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An Analysis of U.S. Counterdrug Policy and Strategy as Related to DoD Interdiction Efforts Along the Mexican Border

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Strategy research rept.

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The trafficking of illegal drugs into the United States continues to damage our social institutions, decay the moral fabric of our youth, and rob the economy of countless billions in revenue. President Richard M. Nixon first proclaimed the war on drugs in 1970 unfortunately, the succeeding 30 years have seen relatively few victories in this war. Politicians and law enforcement officials relentlessly tout new strategies and policies that they guarantee will either reduce or stop the ever-present scourge of drugs and violence in our schools, our neighborhoods, and even our playgrounds. But, as the nation enters a new century the demand for these drugs remains high and the supply ever steady. In 1989, with U.S. prisons full of smugglers and pushers and with hospitals attempting to save overdose victims and cure addicts, Congress enacted legislation mandating Department of Defense DoD support. The eventual enlistment of the military in the crusade against drugs was the logical outcome of the strategies pursued by U.S. lawmakers. Today, uniformed soldiers, sailors, and airmen work side-by-side with border officials and Customs agents as they search for illegal drugs. The military is manning aircraft, watercraft, and observation posts providing real-time surveillance and intelligence information to more than 50 agencies attempting to interdict illegal drugs before they hit the streets of America. With all this effort, why is illegal drug trafficking still listed as a national security threat in the most recent National Security Strategy This paper will analyze past policy and strategy failures, look at legal barriers impacting military involvement, and present real world concerns that prevent the full implementation of successful strategies.

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  • Sociology and Law

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