Forward Operating Locations

21 December 2005
Article

Forward Operating Locations

 

Forward Operating Locations

  • Cover Forward Operating Locations in Latin AmericaForward Operating Locations in Latin America. Transcending Drug Control TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 8, September 2003
  • The only available justification, until recently, for establishing US Forward Operating Locations (FOLs) in Ecuador, El Salvador and Aruba/Curaçao has been the War on Drugs. The host countries agreed to the establishment of the FOLs to facilitate military surveillance for the purpose of interdicting drug shipments. There is no evidence that the FOLs have made any discernible difference to the flow of illicit drugs to the USA, however. There is little question that the FOLs form part of a US military strategy towards Latin America and the Caribbean. There is evidence that the FOLs are being used for a number of purposes, besides the ostensible role in counter-narcotics efforts. This includes gathering intelligence on arms trafficking in the region and migrant boats destined for the USA. Serious concerns have arisen about the possible use of the FOLs in support of US military involvement in the Colombian conflict. The war on drugs has been explicitly incorporated into the "global war on terrorism". Though the host countries have insisted on the limited anti-drugs mission of the FOLs, the mission has gradually shifted to support what is now called a "unified campaign" against drugs and terrorism.Tom Blickman Nederland heeft niets te zoeken in Colombia De Volkskrant 19 July 2001 [Dutch]
  • Regering vraagt Kamer blanco cheque te tekenen. Veel blijft onduidelijk in FOL-verdrag tussen Nederland en de Verenigde Staten TNI Website, 9 October 2000 [Dutch]
  • Tom Blickman Een verkeerde stap in een foutieve richting TNI Briefing, October 1999 [Dutch]
  • Martin Jelsma and Tom Blickman Nederland dient VS-bases van Antillen te weren NRC Handelsblad, 21 April 1999 [Dutch]

Air Bridge Denial

  • The Drug War in the Skies. The US "Air Bridge Denial" Strategy The Success of a Failure TNIAcción Andina, May 1999.
    Despite the evidence to the contrary, U.S. officials have trumpeted the success of their air bridge denial programs, using them to demonstrate the overall effectiveness of source country interdiction as a strategy and to justify the continued outlay of funds for these programs. This effort on the part of U.S. officials makes it all the more important to analyze the accuracy of the claims of success and document the actual impacts of air bridge denial on the host countries.