While all eyes are focused on Afghanistan and the Middle East, where the US is currently bombarding the Taliban for its support of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaida terror network, media attention and speculation abounds as to where the US will strike next in its new, perpetual war. Two South American nations in particular are currently being prepped for possible military action. Colombia and Venezuela. Both countries figure prominently in US energy policy through coal (Colombia) and oil (Venezuela more so than Colombia) reserves. The US is already militarily involved in Colombia through its "drug war" via Plan Colombia, a $1.3-billion operation which focuses primarily on the fumigation and eradication of the coca plant (used to make cocaine). some background. MeanwhileArgentina is facing an economic, political and social meltdown whose effects could cause further gloom for the global economy. Hundreds of thousands of Argentineans have taken to the streets in protest at a raft of austerity measures demanded by the IMF to prevent the country's bankruptcy.