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Bases, Bullets, and Ballots:The Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Political Conflict in ColombiaOeindrilaDube and Suresh Naidu

overview
Overview
  • Introduction
  • Background
    • The Colombian Civil War
    • U.S. Aid to Colombia
    • Links Between the Colombian Military and Paramilitaries
  • Empirical Strategy
  • Data
    • Data Sources
    • Descriptive Statistics
  • Results
    • US Military Aid and Violence in Base Municipalities
    • US Aid Allocation, Assassinations and Electoral Participation
  • Conclusion
background
Background
  • Conflict started in 1960’s with communist insurgency
    • Communist guerillas
    • Government
    • Right-wing paramilitary
  • Today insurgency is lead by
    • Armed Revolutionary Forces of Columbia (16-20k combatants)
    • National Liberation Army (4-6k fighters)
      • Both group goals
        • Overthrow government
        • Represent rural poor
        • Support land redistribution
  • Current format formed in 1980’s under
    • Private armies for drug cartels
    • Large landowners
background4
Background
  • 1997 formation of umbrella organization
    • Out of desperate paramilitary groups
    • United Self-Defense Forces of Columbia (AUC)
      • 30k fighters
      • 2003 partial cease fire
        • Not disarmament
  • 2005 bill allowing extortion of paramilitaries
    • Repeated threat from AUC
    • New formations
    • Renewed violence by existing groups
  • Third largest recipient of US military aid
    • After Israel, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan
    • “War on drugs” 1980’s
    • 1990 200m$ to combat drugs
    • New president Ernest Samper 1994
      • Anti US > fall in aid
    • “Plan Colombia”
      • New president Andrés Pastrana1998
      • 1.2bil $ aid 2000
background5
Background
  • 1997 formation of umbrella organization
    • Out of desperate paramilitary groups
    • United Self-Defense Forces of Columbia (AUC)
      • 30k fighters
      • 2003 partial cease fire
        • Not disarmament
  • 2005 bill allowing extortion of paramilitaries
    • Repeated threat from AUC
    • New formations
    • Renewed violence by existing groups
  • Third largest recipient of US military aid
    • After Israel, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan
    • “War on drugs” 1980’s
    • 1990 200m$ to combat drugs
    • New president Ernest Samper 1994
      • Anti US > fall in aid
    • “Plan Colombia”
      • New president Andrés Pastrana1998
      • 1.2bil $ aid 2000
links between colombian military and paramilitary
Links Between Colombian Military and Paramilitary
  • In recent years paramilitary was made illegal
  • Paramilitary emerged in 1960’s
    • “Plan Lazo”
      • Allowed creation of civil patrols armed by Defense Ministry
  • New type of paramilitary in 1980’s
    • Private arms for drug lords and rural elite
      • Opposed guerillas
      • No official state support but help through Military
  • Informal civilian information supply
    • Many government officials found to be linked with paramilitary
links between colombian military and paramilitary7
Links Between Colombian Military and Paramilitary
  • CONVIVIR 1994
    • Rural security cooperation
      • Armed by military
      • Rapid growth of violence
        • Sharp reversal 1997
        • Some operated illegally through 1990’s
  • Collusion between AUC and military
    • Went through 90’s and 00’s
    • General Mario Montoya charged for supplying weapons to paramilitary 2006
    • Six high ranking officials declared by supreme court
  • Cooperation of military with paramilitary included
    • Logistical support
    • Intelligence sharing
    • Weapons and transport
links between colombian military and paramilitary8
Links Between Colombian Military and Paramilitary
  • Cooperation of military with paramilitary included
    • Logistical support
    • Intelligence sharing
    • Weapons and transport
    • Training
    • Assistance in operations
    • Joint operations
      • Not intervene during paramilitary massacre
      • Military road blockades during paramilitary operations
empirical strategy
Empirical Strategy
  • Basic difference-in-difference estimator
  • After 2001 US Military assistance increase to countries outside of Latin America
slide11
Data
  • Conflict Analysis Resource Center (CERAC)
    • During 1988 - 2005
    • 21,000 war related episodes
    • In 950 municipalities
    • Gathered from reports by Catholic priests
      • Operate in every Colombia municipality
      • Priests as neutral side
        • Negotiate
      • Crosschecked with
        • National police
        • Other sources
    • Take into account
      • Homicides by
        • Paramilitaries
        • Guerillas
        • Elected officials
        • Candidates for office
        • Community leaders
slide12
Data
  • Data on military bases in municipality
    • Coca cultivation
    • US aid greenbook
    • Crosscheck data
results
Results
  • Paramilitary, guerilla and government attacks higher in with military base municipalities
  • Coca production
    • 25% non-base municipalities produce coca
    • 33% base municipalities produce coca
  • Higher fraction of base municipalities produce oil
    • And have pipelines
us military a id and violence in base municipalities
US Military Aid and Violence in Base Municipalities
  • Military aid follows rise in attacks
  • Attack in base municipality increases as military aid increases
    • 1% increase in military aid increases paramilitary attack likelihood by 1.5%
  • US aid increased by 92% yearly
    • 138% increase in paramilitary
    • 92% government military
    • Insignificant effect on guerilla
  • Aid strengthens paramilitary
    • US aid in base region could provide decrease in police force and create more armed actors
  • Different trend in regions with bases and without
us military a id and violence in base municipalities20
US Military Aid and Violence in Base Municipalities
  • 1% increase US military aid for base vs. non-base
    • 3% increase in paramilitary activity
    • 2.5 increase in military activity
  • T-score 2.1 shows significance at 95% level
  • 11 of 32 military base municipalities produce coca
  • 684 non-base didn’t produce in sample period
  • 252 municipalities produce coca in sample time
  • Fighting often outsourced to paramilitary
    • Rule of law weaker than paramilitary in regions with coca production
us military a id and violence in base municipalities21
US Military Aid and Violence in Base Municipalities
  • 1% increase US military aid
    • 0.9% increase in captives taken
    • 1% increase arm seizures
    • 0.7% increase in rescued kidnaps
    • Decreases counter narcotics operations in base municipalities vs. non-base by 2%
us aid allocation assassinations and electoral participation
US Aid Allocation, Assassinations and Electoral Participation
  • Election year
    • Increase in assassinations by paramilitary
us aid allocation assassinations and electoral participation23
US Aid Allocation, Assassinations and Electoral Participation
  • Aid shock reduces paramilitary political assassinations
    • Reduction smaller during election than non-election period
      • Less targeted killings due to higher security
      • During political year net return is higher than other years
  • Reduction in number of active voters
    • 1% aid increase
      • 0.09% less on governors and state assembly election
      • 0.05% less on major election
      • 0.08% less on town council election
role of military aid
Role of Military Aid
  • Cure weak state
    • Enhance government repressing capacity
    • Monopoly on legit use of violence
in reality
In reality
  • Collision of government military and illegal armed groups
    • Paramilitary gain power and rival government over the use of violence
  • Could undermine democratic institutions
    • Equipping organizations that use violence to manipulate elections
  • Leading to abuse of power and human rights
    • Iraq
      • Iraq Shiite militias conduct operations with US backed Iraq army against suspected insurgents, while accused of torture and other human rights violations
    • Afghanistan
    • Mexico
      • 2000 Global Exchange report notes that the Mexican army has been infiltrated by narcotics trackers at the highest ranks, and is increasingly dependent on U.S. weapons, training, and ideology (p. 46).
    • Indonesia
      • 1999 East Timor massacre after referendum on independence from Indonesia were lead by militias connected to the Indonesian military (Indonesian military is supported by US)
suggestions
Suggestions
  • Consider the informal links between armed forces and illegal armed groups prior to deploying military aid
    • ”In 2006, US assistance to Colombia amounted to an estimated $728 million, approximately 80% of which was military and police assistance” ("Amnesty International USA")
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Effect of US military aid on countries torn apart by civil war in last 4 decades
  • 92% average annual increase in US military aid
    • 138% increase in paramilitary activity
  • No evidence that shocks have an effect on coca cultivation
    • Despite US anti-narcotic bent assistance
  • More paramilitary homicides during election periods
    • No correlation with guerilla assassinations
  • Voter participation falls with rising paramilitary strength
    • Base municipality
works cited
Works Cited
  • "U.S. Policy in Colombia."AmnestyInternational USA. Amnesty International USA, 29 Sep 2011. Web. 29 Sep 2011. <http://www.amnestyusa.org/our- work/countries/americas/colombia/us-policy-in- colombia>.
  • Dube, Oeindrila, and Suresh Naidu. "Bases, Bullets, and Ballots: The Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Political Conflict in Colombia." Center for Global Development. (2010): n. page. Web. 30 Sep. 2011. <http://www.cgdev.org/files/1423498_file_Dube _Naidu_Military_Aid_FINAL.pdf>.