Vital to who?
G.I.’s Enter the Colombia Fray to Protect a Vital Oil Pipeline
Casting a wary eye for rebel snipers, Lt. Felipe Zúñiga and his counterinsurgency troops slog through the wet fields and patches of jungle here. Their mission has nothing to do with drugs – until now, the defining issue in Colombia for American policy makers – but instead with protecting a pipeline that carries crude to an oil-hungry America.
The 500-mile pipeline, which snakes through eastern Colombia, transporting 100,000 barrels of oil a day for Occidental Petroleum of Los Angeles, is emerging as a new front in the terror war.