In my latest column from Foreign Policy, I examine the progress Colombia has made during the past decade. I believe that conflict-ridden areas of the world, especially the Middle East, could learn lessons from Colombia’s counterinsurgency successes and apply lessons to today’s turbulent Middle East. Here are some highlights:
- The strength of the major insurgency group, the FARC, has been halved between 2002 and 2010, from 16,000 fighters down to 8,000
- Between 2002 and 2012, the murder rate dropped from 70 deaths per 100,000 people to 31 per 100,000
- Kidnappings have dropped by more than 90 percent since 2002
- The country has re-elected President Juan Manuel Santos on a platform of conflict resolution
- Medellín, the nation’s second-largest city, is lauded as the “most innovative city in the world“; and
- Colombia is popping up on tourist “top 10″ lists everywhere
Dean Stavridis with his basset hound, Lilly.
Dean James Stavridis is the 12th leader of The Fletcher School since its founding in 1933. A retired Admiral in the U.S. Navy, he led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander.