Drug War

Observations on U.S. International Drug Control Efforts Gao ID: T-NSIAD-95-194 August 1, 1995

The government's strategy for stopping the production and trafficking of cocaine and heroin destined for the United States suffers from a lack of interagency coordination, poor funds management, and a lack of commitment from some foreign governments to combat the drug trade in their countries. Although the United States has changed its international strategy on cocaine from one of law enforcement and drug seizures in the transit zone to one of stopping drugs in the sources counties, the executive branch has had difficulty in implementing a key part of the strategy---shifting resources from the transit zone to source countries. Also, a proposed heroin strategy still awaits the President's approval. Moreover, the willing and the ability of foreign governments to fight the drug trade varies. Recent steps taken by the Colombian government, such as the arrests of high-level members of the Cali Cartel, have been positive, but continuing commitment is needed. Even when foreign governments are willing to fully participate in counternarcotics efforts, they often lack the necessary resources. Extensive corruption in some countries further undercuts efforts to stop the drug trade.

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