An appeal for help goes out to the United States. Pushed by defense contractors, the Pentagon comes up with a plan: a billion dollars worth of military equipment, including 60 helicopters along with several American hundred military trainers.
When the Pentagon assures Congress the Americans will not be put in harm's way, and that America is not being dragged into a civil war, Congress clears the way to send the equipment on its way.
By now, you're wondering why I'm retelling the story of how America got involved in Vietnam, but of course I'm not.
With an overwhelming vote of approval, the Senate cleared the way for all of the above to happen last week. The massive aid package is going to Colombia for the stated purpose of fighting drug dealers.
It's a worthy goal and we should all hope it works. But we had better keep a close eye on this one. We've heard too many of these arguments before and as we've surely learned by now, good intentions are not always enough.