The importance of Soto Cano

The Obama administration recently negotiated an agreement with the government of Colombia to allow US troops to operate within seven military bases in that country. The troops would be involved in anti-drug activities. Previously, US troops were stationed in Ecuador, but the government of President Rafael Correa essentially kicked them out. The US/Honduran joint air base at Soto Cano does not have a huge US military presence… only about 600 troops. What is important to the US is the landing strip and the ability to engage in joint operations with Honduran troops. The US also has radar facilities in Honduras. All of this facilitates drug interdiction efforts. Without a US military presence in Honduras, the drug flow from South America into Mexico and then into the US would grow like a tsunami. It does the US little good to increase its presence in Colombia if it does not have Honduras as a midpoint from which to provide logistical support and as a second line of defense closer to home.

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