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Resolved: The United States should end Plan Colombia.

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Resolved: The United States should end Plan Colombia.

Ugh! These topics keep getting worse! There is no debate here. Plan Colombia has been a catastrophic failure, and study after study has argued that the resources should be used elsewhere. This is the most pro-weighted topic I have ever seen in my life. I guess it at least has the potential to teach students about cocaine trafficking, and since the second season of Narcos was released fairly recently, it’s probably good to learn a little something about the trade. Let’s get to it.


United States – It should be clear that this means the U.S. government. The government is the entity which carries out these types of initiatives, so it needs to be clear that it’s the agent of action here

Plan Colombia – Colombia has drug cartels; in fact, it has some of the biggest baddest drug cartels in the world. In addition to that, it has a complex political situation marked by different factions of militants and cartel sympathizers. Plan Colombia is the United States government attempting to combat some of these parties. It has a lot of history and details, but the idea is that the U.S. wants to stop the drug cartels and the left wing militants, or at least that’s how the military, economic, and political interventions involved in Plan Colombia are sold. Ever seen Sicario? That’s probably closer to the actual reality of what goes on.

Should – This is the most important word in the resolution. Your framework has to explain how we determine what a government must do, and apply that analysis to Plan Colombia

Case Positions


1. Opportunity Cost – A government’s first priority is to its own people. The Colombia Plan has cost tens of billions of dollars and led to no clearly identifiable benefits for the American people. It continues to waste taxpayer money and cost lives of American soldiers. It should be stopped and those resources directed elsewhere.

2. Security – Plan Colombia has had a destabilizing impact on the region. It has not created a stable government in Colombia which favors the United States, and instead, has caused militant retaliation which has ripples across South and Central America. The U.S. has an obligation to promote security near its borders, and Plan Colombia does the opposite of that.

3. Self Determination – As a member of the international community in an increasingly globalized world, nations are obligated to respect the self determination of all peoples. Plan Colombia directly violates that self determination, and as such, needs to be stopped.


1. Drugs! – Colombian cartels are notorious for proliferating drugs through Central America into the U.S. As such, they are causing direct harm to the American people, a harm which the U.S. government has the obligation to stop. Plan Colombia has so far been effective in limiting the influx of these drugs into the United States, and so should continue.

2. Humanitarian Intervention – Plan Colombia is a humanitarian effort which the U.S. has an obligation to continue. So far, American efforts have managed to diminish the power the cartels hold in Colombia and have afforded the Colombian people a tremendous amount of freedom and opportunity, and it should be continued to help those people.

3. Military Interest – If FARC gets a foothold in Colombia, it poses a security risk to the entire region, which includes the U.S. The United States has a military interest in having a sympathetic government in power in Colombia, and so should continue its efforts to secure such a government.

That’s all I got. Good luck!

2 thoughts on “Resolved: The United States should end Plan Colombia.”

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    any tips for an “why should we keep plan Colombia ” debate

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