Raid on FARC Camp Highlights Limits on U.S. Forces in Colombia

Raid on FARC Camp Highlights Limits on U.S. Forces in Colombia

MIAMI -- U.S. forces in Colombia may have pushed the outer envelope of their rules of engagement by accompanying Colombian troops on a recent raid of a rebel stronghold where American civilians were being held, said some experts.

Others, including officials on Capitol Hill, maintain that the operation was well within the rules of engagement for U.S. military personnel operating in the restive South American country.

According to Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, which first broke the news over the weekend, American troops and their Colombian counterparts in late January entered a rebel base where three U.S. contractors have been held prisoner by leftist guerillas for more than three years. Civilian military contractors Marc Gonsalves, Tom Howes and Keith Stansell were captured in February 2004 when their plane went down.

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