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DAVID SPENCER is a defense analyst who works on a variety of contracts, mostly dealing with Latin America and low intensity conflict. He also works part-time for the Center for Naval Analyses. He is an expert on Latin American insurgency and counterinsurgency strategy, operations, and tactics, and has been a regular lecturer at the Air Force Special Operations School since 1996. Mr. Spencer has lived over 13 years in six Latin American countries to include Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Venezuela. He is completing his Ph.D. dissertation on insurgent logistics in Latin America at George Washington University. He has published five books, two on strategy and tactics of the Salvadoran FMLN guerrillas, and numerous articles on different defense and military history subjects.
*The above information may not be current. It was current at the time when the individual worked for SSI or was published by SSI.
Authored by Mr. David Spencer.
The author points out, first, that the Colombian paramilitary self-defense forces represent some important sectors of society, and enjoy more popular support from Colombian society than the insurgents. Second, the paramilitaries have developed into a powerful irregular force that is proving itself capable of challenging Colombian guerrillas. Third, while they commit horrendous atrocities, they have been successful where the state has not.