Military on Defensive
Recent guerrilla attacks across thewhichdied and inore thanave beenforced thea defensive posture and raised public doubts about its ability toinsurgency,eports. Faced
with ihe high casualties andT^TT^moniumce. the military has strengthened security around potential targets, worked to improve intelligence collection, and increased combat patrolling.
Although these effort* hare resulted in several victories overforces, shortfalls in intelligence, communications,appear to have blunted Ihe
Army Commander Bedoya, long aware of Ihe deficiencies, has pressed publicly for badly needed equipment as well as for legislation to give the armed forces more authority to deal with security threats
Last week. President Samper urged the nation towar bond" proposal, which is expected to0 million to the armed forces' coffers. Colombia's financial groups oppose the proposal.
Si* draft bills to enhance military legal powers were recently introduced in the Senate, where they were endorsed byenators. The bills face an uphill battle, however, becauseongressmen, the Prosecutor General, and members of the judiciary claim that they would lead to increased human rights violations and decreased civilian control over the turned forces.