American Forces Press Service
Steve Lucas, a spokesman for U.S. Southern Command here, said the United States has a moral obligation to help Colombia deal with its internal terrorist groups, since the United States "is the largest market for cocaine, the flow of which is corrupting their society."
The vast majority of the world's cocaine comes from the "Andean Ridge," consisting of the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, all linked by the immense Andes mountain chain.
Any efforts to help the Colombians also help to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. "In terms of impact on society, illegal drugs could be called weapons of mass destruction," Lucas said. "It's hard to quantify (the impact): crime, affect to families, the increase in the prison population."