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Subject: A Modern History of Colombia - AAR Pt 4 rss

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Eric Williams
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Author note: I’d prefer to call this “Part 3b”. I’ve had the time to thoroughly explore this game, and Colombia’s colourful history, due to a serious work injury. Some of the medication I have to take knocks me about in ways I’d prefer not to describe here. Suffice it to say that I get “windows” when I can write and compile and the window closed before I could finish Part 3.

19. General Offensive: The AUC runs another round of co-ordinated terror attacks. Meta East, Antioquia and Putumayo all suffer and FARC lose a base and 2 units. FARC’s relevance is now entering “serious decline”. With only 3 bases (2 in Ecuador) and public sympathy down to 13 FARC is now experiencing serious morale problems. Worse for both FARC and the Government is that the AUC now boasts 4 bases to FARC’s 3. Not only is the leftist dream fading, the possibility of a right wing takeover has become terrifyingly real.
The Cartels, who frankly don’t bother wasting any energy worrying about “left” and “right”, launch a terror offensive of their own. Terrorist acts take place in Santander, Meta East, Guaviare, Vaupes and Putumayo. Government support drops to 45, FARC to 3 bases + 10 to 13.


The photo above was taken a few turns later but shows the 5 Departments that got hit in the Cartel Offensive

10. Blackhawks: The long anticipated delivery of US Blackhawk helicopters is tabled at a joint US – Colombian strategy forum. The benefits are huge with airlift and air assault capabilities increasing dramatically. However, the price is that during the transition current operations will have to take a momentary halt. With AUC strength a very real and present threat President Uribe negotiates a “middle ground”. Some of the older UH-1 Huey’s will be retired from front line service and replaced by a smaller number of Blackhawks thus maintaining current capacity. Air ops will take the pause but the ground war will not. Assaults are ordered in Atlántico, Santander, Bogota and Neiva. But the main focus is on a police operation green lighted in Cucuta against the AUC base in the city. 3 Cartel bases but most importantly, 1 AUC base in Cucuta is eliminated.

FARC has forces on LOC’s and even some in cities but their strength has taken a pummelling. In response to the AUC threat they build bases in Atlántico and Guaviare and raise reinforcements in Vichada and Amazonas.

4. Cano Limon – Covenas: President Uribe will never admit it out loud, but the pure single minded determination of the Cartels impresses him. The Cartels rally into Meta East and cultivate a new base in the Department. The Cartels build, the government destroys, and the Cartels just rebuild.

The AUC / Government relationship continues to sour. The AUC temporarily halts their attacks on FARC and turns their attention to the Government. Three pipelines with a combined value of 20% of GDP are attacked and sabotaged.


AUC sabotage attacks on exposed pielines - again, this photo was taken a few turns later as can be seen by the 7th SF capability

38. National Co-ordination Centre: The imminent AUC threat, whilst ongoing, is no longer an emergency. The Government halts current operations to re-group (pass). FARC continue to rebuild with new units raised in Vichada, Guaviare, Atlántico and Huila.

7. 7th Special Forces: The expansion and re-structuring of Colombia’s Special Forces is finally completed. Whilst the Special Forces Brigade is still maintained at strength under the command of GHQ, specifically trained specialised SF units are enhanced. They include Urban Counter Terrorism (AFEUR unit), increased numbers of GAULA groups (hostage experts), and at the tactical level specialised Groups attached directly to Divisional commands. The 7th Special Forces Group is attached to 2nd Division out of Bucaramanga and is specifically tasked with infrastructure protection. Their job (and in game capability) is to interdict attacks on LOC’s and urban infrastructure targets.

The AUC, having shown the Government what it can do to them, switches back to their hated enemy the FARC. They terrorise Vichada, Guaviare and Antioquia and get back to position of equal base strength with FARC. They have however, exhausted all resources remaining.

23. DoD Contractors: Whilst the Special Forces expansion was in full swing the Government decided to take a leaf out of the US handbook and hire contractors to fill the gap. It wasn’t the first time, but it would likely be the last time they would do so for intricate and delicate operations. A hostage search and rescue mission turns into a disaster as two aircraft involved are lost along with the operatives and some of the hostages. Apart from creating a propaganda coup for FARC, the operation to find the downed aircraft eventually pulls an entire Brigade off the front line fighting.

The Cartels continue their dogged progress with another rebuilt base in Guaviare and a new cultivation in Amazonas.

3rd Propaganda: FARC is now down to 3 bases and 9 public opposition. The AUC has 3 bases. The Cartels have recovered to 8 bases and 33 resources.

The effect of the 7th SF group is felt immediately with terror acts in Huila, Santander and Cucuta successfully interdicted and removed. Neiva and Bogota are contested by FARC but the government now can claim control of 8 Departments – Cesar, Atlántico, Chocó, Nariño, Arauca, Meta West, Santander and Huila. FARC control Vichada, Guaviare and the Ecuador border area. FARC manage one further sabotage attack resulting in 4 in total with a combined value of 7.

But then the combination of Uribe’s fiscal management, US Aid under “Plan Colombia”, the effectiveness of the military, and the impact of “Democratic Security” combine. First, GDP of 23 is outstripped by US Aid of +29 and a massive 52 resources are added to the Government surplus of 44 taking Government resources to 96. Then President Uribe signs off on the biggest combined expenditure programme in Colombia’s history and a total of 18 Civic Actions are funded with huge expenditure (4 Civic Actions each) going into Arauca, Chocó and Nariño. Cucuta, Santander, Cali, Huila, Arauca, Chocó and Nariño all move to “Active Support”. The programme costs a massive 54 resources taking the Government back to a more normal 42 resources but government support shoots up to 66. The impact on FARC is indeed the death blow Uribe was after. Despite 4 “Agitations” in Guaviare, the FARC score is reduced to 8.

President Uribe deploys police into the newly controlled Departments of Cesar and Atlántico. He could do so in Meta West as well but at this stage his Police resources are stretched to the absolute limit so the troops there withdraw and leave the Department vacant.


Police deploy into Cesar and Atlantico

Polls put the President’s support and approval rating at well over 70%. Even his most vocal detractors are silenced by the success of his first term and he is easily re-elected for a second term with a very simple message: “Colombia’s future progress depends on peace. It is time for the left and right to lay down their weapons and fight with words and ideas.”


Post reset. The Cartels remain strong but FARC has been weakened badly

Tune in for Part 5 coming soon, the conclusion.
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Mark Evans
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ecka wrote:
Author note: I’d prefer to call this “Part 3b”. I’ve had the time to thoroughly explore this game, and Colombia’s colourful history, due to a serious work injury. Some of the medication I have to take knocks me about in ways I’d prefer not to describe here. Suffice it to say that I get “windows” when I can write and compile and the window closed before I could finish Part 3.
...


Sorry to hear about your work injury. I couldn't help but think about playing the Cartels on pain killers. There is something ironic about that.

I have this vision of Andean Abyss meets Apocalypse Now.

Just kidding, really. I hope you feel better.
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Eric Williams
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Thanks Mark. I'm not complaining mind you. I had to gently correct my son's perception, but he did give me some perspective when he said "Dad's got a good job - paid to play games..."
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Mark Evans
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That is funny.
 
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