 1998, Congress established a new authority, Section 1033 of the1998 NDAA (P.L. 105-85), for the U.S. military to provide non-lethal equipment, and to maintain and repair counter-drug equipment. Table 2 details funding for the eleven years from FY1989 - FY1999, which totals $1,066.7 million (i.e., $1.07 billion).
The 1998 election of a new Colombian president, Andres Pastrana, led to a reevaluation of U.S. policy and greater cooperation. During Pastrana's October 1998 state visit, President Clinton announced that the United State would provide nearly three times more assistance to Colombia during FY1999 than it had the previous year. Much of this, however, was the $173.2 million in congressionally-mandated supplemental appropriations funding (P.L. 105-277) for helicopter and aircraft upgrades, radar, and police assistance that the Administration had not requested. In FY2000, the funding again rose substantially with the "Plan Colombia" legislation.
In July 2000, Congress approved the Clinton Administration's request for $1.3 billion in FY2000 State Department and DOD emergency supplemental appropriations (P.L. 106-246) for the region-wide "Plan Colombia," of which $860.3 was earmarked for Colombia. Nearly half of the Colombia funding was dedicated to the "Push into Southern Colombia" program to set up and train two new Colombian Army Counternarcotics battalions (CACBs), which combined with an existing one set up earlier by the United States to form a brigade of some 2,700. The brigade assists the Colombian National Police (CNP) in the fumigation of illicit narcotics crops and the dismantling of laboratories, beginning with coca fumigation in the southern provinces of Putumayo and Caquetá, where coca cultivation was spreading rapidly. Congress also provided substantial assistance for economic development, displaced persons, human rights monitors, and administration of justice and other governance programs, all intended to help Colombia counter the many threats to its stability and integrity from the trafficking of illegal narcotics.
With its FY2002 budget request, the Bush Administration expanded the scope of Clinton's "Plan Colombia" policy through its Andean Regional Initiative (ARI), with continuing high levels of support for existing "Plan Colombia" programs in Colombia, and increased assistance to states bordering or close to Colombia. Congress provided $380.5 million, nearly all of the Administration's requested $399 million, for Colombia in State Department counternarcotics funding in the FY2002 foreign operations appropriations (P.L. 107-115). (2) As in previous years, the appropriations bill included human rights and other conditions, and a cap on the number deployed of military personnel and of private contractors who are U.S. citizens.
In February 2002, through requests for FY2002 emergency supplemental appropriations and FY2003 regular appropriations, the Bush Administration sought authority and funding to expand the scope of military assistance. In both requests, it asked for foreign military financing (FMF) funds to train and equip Colombian soldiers to defend oil pipelines and other infrastructure from attacks by leftist guerrillas, in addition to funding for Plan Colombia programs. The supplemental request also sought funding to train Colombian security forces in anti-kidnapping techniques. In addition, the supplemental submission proposed to broaden the authorities of the Defense and State Departments to use FY2002 and FY2003 assistance and unexpended Plan Colombia (P.L. 106-246) aid to support the Colombian government's "unified campaign against narcotics trafficking, terrorist activities, and other threats to its national security."
In the month before Colombia's new president, Alvaro Uribe, took office in August 2002, Congress provided almost all of the requested supplemental funding and expanded the scope of military assistance permitted with those and previous-fiscal year funds. With the FY2002 supplemental appropriations (Section 305, P.L. 107-206), Congress provided authority for the Administration to use counternarcotics and other funds to support Colombia's "unified campaign" against narcotics trafficking and against activities by organizations designated as terrorist organizations, naming specifically the two major leftist guerrilla groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army, and the rightist United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, as well as in emergency circumstances. Congress, however, did not provide expanded authority for activities involving any other national security threats. Congress extended the authority for State Department FY2003 funding in the omnibus FY2003 appropriations bill (P.L. 108-7, under the heading "Andean Counterdrug Initiative"), passed in February 2003, which included annual State Department appropriations, and for DOD funding in the FY2003 defense appropriations bill (Section 8145, P.L. 107-248). Congress approved just $5 million shy of the $537 million the Bush Administration requested in CN ($433.2 million) and FMF ($93 million) funding. In the FY2003 supplemental appropriations (P.L. 108-11), Congress included $105 million for Colombia: $34 million in State Department CN funding, $34 million in DOD CN funding, and $37.1 million in FMF funding. Both bills condition aid on the observance of human rights and environmental and other restrictions.
For FY2004, the Bush Administration has requested $573 million for Colombia, including $463 million in Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) funds, and $110 million in Foreign Military Financing. It has also requested military funding for Colombia that, for the first time since Plan Colombia was adopted, is not requested for a very specific purpose. The Administration request states that FMF for Colombia is intended "to support counter-terrorism operations and protect key infrastructure such as the oil pipeline."
Table 1 shows aid to Colombia from FY2000 through FY2003 and the FY2004 request. Table 2 shows aid from FY1989-FY1999. (For more information, see CRS Report RL30541, CRS Report RL31016, and CRS Report RL31383(pdf).)
Tables 1 and 2 include direct U.S. foreign assistance (i.e., the categories usually counted as U.S. foreign aid, which are in italics) as well as the costs of goods and services provided to Colombia from other U.S. government programs supporting CN efforts there. These figures were taken from publically-available documents or provided directly by the Departments of State and Defense. The United States also provides a small amount of DOD Excess Defense Articles (EDA) to Colombia.
These charts provide as comprehensive a picture as possible of U.S. assistance to Colombia, but there are limitations. For instance, some funds are spent in Colombia on counternarcotics and other activities that are considered part of U.S. programs: for instance, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) spends its own funds on joint operations in Colombia. Other funds are provided through regional programs of USAID and other programs which are not counted as assistance on a country-by-country basis. No attempt was made to estimate such funds. Also, there are inconsistencies among various sources. Because of these and other constraints on gathering data, the amount of assistance provided to Colombia may be larger than the amounts cited in these tables.
Table 1. U.S. Assistance to Colombia FY2000-FY2004
(Obligations and authorizations, $ millions)
-- Development Aid
-- Economic Support Funds (ESF)
-- Disaster Assistance
|State Department/INC account/ACI account||50.0||
|State Department INC Air Wing||38.0||38.0||38.2||--||41.5
|DOD/Overlapping Sections 1004/124||6.6||4.6||5.0||--||6.3||6.0|
|Administration of Justice||--||--||--||--||--|
|International Military Education and Training (IMET)||0.9||--||1.0||1.2||--||1.2||--||1.6|
|Foreign Military Financing (FMF)/Grant||--||--||--||--||6.0||93.0||37.1||110.0|
|TOTALS (of available numbers)||965.8||267.9||546.5||774.9||738.4|
Notes: NA = Not Available. Figures on State Department INC (International Narcotics Control), ACI (Andean Counterdrug Initiative), USAID, FMF, and IMET funding from State Department Congressional Presentations, budget justification documents, and allocation information provided by the Department of State. Figures on INC Air Wing (FY2000-FY2004) provided by the State Department: figures provided May 5, 2003. (INC Air Wing funding supports the spray eradication efforts. FY2000 figure includes $5.5 million in support of the Colombian Army.) Figures on DOD 1004, 1004/124, and 1033 funding provided April 11, 2002, for FY2000-2002; and April 18, 2003, for FY2003 and FY2004. Both INC Air Wing and DOD funding are taken from regional accounts, therefore the FY2003 and FY2004 allocations are estimates, and can be shifted to respond to developing needs in other areas.
a FY2000 and thereafter, non-DOD Plan Colombia funds are all assigned to the State Department INC (FY2000 and FY2001) or ACI (FY2002 and thereafter) account; the State Department transfers them to the other agencies carrying out programs in Colombia with those funds. These include the Department of Justice and USAID. The USAID FY2000 and FY2001 figures are Economic Support Funds (ESF). These USAID figures do not include funds provided to USAID from the INC account.
Table 2. U.S. Aid to Colombia FY1989-FY1999
(Obligations and Authorizations, $ millions)
|U.S. AID||--||--||--||--||23.8||0.2||-- a||--||--||0.5||3.0|
|Food Aid Grants||0.1||0.2||--||--||0.8||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|State Department INC||10.0||20.0||20.0||23.4||25.0||20.0||16.0||16.0||33.5||46.3||205.9|
|State Department Air Wing||--||--||--||--||--||--||2.5||6.6||10.9||37.8||30.0|
|Defense Department Section 1033||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||2.2||35.9|
|Defense Department Section 1004||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||10.3||11.8||13.6|
|Administration of Justice||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||1.8||2.0||1.8|
|Foreign Military Financing Grants||69.7||27.1||47.0||27.0||7.7||10.0||--||--||--||--|
|Foreign Military Financing Loansb||(19.9)c||--|
|MAP Merger Funds||7.1||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Section 506 authorized||65.0||20.0||--||7.0||--||--||--||14.5||9.4||18.8||72.6|
Sources: Data is drawn from a number of sources, not all of which are consistent. These include: various editions of the U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants and Assistance from International Organizations "Green Book," prepared by the US AID budget office; various editions of the Foreign Military Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales, and Military Assistance Facts book, prepared by the Department of Defense Security Cooperation Agency; information provided directly by the departments of State and Defense that are not recorded in these publications; and by the General Accounting Office (GAO) for 1996-1998. (See GAO-01-26) Where contradictions existed, GAO data was preferred. Because of a possible lack of data or inaccuracies, some yearly totals may be understated or overstated, particularly prior to FY1997.
a In these years, there was assistance in this category of less than $50,000.
b Although it is likely that Section 1004 assistance was provided to Colombia as far back as FY1992, there is no public breakdown of such assistance until FY1997. That is the first year in which DOD provided a publicly-available breakdown by country and authority for funding from its central counternarcotics account.
c Not included in totals.
1. (back)From mid-FY1996 through sometime in FY1997, the United States cut off certain categories of assistance, including foreign military financing, which had been a large part of U.S. assistance to Colombia. The cutoff was mandated by President Clinton's decision to "decertify" Colombia in March 1996 and March 1997, in the annual determinations as to whether drug-producing and transit countries are fully cooperating with the United States on counternarcotics efforts.
2. (back)Note: The executive branch requests funding differently for State Department and DOD CN programs. The annual State Department funding requests are accompanied by publicly-available country breakdowns of the requested amounts, while the DOD requests are not. The DOD requests a lump sum for all CN programs worldwide under Sections 1004 and 1033, and under Section 124 which provides DOD with the lead role in detection and monitoring programs. DOD can reallocate these funds throughout the year in accordance with changing needs.