Slate.com features CGD visiting fellow Oeindrila Dube's recent paper on military aid to Colombia.
From the article:
"To see how all this actually plays out in the Colombian countryside, economists Oeindrila Dube and Suresh Naidu analyze how conflict and coca production were affected by the level of U.S. military aid during the years 1988-2005. They compare regions with Army bases (i.e. areas that receive U.S. military assistance) to regions without bases (i.e. areas that are relatively unaffected by U.S. aid). If, for example, coca cultivation plummets in regions receiving U.S. military assistance, but not in nonbase regions, then we can be reasonably sure that the change is due to military aid and not something else (like good weather for growing coca). To make sure that they're measuring the impact of U.S. aid on conflict and drug production (not the impact of conflict and drug production on U.S. aid), the economists focus on changes in aid to Colombia that go hand-in-hand with changes in U.S. military aid to the rest of the world, thus reflecting broader American foreign policy objectives rather than reactions to Colombia-specific events."