Drug Control

Status Report on DOD Support to Counternarcotics Activities Gao ID: NSIAD-91-117 June 12, 1991

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Defense's (DOD) implementation of its new counternarcotics responsibilities under the fiscal year (FY) 1989 National Defense Authorization Act, focusing on DOD: (1) organizational structures established to carry out those responsibilities; (2) intelligence and communications networks devoted to the new counternarcotics mission; (3) overall mission budgeting and funding; and (4) efforts to measure its performance in carrying out its new responsibilities.

GAO found that: (1) the act designated DOD as the lead agency for detection and monitoring of aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs into the United States; (2) DOD designated a Coordinator for Drug Enforcement Policy and Support to serve as the Secretary of Defense's principal staff assistant and advisor for drug control policy, priorities, systems, resources, and programs; (3) DOD delegated operational authority for the detection and monitoring missions to commanders of selected unified and specified commands and stressed a cooperative approach to coordinating the participation of civilian law enforcement agencies (LEA); (4) DOD committed considerable resources to collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence data on drug trafficking and established an extensive network to conduct and coordinate counternarcotics intelligence activities; (5) the Assistant Secretary of Defense planned to fulfill DOD responsibility for coordinating the integration of command, control, communications, and technical intelligence assets in an effective communications network by purchasing telecommunications equipment to loan to LEA and developing and implementing an automated data network for transferring operations information and intelligence among various DOD and LEA counternarcotics operations; (6) Congress appropriated $300 million to DOD to carry out counternarcotics information; (7) although DOD allocated counternarcotics funds late in FY 1989 and FY 1990 due to required reprogramming actions, DOD did not cite any major adverse effects resulting from the late release of funds; and (8) it would be difficult to gather statistics on DOD drug interdiction support, because many agencies that may get involved in each operation.

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