TITLE:(Spanish coming) (02/21/92)
TEXT:*ARF524 02/21/92
(Spanish coming)
(Aronson, Levitsky, Joulwan at Senate hearing) wsr  (620)
Wendy S. Ross
USIA Staff Writer
WASHINGTON -- The United States' Andean strategy, which was designed to
combat the flow of illegal narcotics into the U.S. from Latin America, is
beginning to work, but it will take time and sustained effort to succeed,
according to administration officials.

"You cannot win this (war) in a couple of years, but if you measure what
countries have been able to do with our aid, it is very impressive,"
Assistant Secretary of State for inter-American Affairs Bernard Aronson
told the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and
International Relations Feb. 20.

The strategy -- a $2,200 million plan of military, economic and law
enforcement assistance to Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru designed to show
results over a five-year period -- went into effect in 1989.

Also testifying were Assistant Secretary of State for International
Narcotics Matters, Melvyn Levitsky and General George A. Joulwan, Commander
of the U.S. Southern Command.

The hearing came just six days before the San Antonio, Texas, drug summit of
seven hemispheric leaders is to take place.  That meeting, which is
scheduled to begin Feb. 26, is a follow-up to the Feb. 15, 1990, drug
summit in Cartagena, Colombia.

"The war against drug trafficking is fundamentally a war to defend democracy
and to defend the natural environment," Aronson said.  The world is facing
a new kind of "multinational enemy" whose actions are "ravaging" the
natural environment in countries where coca is grown and processed, he

Aronson suggested that members of Congress reassess legislation that places
conditions on aid to the Andean nations.

"Denying aid or imposing conditions impossible to meet defeats the goal," he
said.  By constantly asking for quick results, he said, there is pressure
on the administration to prove results rather than to spend time working on
ways to solve the problem.

The United States, he added, needs to persuade Europe and Japan to help
"shoulder the burden," especially since drugs are becoming a worldwide

"We have made real progress, and this needs to be acknowledged," Levitsky
said, but the struggle against the narcotraffickers will take "patience,
stamina, (and) persistence."
He reminded the subcommittee members that many of the governments of the
region face multiple problems of economic recession, underdevelopment,
indigenous guerrilla subversion of democratic institutions, internal
corruption and weak judicial and penal institutions.

The $10 million cut in antidrug military aid to Peru, he said, "tied one
hand behind our back," and prevents the United States "from being able to
do the full job in Peru," which has the added problem of an alliance
between the Shining Path insurgent group and the narcotraffickers.

Viewing the drug problem as "a shared responsibility" among governments was
the "essence" of the first drug summit and will be "the essence" of the
upcoming one, Levitsky said.  "The strategy is to try to engage with other
countries" so we can solve the problem together.

Supporting the war on drugs is the number one priority for the U.S. Southern
Command, General Joulwan said.  The United States is trying to help the
Andean countries "get control of their sovereignty," he said, by providing
intelligence and training to host government personnel.  By law, U.S.
military personnel are barred from combat activities in the Andean region,
he said.

Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador, Joulwan said, are sharing information regarding
the narcotraffickers in an "unprecedented" manner, which signifies growing
"cooperation" among those governments.

If governments remain in the fight "for the long haul," Joulwan said,
victory against the narcotraffickers is possible "in this decade."