The metamorphosis of the drug war and the Cold War in the northern Andes and Central America (1970--2000)
Marcy, William L., IV
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This dissertation is an examination of the United States' narcotics policy in the northern Andes and Central America between 1970 and 2000. The dissertation focuses on the development of the United States' counternarcotics policy and how this policy was conflated with anti-communism and the Cold War in the northern Andes and Central America. It will study the evolution of the narcotics industry and problems with the United States' counternarcotics policy during the 1970s. It analyzes the economic factors that drove narcotics production and how narcotics became an entrenched part of the northern Andes economies. The dissertation focuses on the collapse of U.S. counternarcotics policies in the northern Andes during the first-half of the 1980s and the belief that this was caused by narco-terrorism. Following this, the dissertation reviews Ronald Reagan's re-invigoration of the War on Drugs, and how the War on Drugs became a part of his anti-communist struggle with Nicaragua and Cuba. At the same time it looks at the deepening role of the northern Andean guerrillas in the War on Drugs. Consequently, the dissertation examines how the combination of leftist guerrillas and narco-terrorism continued to be a national security threat as the Cold War wound down and how this situation led the United States to militarize the War on Drugs beginning with the invasion of Panama. The dissertation then examines President George H.W. Bush's Andean Strategy and why this did not eliminate the problem of narcotics. Finally, the dissertation looks at the inconsistent narcotics control policies of President Clinton, and how the effects of liberalization and corruption undermined narcotics control policies and increased rural instability in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.