And for what? An endgame that produces more cocaine than the world wants -- and at cheaper prices?
Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance observed: "This is what's been going on for 30 years. They say we need a little bit more money and then we'll solve this."
Maybe it makes some Americans feel good to target Colombian cocaine, but it's not working. After burning $4.7 billion, cocaine is plentiful and cheap in America. If there is a way to fight this front in the drug war, Plan Colombia is not the ticket.
"Imagine Colombia as a failed state," Santos argued. South America would tilt further left. Migrants would move further north.
But that argument has nothing to do with the War on Drugs in America. It is an economic argument with national security overtones -- or a national security argument with economic overtones. It argues for aid to Colombia, not a failed drug policy that does not serve American families.
"Can you tell me any other product that has gone down in price in the last few years?" Curtis asked -- and you can't include technological products that change. Think milk or bread or beef.
Those consumer prices are not falling. It takes a Washington-born government program -- designed to drive up the price of cocaine -- to drive down the cost of cocaine. The one thing drug warriors never demand of an American anti-drug program is that it actually work.