President Álvaro Uribe mandated that security forces provide annual, publicly available reports on how money is spent and how effectively it is used.
Colombia also created a civilian Ministry of Defense, making the military accountable to democratically elected leaders. The new ministry put the armed services under a single chain of command directly responsible to the president and developed a cadre of experienced civil servants.
These steps quickly led to a steadier stream of funds devoted to antidrug efforts, more reliable security forces and, most important, strong public support. As a result, Colombia has made significant strides in fighting drug traffickers, guerrillas and paramilitaries: since Mr. Uribe’s election in 2002, coca production has decreased by a third, kidnappings have dropped by 90 percent and murders have fallen significantly.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
What a successful counterinsurgency looks like, Columbia edition: