A recurrent them in Colombia is a US invasion in our territory, that some people would even want in order to solve our problems. However there is something that stop the US to commit troops in Colombia and is the fear of another Vietnam.
Given the way the Gulf War and the Afgan campaigns have been fought, it seems that repeating Vietnam is not longer something that the USA is afraid of.
As I actually think, for the USA it is much better to have a friendly government in Colombia protecting their oil and banana interests and controling the guerrillas and the drug trade than actually invading a 40 million inhabitants country and dealing directly with those problems.
Which leads to a possible POD. What if there is not a US friendly government in Colombia. The problem is that I cannot find a plausable way to bring a US hostile regime in Colombia. Leftist movements have always been to small with the possible exception of the massacred Patriotic Union (above 15% popular vote in their top in the middle of the 80’s) or the demovilized M-19 guerrillas (around 25% in the constitutional assembly in 1991), however they were still too far behind from traditional parties, and not too US hostile to have trigger a US invasion if they happened to have win.
BTW, any POD that had a non-masacred Patriotic Union supporting M-19 presidential candidate in 1990 in the absent of Cesar Gaviria in representation of a martirized Luis Carlos Galán (most plausible scenario to have a left regime by democratic means), I dubt will put a US hostile left regime, not even close to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
I also cannot see a plausible way for a US hostile regime to had reached the power by the arms.
So, without a US hostile left that will nationalize oil, legalize drugs and pretend to outcompete Chiquita, I can only think on terrorism to have triggered a US invasion.
The two main sources of terrorism against the USA would have been the leftish rebel groups or the drug barons. Even if both these groups had attacked US interests in Colombia, none of them have ever attacked US interests in the USA. I cannot see the FARC nor any other rebel group to be too dumb to have bombed the Twin Towers, nor that fanatical into their ideology.
However, giving the modus operandi of people like Pablo Escobar or Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, its not hard to me to imagine they doing such things. A dumb thing to do, still, but still not ASB driven.
POD: “Los Extraditables”, the group formed by drug traffickers Pablo Escobar and Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha to fight extradition to the USA, decide to perform more bold actions when Rodríguez Gacha is killed when persecuted by the Colombian Army in 1990. In a coordinated attack, one ton of TNT is exploted from a truck infront of the US embassy and an American Airlines plane is exploted while flying from Bogotá to Miami, in May 1990.
Combined with three presidential candidates assasinated in Colombia, persistent car-bombing, the presedence of drugs as a casus belli (Panama), and the leftist rebels; president Bush launches an invasion.
However: Bush is invading a nation governed by a friendly regime, even if that regime seems unable to stop terrorism and drug trade. Also, Bush will be invading just before the scheduled presidential elections and just after the parliamentary ones, so interrupting the electoral process of a democratic country.
Most of the Colombian military is very US friendly, so is President Barco. They would not be willing to fight a US army that will help them to combat their enemies: leftist rebels and drug dealers, however they would not like either to be bypassed, nor Colombian souveranity violeted by the invaders. They will face the disjuntive of surrender the souveranity of their nation or to fight superior army they actually want to join.
Now what. What would be the strategy used for the USA to invade Colombia and control the guerrillas thread but mainly the drug related terrorism.
How would the international community react? NATO? UN? While these drug dealers are a clear and present danger to the USA, they are not a state, nor are they harbored by any state, and the USA is even invading a democratic in the midle of the presidential election which is little of a justification.
Is there any more plausable scenario that would have triggered a US invasion on Colombia between 1970 and 2000?
— Carlos Th
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