War brewing in Colombia . . .

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Farang

Lifer
Jul 7, 2003
10,914
3
0
Originally posted by: Mill
Originally posted by: Perknose
Again, this is all posturing. These are all indifferently trained and poorly motivated conscript armies, on all sides.

Columbians have the most "combat" experience, but this consists mainly of sweeping into isolated villages after the FARC has melted away and brutalizing the luckless campesino peasants left behind. Still, they've been doing this for several decades, so they probably have more unit cohesion than Venezuela or, hahahahahahahahaha, Ecuador.

There will be no real shooting war.

Each side has potentially too much to lose and little to truly gain if that happens, and they know it.
Eh... I disagree. Colombia has a professional military, and their combat experience is fighting the FARC in the thick of the jungle and paracos as well -- not massacring civilians like you accuse them of. I've been on several Colombian military bases -- even some of the ones close to the action, and I can promise you that they have a professional army. Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts; most of the conscripts are in the FARC or in the paracos. This is not to say that the Colombian military has never killed innocent people, or that they haven't had problems -- they have -- but their military is very professional. They've had US training and equipment for a long time now.

Still, they've been doing this for several decades
War in Colombia predates that timeline.
Can you explain in more detail what you mean by "Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts?" I work with a Colombian who says he is putting off his required military service and it seems from what I found online that there is a required 24-month service obligation.
 

fallout man

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2007
1,787
0
0
Originally posted by: DivideBYZero
Originally posted by: fallout man
Originally posted by: DivideBYZero

No, you're claiming that Uribe's Government is ineffective and corrupt. I'm calling you out on that. Back it up.
Because Colombia tries to http://www.reuters.com/article...stCrisis/idUSN14200865">blackmail</a> the US into feeding them more cold hard American taxpayer dollars.

"Oooga Booga! Oooga Booga! You no give funny money, you suffer New York streets full of COCA!"

Like that's not already a currently ongoing problem: "Oh no, coke will get 'slightly more expensive.'"

Also, Uribe is a douchebag who pulls things like http://www.iht.com/articles/ap...a-Uribe-Reelection.php">this.</a> I don't really see anyone here sweating to support a third Putin term, but here we are discussing a South American president who:

BOGOTA, Colombia: Close supporters of President Alvaro Uribe in congress announced Wednesday that they would seek a constitutional amendment to allow the Colombian president to seek a third term in office.(1)

The pro-government "U" party, the largest bloc in Congress, said later this month they would begin collecting the 1.3 million signatures needed to force a referendum on allowing the popular conservative leader to run for a third consecutive term.

If a referendum is held and voters approve the amendment, it would still need to be approved by congress and then be greenlighted by the constitutional court.

"No army switches generals when it's winning the battle," said Luis Guillermo Giraldo, secretary general of the "U" party, which approved the proposal Wednesday at a party congress.

In the strongest indication yet that he wouldn't be tempted into seeking a third term, Uribe in August said Colombia should begin looking for his successor and even put forward a potential candidate: agricultural minister Felipe Arias
Today in Americas.

Ever since his landslide re-election last year, Uribe's supporters have hinted they would try to amend Colombia's constitution like they did in 2004 in order to tempt him into extending his stay in office.(2)

Opponents of a third term, among them several architects of his first re-election, warn against Uribe seeking a third term and say he hasn't done enough to rule out the possibility.

The U.S. government has been silent on whether it would be support another four-year term for its staunchest ally in the region.

Despite a scandal that has led to the arrest of more than a dozen of his congressional backers for alleged ties to right-wing militias, Uribe still enjoys approval ratings of over 70 percent, largely due to his government's security gains against leftist rebels(3) and one of South America's highest economic growth rates.

Recent surveys show that a little more than half of Colombians want Uribe to stay in power past 2010.(4)
Wow, he sounds like if God put Chavez and George W. Bush into a blender, pressed the button, and poured the liquid results into a gold-rimmed martini glass.

Where do I sign up?
OK. Firstly, most Colombians are bright, intelligent people. None of them would utter the caveman like phrase, "Oooga Booga! Oooga Booga!". Please try to debate like an adult.

Points I am addressing are marked with numbers to add clarity.

(1) The Colombian congress signed this into law. This was with the back of Most Colombians. He didn't just rock up to work one day, type out a memo, stamp it a say, 'There. I win.'.

(2) And why not? He has had a profoundly positive effect on the country. What is to stop them trying?

(3) A truly corrupt government would protect these people from prosecution. You also forgot to bold the part about him being responsible for very high economic growth and ignored his popularity due to security improvement.

(4) And why wouldn't they?
You're right. You win.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,069
499
126
Originally posted by: fallout man
Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: fallout man
Nice. Colombia is using my "War on Drugs" money to fight off leftist rebels who want to overthrow their shitty, corrupt government.

We need more "WARS ON STUFF." That should cure the world of every ailment.

I really don't see how Venezuela and Equador are in the wrong here. If there was proven evidence of cross-border collaboration between a "terrorist" group and those governments, why not bring it before an international court/political body? Typically, crossing the border into another country to carry out a military operation is pretty much a declaration of war--unless you're the U.S. Even if you're the U.S., it's still "ain't right." We're all too fucking hypnotized at this point to call a spade a spade.

Anything goes when you're fightin' "terrah!" Let's all just sit down and have a consensus on what "terror" really is.
Uh have you been living in a cave? The evidence was found from the raid. How can they get the evidence to present to an international community that is at the camp in Ecquador if they dont perform the raid?
Yes. You are so correct, beyond any debate. You have to break an international law, essentially declaring war through demonstrated aggression, in order to make unsubstantiated claims about a break in international law. When you break a law in order to "suggest" that someone else broke a law, you make yourself exempt from condemnation for breaking the law you broke. That's how hot justice works.

If I suspect that you have copies of illegal software in your home, I can break into your home and vandalize it until I find evidence of illegal software. The international community will forgive me for breaking your shit because I've been such a stalwart supporter of law and justice by exposing your software pirating.

I have been living in a cave. At least I had the opportunity to read up on enough news in the last few years to know that "evidence found" and "actionable intelligence" is worth about as much as a Cracker Jack prize in this day and age.

Ahh yes another arm chair investigator who knows the information found on that laptop is fabricated. Must explain by Chavez is sending troops to the border and saber rattling over an incursion into ecquador territory.

And ecquador allowing these criminals to run rampant on their side of the border opens them upto liability. In this case a country defending itself from said piece of cancer. If ecquador doesnt want it to happen again. Disarm the criminals and dont allow them to base.

 

fallout man

Golden Member
Nov 20, 2007
1,787
0
0
Originally posted by: Genx87


Ahh yes another arm chair investigator who knows the information found on that laptop is fabricated. Must explain by Chavez is sending troops to the border and saber rattling over an incursion into Ecuador territory.
Hey fuck-stick,

Venezuela AND Ecuador both put troops on the border and severed diplomatic ties with Colombia. I'm sure that it's totally because they're in left-wing Marxist cahoots, and not because their neighbor nation acts like the town drunk.

For an arm-chair investigator, I sure do post a lot less than you. Thanks for being here for me, with all of your magnificent international-relations and intelligence-gathering experience.

Cheers,
FM


-----------------------------------------------------
If you can not debate like an adult or even a educated juvenile, you do not belong here posting.

As you are aware (had you read the TOS and forum guideline posted) personal attacks are not allowed.

Please take a week off to re-review the TOS and guidelines.

Senior Anandtech Moderator
Common Courtesy
 

DivideBYZero

Lifer
May 18, 2001
24,117
2
0
Originally posted by: fallout man
Originally posted by: Genx87


Ahh yes another arm chair investigator who knows the information found on that laptop is fabricated. Must explain by Chavez is sending troops to the border and saber rattling over an incursion into ecquador territory.
Hey fuck-stick,

Venezuela AND Equador both put troops on the border and severed diplomatic ties with Colombia. I'm sure that it's totally because they're in left-wing Marxist cahoots, and not because their neighbor nation acts like the town drunk.

For an arm-chair investigator, I sure do post a lot less than you. Thanks for being here for me, with all of your magnifficent international-relations and intelligence-gathering experience.

Cheers,
FM
OK, you're officially on the ignore list. Your lack of understanding of the subject just leads to you venting and calling people names. Good going.

I see a ban in your future, n00b.

 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,069
499
126
Originally posted by: fallout man
Originally posted by: Genx87


Ahh yes another arm chair investigator who knows the information found on that laptop is fabricated. Must explain by Chavez is sending troops to the border and saber rattling over an incursion into ecquador territory.
Hey fuck-stick,

Venezuela AND Equador both put troops on the border and severed diplomatic ties with Colombia. I'm sure that it's totally because they're in left-wing Marxist cahoots, and not because their neighbor nation acts like the town drunk.

For an arm-chair investigator, I sure do post a lot less than you. Thanks for being here for me, with all of your magnifficent international-relations and intelligence-gathering experience.

Cheers,
FM
Grow up

 

Drift3r

Guest
Jun 3, 2003
3,572
0
0
Originally posted by: Andres3605
Originally posted by: Drift3r
Originally posted by: DivideBYZero
Originally posted by: fallout man
I'm not making an excuse for FARC tactics, financing, or message.

What I want to point out is that we as American taxpayers have thrown billions of funbucks at at shitty, corrupt government that has spun the use of the funds to fight what is essentially an insurgency.

If you're so worried about fighting the good war on drugs, we should perhaps beef up our border with South America using those 5 billion funbucks. After all, the US is Colombia's biggest export's sniffer.
No, you're claiming that Uribe's Government is ineffective and corrupt. I'm calling you out on that. Back it up.
Colombia is not a country I would set foot in if I were a pale skin non-Spanish speaking person. It's the number one kidnap capital of the world and even though the FARC add to this problem they are not the sole problem causing all these kidnapings. Drugs in Columbia and all the graft that come about because of it infects every level of the Columbian government and this is a well known fact.

Left wing rebels help protect the cash drug crop and the Right Wing paramilitaries help to move it out of Columbia. Drugs and the Drug lords have basically infiltrated every aspect of Colombians lives. If we could just kick our drug habit as a nation or at least not treat it as a war or crime then things would change and sanity and order would slowly start to crawl back into place.
You are wrong is not number 1 anymore, look close at Mexico your neighbors, and corruption in government is present but not anywhere close as widespread as you make it sound, production of drug has drastically decreased since Uribe is president, but as you said comsumption is the biggest role, if there a buyer there will be a product...

Text

"..last year, with U.S. assistance, Colombia eliminated a record- breaking 153,000 hectares of coca through aerial eradication and another 66,000 through manual eradication..."
Oh great they dropped to the number 2 or 3 spot? So does that make it a better place to visit? Then again it could just be that Mexico became worse then Columbia and nothing really changed there.
 

DivideBYZero

Lifer
May 18, 2001
24,117
2
0
Originally posted by: Drift3r
Originally posted by: Andres3605
Originally posted by: Drift3r
Originally posted by: DivideBYZero
Originally posted by: fallout man
I'm not making an excuse for FARC tactics, financing, or message.

What I want to point out is that we as American taxpayers have thrown billions of funbucks at at shitty, corrupt government that has spun the use of the funds to fight what is essentially an insurgency.

If you're so worried about fighting the good war on drugs, we should perhaps beef up our border with South America using those 5 billion funbucks. After all, the US is Colombia's biggest export's sniffer.
No, you're claiming that Uribe's Government is ineffective and corrupt. I'm calling you out on that. Back it up.
Colombia is not a country I would set foot in if I were a pale skin non-Spanish speaking person. It's the number one kidnap capital of the world and even though the FARC add to this problem they are not the sole problem causing all these kidnapings. Drugs in Columbia and all the graft that come about because of it infects every level of the Columbian government and this is a well known fact.

Left wing rebels help protect the cash drug crop and the Right Wing paramilitaries help to move it out of Columbia. Drugs and the Drug lords have basically infiltrated every aspect of Colombians lives. If we could just kick our drug habit as a nation or at least not treat it as a war or crime then things would change and sanity and order would slowly start to crawl back into place.
You are wrong is not number 1 anymore, look close at Mexico your neighbors, and corruption in government is present but not anywhere close as widespread as you make it sound, production of drug has drastically decreased since Uribe is president, but as you said comsumption is the biggest role, if there a buyer there will be a product...

Text

"..last year, with U.S. assistance, Colombia eliminated a record- breaking 153,000 hectares of coca through aerial eradication and another 66,000 through manual eradication..."
Oh great they dropped to the number 2 or 3 spot? So does that make it a better place to visit? Then again it could just be that Mexico became worse then Columbia and nothing really changed there.
You're not reading the thread are you?
 

Mill

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
28,558
3
81
Originally posted by: Farang
Originally posted by: Mill
Originally posted by: Perknose
Again, this is all posturing. These are all indifferently trained and poorly motivated conscript armies, on all sides.

Columbians have the most "combat" experience, but this consists mainly of sweeping into isolated villages after the FARC has melted away and brutalizing the luckless campesino peasants left behind. Still, they've been doing this for several decades, so they probably have more unit cohesion than Venezuela or, hahahahahahahahaha, Ecuador.

There will be no real shooting war.

Each side has potentially too much to lose and little to truly gain if that happens, and they know it.
Eh... I disagree. Colombia has a professional military, and their combat experience is fighting the FARC in the thick of the jungle and paracos as well -- not massacring civilians like you accuse them of. I've been on several Colombian military bases -- even some of the ones close to the action, and I can promise you that they have a professional army. Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts; most of the conscripts are in the FARC or in the paracos. This is not to say that the Colombian military has never killed innocent people, or that they haven't had problems -- they have -- but their military is very professional. They've had US training and equipment for a long time now.

Still, they've been doing this for several decades
War in Colombia predates that timeline.
Can you explain in more detail what you mean by "Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts?" I work with a Colombian who says he is putting off his required military service and it seems from what I found online that there is a required 24-month service obligation.
There is required service for a 18 months. You can serve it in the Army, Navy (heh), Air Force, or even the National Police. After that, you are done or you can elect to be a professional soldier. The vast majority (we are talking 80+ percent -- if not higher) of those in the military and National Police are people that stayed in, enlisted voluntarily, or otherwise. So, again, Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts. They did in the past. In the past, around half of the troops were conscripts. Colombia has been trying to get away from conscription since the 90's, and replace the conscripts with professional soldiers that are paid and equipped better (hence the military aid of Plan Colombia). There is/was a lottery system (things changed in 2004, and are changing again now) to where all HS students drew a ball to see if they had to serve, or if they could pay to get out of service, or postpone it until they were too old for service (going to college, etc). I don't know what it costs now, but you can pay and opt out of your service if you drew the right lottery ball. There are those that HAD to serve... they drew the wrong ball, couldn't pay, couldn't postpone, or for whatever other reason. I am not expert on the matter. I can only go off of what my friend's in Colombia have told me -- as well as my wife's family. I do know that none of my friends have served. They have all gotten out of their commitment one way or another.

My wife's father served in the Air Force from age 16 until he had 25 years service, and then he retired. From what I've been told, it is way different than it used to be. The conscripts now provide security on bases, desk jobs, and other non-combat roles for the most part (I'm not saying that none of the young conscript guys see active combat, but I've been told it doesn't happen). After their 18 months (it used to be 2 years for those without a HS degree, and a year for those that had one), they decide whether to get out or stay in.

There's like 300k to 400k people that become eligible each year for service, and I was told that 20% or less ever do the service. Uribe and his Generals want the troops to be voluntary and professional.

In the 80's and early 90's it was a different story. There were a lot of conscripts, and most of them didn't want to be there. They saw combat. Uribe and others has realized that doing that doesn't make for a cohesive and battle ready group.

At any rate, I'm sorry for the long post. The gist of it is that Colombia is transitioning into a professional service like the US has (hence the aid from Plan Colombia and US advisors). I stand by my statement that the vast majority of the active duty folks are NOT conscripts. Andres or someone else may know differently, but from what I've been told that's how it is. This is secondhand info, so someone who is in HS right now, or is trying to postpone their service most likely has better information about the whole process. I will have to ask my wife's brother when I go to Colombia again. I'm leaving tomorrow to go there, so perhaps I can update with better info sometime next week.
 

Mill

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
28,558
3
81
Originally posted by: Drift3r
Originally posted by: Andres3605
Originally posted by: Drift3r
Originally posted by: DivideBYZero
Originally posted by: fallout man
I'm not making an excuse for FARC tactics, financing, or message.

What I want to point out is that we as American taxpayers have thrown billions of funbucks at at shitty, corrupt government that has spun the use of the funds to fight what is essentially an insurgency.

If you're so worried about fighting the good war on drugs, we should perhaps beef up our border with South America using those 5 billion funbucks. After all, the US is Colombia's biggest export's sniffer.
No, you're claiming that Uribe's Government is ineffective and corrupt. I'm calling you out on that. Back it up.
Colombia is not a country I would set foot in if I were a pale skin non-Spanish speaking person. It's the number one kidnap capital of the world and even though the FARC add to this problem they are not the sole problem causing all these kidnapings. Drugs in Columbia and all the graft that come about because of it infects every level of the Columbian government and this is a well known fact.

Left wing rebels help protect the cash drug crop and the Right Wing paramilitaries help to move it out of Columbia. Drugs and the Drug lords have basically infiltrated every aspect of Colombians lives. If we could just kick our drug habit as a nation or at least not treat it as a war or crime then things would change and sanity and order would slowly start to crawl back into place.
You are wrong is not number 1 anymore, look close at Mexico your neighbors, and corruption in government is present but not anywhere close as widespread as you make it sound, production of drug has drastically decreased since Uribe is president, but as you said comsumption is the biggest role, if there a buyer there will be a product...

Text

"..last year, with U.S. assistance, Colombia eliminated a record- breaking 153,000 hectares of coca through aerial eradication and another 66,000 through manual eradication..."
Oh great they dropped to the number 2 or 3 spot? So does that make it a better place to visit? Then again it could just be that Mexico became worse then Columbia and nothing really changed there.
If you've paid attention to the past five years or so, Colombia is becoming a very active place for tourists (European and American). Even the Economist has extolled its virtues and newfound safeness (relative).

Obviously if you go hand out in the Jungle in Meta you'd might have a problem. If you stick to the cities, or if you go where it is safe you don't have a problem. There are active areas of conflict, and going around there for the most part is just plain stupid. For the most part, Colombia is relatively safe. It has your typical urban crime problems, and it is a developing country, so don't expect US suburban safeness. If you go down there with a Camera around your neck and you get drunk and then robbed -- don't expect the police to give a fuck. They won't.

The people getting kidnapped in Colombia are not gringos. It happens occasionally, but quite rare as compared to the past. I can only think of a few cases in the past few years. There were some people that went to the Ciudad Perdida that got kidnapped, but they were released. The FARC is holding 3 US military contractors, and there have been cases of Colombian-Americans being setup (hoping they have money).

I wouldn't hesitate that recommend that someone visit Colombia. I brought my entire family down to Bogotá for my wedding. As long as someone isn't going for Sex Tourism, or going down there and flashing money and acting like a tourist, I'd wish them all the luck in the world and would feel confident that they would be fine. As for the Sex Tourists, I hope the paracos eat their lunch.
 

Andres3605

Senior member
Nov 14, 2004
927
0
71
Originally posted by: Mill
Originally posted by: Farang
Originally posted by: Mill
Originally posted by: Perknose
Again, this is all posturing. These are all indifferently trained and poorly motivated conscript armies, on all sides.

Columbians have the most "combat" experience, but this consists mainly of sweeping into isolated villages after the FARC has melted away and brutalizing the luckless campesino peasants left behind. Still, they've been doing this for several decades, so they probably have more unit cohesion than Venezuela or, hahahahahahahahaha, Ecuador.

There will be no real shooting war.

Each side has potentially too much to lose and little to truly gain if that happens, and they know it.
Eh... I disagree. Colombia has a professional military, and their combat experience is fighting the FARC in the thick of the jungle and paracos as well -- not massacring civilians like you accuse them of. I've been on several Colombian military bases -- even some of the ones close to the action, and I can promise you that they have a professional army. Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts; most of the conscripts are in the FARC or in the paracos. This is not to say that the Colombian military has never killed innocent people, or that they haven't had problems -- they have -- but their military is very professional. They've had US training and equipment for a long time now.

Still, they've been doing this for several decades
War in Colombia predates that timeline.
Can you explain in more detail what you mean by "Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts?" I work with a Colombian who says he is putting off his required military service and it seems from what I found online that there is a required 24-month service obligation.
There is required service for a 18 months. You can serve it in the Army, Navy (heh), Air Force, or even the National Police. After that, you are done or you can elect to be a professional soldier. The vast majority (we are talking 80+ percent -- if not higher) of those in the military and National Police are people that stayed in, enlisted voluntarily, or otherwise. So, again, Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts. They did in the past. In the past, around half of the troops were conscripts. Colombia has been trying to get away from conscription since the 90's, and replace the conscripts with professional soldiers that are paid and equipped better (hence the military aid of Plan Colombia). There is/was a lottery system (things changed in 2004, and are changing again now) to where all HS students drew a ball to see if they had to serve, or if they could pay to get out of service, or postpone it until they were too old for service (going to college, etc). I don't know what it costs now, but you can pay and opt out of your service if you drew the right lottery ball. There are those that HAD to serve... they drew the wrong ball, couldn't pay, couldn't postpone, or for whatever other reason. I am not expert on the matter. I can only go off of what my friend's in Colombia have told me -- as well as my wife's family. I do know that none of my friends have served. They have all gotten out of their commitment one way or another.

My wife's father served in the Air Force from age 16 until he had 25 years service, and then he retired. From what I've been told, it is way different than it used to be. The conscripts now provide security on bases, desk jobs, and other non-combat roles for the most part (I'm not saying that none of the young conscript guys see active combat, but I've been told it doesn't happen). After their 18 months (it used to be 2 years for those without a HS degree, and a year for those that had one), they decide whether to get out or stay in.

There's like 300k to 400k people that become eligible each year for service, and I was told that 20% or less ever do the service. Uribe and his Generals want the troops to be voluntary and professional.

In the 80's and early 90's it was a different story. There were a lot of conscripts, and most of them didn't want to be there. They saw combat. Uribe and others has realized that doing that doesn't make for a cohesive and battle ready group.

At any rate, I'm sorry for the long post. The gist of it is that Colombia is transitioning into a professional service like the US has (hence the aid from Plan Colombia and US advisors). I stand by my statement that the vast majority of the active duty folks are NOT conscripts. Andres or someone else may know differently, but from what I've been told that's how it is. This is secondhand info, so someone who is in HS right now, or is trying to postpone their service most likely has better information about the whole process. I will have to ask my wife's brother when I go to Colombia again. I'm leaving tomorrow to go there, so perhaps I can update with better info sometime next week.
The military in Colombia is mainly composed by professional troops, whenever you are ready to graduate from High school there is a physical check up and the ballet system, in that system there is different colors white (no service), one for the police, one for the INPEC ( jail keepers), one for navy, one for the army, and the distribution in colors changes according to needs (mostly army) .

If you pass the physical test (not endurance just no dis capabilities) and you are not family head, or unique male son, you are declared eligible for obligatory military service, sometimes they offer a monetary contribution in exchange of service if the need for troops is low, also if you have a university/college/ technical school application approved you are exempt, if you are accepted you are usually in a non combat position (logistics, desk, base personnel not in offensive operations).

Since Uribe became president he has been able to decrease the number of active conscripts in the army (% to army total size) , and increase the force from 123~150 thousand ( 50k conscripts 73k professionals) to 250~280 thousand (70k conscripts 210k professionals (estimates) ) , including highly trained jungle, anti terrorist, surveillance and assault groups.
 

Farang

Lifer
Jul 7, 2003
10,914
3
0
Thanks Andre and Mill for your lengthy responses. You know I've studied political situations all over the world, and I've dipped a bit into South America but it never really held my interest long enough for me to get in-depth. The more you two talk about Colombia the more I want to learn, and fortunately this semester I've got 3 research assignments in which to do that so I look forward to learning more. If the market for English teachers were better I'd probably be moving to Bogota in May but instead I'll be in Buenos Aires, anyway I hope to hear more from you about the current crisis.
 

Mill

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
28,558
3
81
Originally posted by: Andres3605
Originally posted by: Mill
Originally posted by: Farang
Originally posted by: Mill
Originally posted by: Perknose
Again, this is all posturing. These are all indifferently trained and poorly motivated conscript armies, on all sides.

Columbians have the most "combat" experience, but this consists mainly of sweeping into isolated villages after the FARC has melted away and brutalizing the luckless campesino peasants left behind. Still, they've been doing this for several decades, so they probably have more unit cohesion than Venezuela or, hahahahahahahahaha, Ecuador.

There will be no real shooting war.

Each side has potentially too much to lose and little to truly gain if that happens, and they know it.
Eh... I disagree. Colombia has a professional military, and their combat experience is fighting the FARC in the thick of the jungle and paracos as well -- not massacring civilians like you accuse them of. I've been on several Colombian military bases -- even some of the ones close to the action, and I can promise you that they have a professional army. Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts; most of the conscripts are in the FARC or in the paracos. This is not to say that the Colombian military has never killed innocent people, or that they haven't had problems -- they have -- but their military is very professional. They've had US training and equipment for a long time now.

Still, they've been doing this for several decades
War in Colombia predates that timeline.
Can you explain in more detail what you mean by "Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts?" I work with a Colombian who says he is putting off his required military service and it seems from what I found online that there is a required 24-month service obligation.
There is required service for a 18 months. You can serve it in the Army, Navy (heh), Air Force, or even the National Police. After that, you are done or you can elect to be a professional soldier. The vast majority (we are talking 80+ percent -- if not higher) of those in the military and National Police are people that stayed in, enlisted voluntarily, or otherwise. So, again, Colombia doesn't have a lot of conscripts. They did in the past. In the past, around half of the troops were conscripts. Colombia has been trying to get away from conscription since the 90's, and replace the conscripts with professional soldiers that are paid and equipped better (hence the military aid of Plan Colombia). There is/was a lottery system (things changed in 2004, and are changing again now) to where all HS students drew a ball to see if they had to serve, or if they could pay to get out of service, or postpone it until they were too old for service (going to college, etc). I don't know what it costs now, but you can pay and opt out of your service if you drew the right lottery ball. There are those that HAD to serve... they drew the wrong ball, couldn't pay, couldn't postpone, or for whatever other reason. I am not expert on the matter. I can only go off of what my friend's in Colombia have told me -- as well as my wife's family. I do know that none of my friends have served. They have all gotten out of their commitment one way or another.

My wife's father served in the Air Force from age 16 until he had 25 years service, and then he retired. From what I've been told, it is way different than it used to be. The conscripts now provide security on bases, desk jobs, and other non-combat roles for the most part (I'm not saying that none of the young conscript guys see active combat, but I've been told it doesn't happen). After their 18 months (it used to be 2 years for those without a HS degree, and a year for those that had one), they decide whether to get out or stay in.

There's like 300k to 400k people that become eligible each year for service, and I was told that 20% or less ever do the service. Uribe and his Generals want the troops to be voluntary and professional.

In the 80's and early 90's it was a different story. There were a lot of conscripts, and most of them didn't want to be there. They saw combat. Uribe and others has realized that doing that doesn't make for a cohesive and battle ready group.

At any rate, I'm sorry for the long post. The gist of it is that Colombia is transitioning into a professional service like the US has (hence the aid from Plan Colombia and US advisors). I stand by my statement that the vast majority of the active duty folks are NOT conscripts. Andres or someone else may know differently, but from what I've been told that's how it is. This is secondhand info, so someone who is in HS right now, or is trying to postpone their service most likely has better information about the whole process. I will have to ask my wife's brother when I go to Colombia again. I'm leaving tomorrow to go there, so perhaps I can update with better info sometime next week.
The military in Colombia is mainly composed by professional troops, whenever you are ready to graduate from High school there is a physical check up and the ballet system, in that system there is different colors white (no service), one for the police, one for the INPEC ( jail keepers), one for navy, one for the army, and the distribution in colors changes according to needs (mostly army) .

If you pass the physical test (not endurance just no dis capabilities) and you are not family head, or unique male son, you are declared eligible for obligatory military service, sometimes they offer a monetary contribution in exchange of service if the need for troops is low, also if you have a university/college/ technical school application approved you are exempt, if you are accepted you are usually in a non combat position (logistics, desk, base personnel not in offensive operations).

Since Uribe became president he has been able to decrease the number of active conscripts in the army (% to army total size) , and increase the force from 123~150 thousand ( 50k conscripts 73k professionals) to 250~280 thousand (70k conscripts 210k professionals (estimates) ) , including highly trained jungle, anti terrorist, surveillance and assault groups.
Thank you. You explained it much more clearly than I could.

 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,069
499
126
The professional army route imo is the best route to take. It may be more expensive but the results speak for themselves. You have people who "want" to be there and have a dedication you wont find in conscripts.
 

Socio

Golden Member
May 19, 2002
1,730
2
81
Now Nicaragua is getting into the act;

Nicaragua breaks relations with Colombia

MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced Thursday that he is breaking off relations with Colombia because of his country's opposition to the Colombian raid on a guerrilla base in Ecuador.

Ortega announced his decision publicly after meeting with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who is on a multination tour in the region to rally opposition to Colombia's action, which killed the No. 2 commander of the Colombian FARC guerrilla group and 23 other Colombian guerrillas.

"We are breaking off relations because of the political terrorism being carried out by the governnent of Alvaro Uribe, not because of the Colombian people," Ortega said.
I think it has a lot less to do with what Colombia did and more with the fact they are allies with the US. Also if Chavez gets Costa Rica to turn on Colombia as well it will make a possible take over of Colombia and Panama just that much easier which has to be playing out at least in the back of his warped mind.
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
41,951
23,343
136
Originally posted by: Socio
Now Nicaragua is getting into the act;

Nicaragua breaks relations with Colombia

MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced Thursday that he is breaking off relations with Colombia because of his country's opposition to the Colombian raid on a guerrilla base in Ecuador.

Ortega announced his decision publicly after meeting with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who is on a multination tour in the region to rally opposition to Colombia's action, which killed the No. 2 commander of the Colombian FARC guerrilla group and 23 other Colombian guerrillas.

"We are breaking off relations because of the political terrorism being carried out by the governnent of Alvaro Uribe, not because of the Colombian people," Ortega said.
I think it has a lot less to do with what Colombia did and more with the fact they are allies with the US. Also if Chavez gets Costa Rica to turn on Colombia as well it will make a possible take over of Colombia and Panama just that much easier which has to be playing out at least in the back of his warped mind.
I really doubt Costa Rica would turn, the US is by far their primary import/export partner. Chavez may have wet dreams about controlling central and south America but that's all they are.

Any attempt to take Panama by force would certainly be countered by the very significant force the US can bring to bear. It's strategic importance and our relationship with the Panamanian government would force our hand.
 

Andres3605

Senior member
Nov 14, 2004
927
0
71


There is no way Costa Rica would get involved as they are neutral by nature, they have no army or navy, Nicaragua has very strong grudges with Colombia and are under Chavez pocket, they recently lost a claim in the Haya international court, trying to take San Andres and providence islands from Colombia, claim clearly unfounded and Chavez dreams of making a huge communist block, Colombia is one of the few obstacles to make it possible .

In other news the USS Harry S Truman aircraft carrier has departed in March 4 towards the Caribbean and is suspected to position in striking distance of Venezuelan military and economic targets.
 

Ozoned

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2004
5,578
0
0
Originally posted by: Farang


He called the U.S.-allied government in Bogota "a terrorist state" and labeled President Alvaro Uribe "a criminal."
[/quote]



Hmmmmmmmm. Our (USA) foreign policy is driven by....oil and Venezuela has lots of oil. When opportunity knocks, open the door. That's what I always say.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
3
0
Originally posted by: K1052
Originally posted by: Socio
Now Nicaragua is getting into the act;

Nicaragua breaks relations with Colombia

MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced Thursday that he is breaking off relations with Colombia because of his country's opposition to the Colombian raid on a guerrilla base in Ecuador.

Ortega announced his decision publicly after meeting with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who is on a multination tour in the region to rally opposition to Colombia's action, which killed the No. 2 commander of the Colombian FARC guerrilla group and 23 other Colombian guerrillas.

"We are breaking off relations because of the political terrorism being carried out by the governnent of Alvaro Uribe, not because of the Colombian people," Ortega said.
I think it has a lot less to do with what Colombia did and more with the fact they are allies with the US. Also if Chavez gets Costa Rica to turn on Colombia as well it will make a possible take over of Colombia and Panama just that much easier which has to be playing out at least in the back of his warped mind.
I really doubt Costa Rica would turn, the US is by far their primary import/export partner. Chavez may have wet dreams about controlling central and south America but that's all they are.

Any attempt to take Panama by force would certainly be countered by the very significant force the US can bring to bear. It's strategic importance and our relationship with the Panamanian government would force our hand.
It's ok. Socio is convinced that China is a step away from invading Taiwan in a three pronged agreement with Russia hitting Kosovo and Iran Israel, all at the same time. Now this about Chavez marching north and seizing the Panama canal. It's complete fantasy.
 

Andres3605

Senior member
Nov 14, 2004
927
0
71
Update:

Colombian army kills another FARC leader

Colombia has killed another senior FARC rebel leader on its territory, days after slaying a guerrilla chief in Ecuador, a government official told AFP Friday.

Ivan Rios, one of the seven members of the central high command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was killed earlier in the day in western Colombia, the justice ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

"We can confirm that Ivan Rios, a member of the FARC's secretariat, died in this operation by the army and the CTI (the ministry's Technical Investigation Corps)," the official said.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

This is the second senior leader killed in the last 5 days, pressure keeps building up on the terrorists.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,521
0
76
Originally posted by: Andres3605
This is the second senior leader killed in the last 5 days, pressure keeps building up on the terrorists.
:thumbsup: Keep up the great work Colombia!
 

Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
44,809
5,381
136
:shocked: PEACE HAS SOMEHOW BROKEN OUT! :shocked:

NYT Sub link, in full below.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- The presidents of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela agreed Friday to resolve their angry recriminations over a cross-border Colombian commando raid, a crisis that has brought troop movements and talk of war.

The uneasy neighbors joined in a declaration noting that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe apologized for the last weekend's attack on a Colombian rebel base in Ecuadorean territory and that he pledged not to violate another nation's sovereignty again.

The declaration signed by presidents of the 20-nation Rio Group also reiterated a commitment to fight threats to national stability posed by ''irregular or criminal groups.''

Their emergency summit was an hours-long passion play, with finger-jabbing lectures, furious speeches and pleas for goodwill.

The dramatic high point came when the host, Dominican President Leonel Fernandez, urged Uribe to shake hands with his antagonists to show his goodwill. Uribe then marched around the table and shared stiff handshakes with Ecuador's Rafael Correa and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Correa appealed to Uribe to respect their border and never again act unilaterally to send troops into his territory to attack a rebel camp. If such an act is justified, then no border will be safe, Correa said, drawing perhaps the day's loudest applause.

The showdown underscored Latin America's swerve to the left in recent years -- and the increasing isolation of Colombia's center-right government, which is Washington's strongest ally in the region.

Correa, Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, all leftists opposed to U.S. foreign policies, were the most strident in confronting Uribe. But even centrist leaders lectured Uribe about the need to honor territorial sovereignty and the rule of law.

At one point, the atmosphere became so bitter that Correa walked out of the seaside meeting hall. He returned to denounce Uribe as a liar.

''Your insolence is doing more damage to the Ecuadorean people than your murderous bombs,'' Correa bellowed into his microphone. ''Stop trying to justify the unjustifiable!''

Uribe said his military was forced to act because Colombia's neighbors refused to stop offering haven to the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which finances its anti-government insurgency through kidnapping and drug trafficking. He said the rebels, in turn, have done favors for Chavez and helped Correa get elected.

Uribe held up documents he said were recovered from the laptop of a key FARC leader killed in the raid, Raul Reyes. One, he said, showed Reyes telling the guerrillas' top commander about ''aid delivered to Rafael Correa, as instructed.''

Colombia's president said he didn't give Correa advance warning of the attack on Ecuadorean soil because ''we haven't had the cooperation of the government of President Correa in the fight against terrorism.''

Correa countered that Ecuador is a victim of Colombia's conflict, and proposed an international peacekeeping force to guard the border.

Chavez tried to strike a conciliatory tone, noting that the crisis ''keeps heating up.''

After Colombian planes and commandos killed two dozen people at the rebel camp, Venezuela and Ecuador moved thousands of soldiers to their borders with Colombia. Ecuador and Nicaragua also broke diplomatic relations with Colombia.

Chavez denied Uribe's accusation that he had given $300 million to the Colombian rebels and said he never sent them weapons.

''I have never done it and will never do it,'' Chavez said. ''I could have sent a lot of rifles to the FARC. I will never do it because I want peace.''

Chavez then invited in the mother of French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt -- the highest-profile hostage held by the FARC -- and urged Uribe to allow a multinational group into Colombia to negotiated a hostage release.

The Venezuelan government later released videos of Colombian troops among the hundreds of people believed held hostage by the FARC, saying it had received ''proofs-of-life'' of 10 captive soldiers. Speaking into the camera, the captives urged the region's leaders to ''please intervene'' to support talks on swapping the rebels' hostages for imprisoned guerrillas.

The U.S. military's Southern Command has declined to comment on claims by Chavez that the U.S. planned, directed and participated in the cross-border attack.

Washington has given billions of dollars in military aid to Colombia and U.S. special forces train Colombian troops, but U.S. soldiers are barred by U.S. law from participating in combat operations and can fire only to defend themselves.

One of the few leaders offering support to Uribe was Salvadoran President Tony Saca, who said before the meeting that ''Colombia has the legitimate right to go after terrorists ... wherever they may be, of course without harming the sovereignty of another country.''

Bolivia's leftist president, Evo Morales, accused the United States of dividing a peaceful Latin America. He said that over the decades, false labels such as ''communist'' and ''drug trafficker,'' and since the Sept. 11 attack, ''terrorist,'' have ruined lives and justified wars across the region.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon made a similar point, without criticizing the U.S., saying that such labels are counterproductive. He advised his fellow leaders to ''leave aside the adjectives'' and work to improve the lives of Latin Americans.
I'm just sad no chicken little chump took me up on my offer of a bet on this. ;)



 

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