Staff Study and Recommendation on Andean Ridge Area of South America

Colombia: Low intensity conflict missions in the Andean Ridge Region.
Author: Major John D. Clark, USA
CSC: 1985
Subject Area: National Military Strategy


Task personnel to Jungle Operator’s Course to assist local government in counter-insurgency/counter-narcotics efforts.

II. Problem:

Local forces inability to combat narco-insurgency.


In the past decade the US has logged numerous para-military operations in the Andean Ridge countries (Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia) to combat the influx and spread of Communism in the region. The use of the illegal narcotics trade to generate funds to support the Marxist-Leninist insurgency requires destruction of this critical insurgent support element. An ancillary benefit will be the interdiction of illegal narcotics bound for the United States. Combined efforts to attack the insurgents and their funding source will stabilize friendly governments, and halt their economic down turn.

IV.Country History:

Colombia’s contemporary record of political violence has been the most cruel, bloody, and longest lasting of all the Latin American countries. The country boasts the oldest tradition of democracy in all of South America, with only one four year period of military rule over national politics during this century (1953-1957). It also bears the onus of a tradition of violence, which has lead to several periods of internal struggle, including eight civil wars and over fifty insurrections during the 19th Century alone. Since 1965 the International Communist Party has been organizing and supporting several insurgent movements and terrorist groups in order to take over the country due to its strategic position in the Caribbean basin.

V. Recommendations:

The principle threat against the institutions and internal order of Colombia comes from the violent actions of armed groups, supported by the Communist Party and national and international organizations of the extreme left. These groups intend to take power by force of arms in order to change the present democratic system to one of a Marxist-Leninist persuasion. Sufficient evidence exists to establish a link between narcotics trafficking and continuing insurgent operations, and political leaders have fully identified these activities as a real and continuing threat to the Colombian democratic system. Implementation of covert operations to counter the limited but persistent Cuban-backed Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgency are recommended. Unit creation and training of personnel from US and Allied Armed Forces will be organized to conduct direct action missions in a jungle environment against FARC insurgents in the Andean Ridge Area. Training and operations to be conducted at in-country facilities. Operational status of personnel will be considered deniable.

VI. Approved by Presidential Security Directive PSD 85-7236.

Approved by Joint Chief’s of Staff Operational Directive 85-100509

Pack your bags soldier! You’re headed to the Jungle Warfare Operator’s Course to fight Communism for Mom and apple pie. Your courses will include land navigation techniques and terrain association, individual and squad movement techniques, artillery call for fires, basic radio communications, patrol planning and execution, ambushes and raids, and area search and destroy operations.