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Engage or disengage Bolivia over Snowden?

Drug war in Bolivia
Drug war in Bolivia

Bolivia is one of several South American nations that are not aligned with U.S. foreign policy. Still, they receive assistance from USAID. There have been disputes between US Drug Enforcement Administration officials and the Bolivian government. The government recently indicated they can do without USAID.

The trouble in Bolivia stems from drug trafficking and criminals there. As in the case of many South American nations, drug traffickers corrupt politicians. While the U.S. imposes assistance to fight drug crime, cooperating governments are often conflicted and compromised.

This circumstance should raise the larger question, what about U.S. drug enforcement policy?

Since our borders are supposed to be considerably more secure, and since the immigration and customs enforcement agency is supposed to be doing its job, why not just put the responsibility for stopping drug crimes in their hands and pull back from the drug producing nations?

If the United States can control the demand side of drug market, then criminals won’t be making money from U.S. customers. There would not be a need for DEA personnel to invade South American nations.

South America is not resource constrained and is naturally equipped to produce sustainable economies. If and when they need assistance to address that, then that would become the preferred path for foreign policy development.

Of course, America is a long way from addressing sustainable economics at home. So, concluding:

  1. Pull back the DEA and stop the foolish drug war outside the USA.
  2. Secure the border.
  3. Focus on sustainable economics, starting at home.
  4. Cut foreign aid to any nation that fails to support U.S. foreign policy, laws and regulations.

If it gets bad enough, impose travel bans.

“Bolivia latest country to offer asylum to Snowden
By Mariano Castillo, CNN
updated 9:47 PM EDT, Sat July 6, 2013