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Colombian Army Adaptation to FARC Insurgency

Authored by Dr. Thomas A. Marks.

January 01, 2002

50 Pages

Brief Synopsis

The author points out that Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgents actively are pursuing a strategy to mobilize the disaffected and disposed people of Colombia, and to control the entire national territory. At the same time, he argues that no one in the national political establishment has taken the initiative to conduct an appropriate effort to deny FARC its objective. As a result, the Colombian Army has been left alone to direct the fight, without a coordinated and integrated national campaign plan or other resources that would allow for success. The author concludes that the Army has bought time, and there is still an opportunity for the United States to help Colombia deal with its insurgent threat in new ways.


This monograph addresses the Colombian Army's adaptation to the insurgency in that country. It outlines the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) threat to the control of the national territory and how the insurgents intend to achieve that objective. Then, the author analyzes the measures the Colombian Army has taken to counter the threat. He concludes that no one in the Colombian political establishment is directing the counterinsurgency war, and that the Army has been left to conduct the fight by itself. Recommendations range from the strategic to the operational levels. They argue the need for (1) a coordinated and integrated national campaign plan; (2) cogent and enforceable emergency laws and regulations; (3) enhanced information warfare; and, (4) an enhanced operational flexibility.

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