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Question:

Foreign Military Financing for Colombia: The Foreign Military Financing request for Colombia increases from $25 million in FY 2016 to $38.525 million in FY 2017. What would these increased funds pay for?

Answer:

The additional Foreign Military Financing requested will be used to train, expand, and enhance the Colombian military’s engineering capabilities so the Colombian government can project the state’s presence into previously inaccessible areas, enabling it to deliver security, justice, and other critical public services to conflict-affected municipalities. Establishing a state presence in these areas will also facilitate Colombian demining efforts, a critical post-accord priority. In the post-accord period, the Government of Colombia will need to quickly fill the security vacuum created by the FARC’s demobilization to prevent other illegal armed groups and narco-traffickers from expanding their influence; increased funding for counternarcotics battalions and aviation support increases the reach of the Colombian armed forces to address this issue. In these austere environments, Colombian military engineers will be needed to construct new bases, police stations, and related infrastructure. The Colombian authorities will undertake these construction projects with Colombian funding, but U.S. assistance will catalyze Colombia’s efforts by strengthening their military engineering capacity.