chapter  4
44 Pages

Success through entrepreneurial agency

This chapter traces two aspects of a contested legislative process, against a background narrative of events leading to Plan Colombia's ratification. First is an in-depth look at the creative tactics of Colombian agency on Capitol Hill. Second is an outline of the 'touch-an-go' legislative history of Plan Colombia, which yielded a narrowly focused Plan Colombia. The Colombians were constantly threatened with checkmate from opposition both domestic and international. They were well aware of the antagonism between Congress and the White House, and bespoke their lobbying pitch to individual members of Congress so as to present the face of just the right Janus. The Colombians subtly steered the United States toward a larger scale of intervention in their domestic affairs than the US would have ventured on its own, and succeeded because of their skills at planning and executing. The Colombians were extraordinarily lucky, yet they knew how to recognise their chances, and how to exploit them while they lasted.