The United States has close to 1,000 military personnel and around 500 private contractors in the South American country of Colombia. That country has experienced civil conflict to one degree or another for about forty to fifty years. Officially we're there as "advisors" to train the Colombian military and police in tactics useful in the so-called Drug War...because drugs (cocaine) and kidnappings largely are responsible for financing the FARC, the "Revolutionary Front". It probably occurs to most educated people that we're most likely there for other reasons as well---oil supply springs to mind, as does destabilizing Chavez in Venezuela, Colombia's neighbor.
It will be interesting to see if our policy regarding Colombia ever follows the way of our military involvement in Vietnam, where we started out with non-combat "advisors". In addition to advisors, we've provided Colombia (thus far) with billions of dollars, some of that in the form of helicopters, weapons, ammunition, and massive amounts of defoliants (to eradicate coca fields)...similar to what we did in 'Nam. I'm not suggesting that Colombia WILL become another Vietnam for the U.S., merely reminding people that anything is possible, especially when Government is the Master (not the servant).
Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard (Google it) is not only in the Middle East and Central Asia; it is all around the world.