Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is INL’s mission?  

A: The mission of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is to combat international crime and illegal drugs, and their impact on the United States, its citizens, and partner nations by providing effective foreign assistance and fostering global cooperation to counter these threats. INL programs cover the full spectrum of law enforcement and the rule of law, including: police professionalization; justice sector development; correctional institution reform; and citizen security strengthening. INL also works to combat illicit narcotics through technical assistance to both source and transit countries with drug interdiction, eradication, sustainable alternative development, and demand reduction, while also enhancing international partners’ capabilities to investigate, prosecute and seize the assets of major drug trafficking organizations and their leaders.

INL promotes the establishment and implementation of international standards to combat transnational organized crime, corruption, terror financing, money laundering, human smuggling, wildlife trafficking, and other cross-border crimes. INL-led initiatives help protect the U.S. and global economies against cybercrime and intellectual property piracy, promote border security, and prevent youth gang violence. INL participates in civilian peacekeeping and is engaged with the UN, other international bodies and partner nations to improve the quality of civilian peacekeeping and promote the role of women in peacekeeping.

Q: What is INL doing to combat transnational organized crime and corruption globally?

A: INL supports the President’s Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime on several key fronts: 1) raising awareness of transnational organized crime, 2) building partnerships and capacities to combat illicit networks and corruption, and 3) using diplomatic tools in creative new ways to help disrupt and dismantle these networks. INL’s global programs and policy initiatives focus on corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing, cyber and intellectual property crime, wildlife trafficking, and other types of illicit trade. INL negotiates treaty and regional commitments such as the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and monitors their implementation through the United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), Financial Action Task Force (FATF), G8, G20, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and other international fora. Other programs aim to strengthen U.S. national security through policy coordination, effective training programs, and the development of diplomatic collaboration and public-private partnerships. For more information visit: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/fs/209448.htm.

Q: What is INL’s budget?

A: INL requests funding from Congress annually to support country, regional, and global programs. These programs build and strengthen law enforcement and criminal justice institutions in partner countries to establish a stable and secure environment for their citizens and participate in joint efforts to combat transnational threats. The Program and Budget Guide for each fiscal year can be found at //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/rpt/pbg/.

Q. What kind of training does INL provide to international law enforcement, corrections and justice personnel?

A: INL provides training and assistance in all aspects of police, corrections and justice systems, institutions and personnel. INL training and assistance programs are tailored to the specific environment, legal framework, and identified requirements of each partner nation.

Q. Does INL partner with other federal law enforcement agencies to provide training?

A:. Yes. INL works closely with many federal law enforcement agencies, including:

  • Department of Justice, including its ICITAP and OPDAT Programs
  • Treasury Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Law Library of Congress
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • U.S Border Patrol
  • United States Secret Service
  • United States Capitol Police 

INL also partners with many state and local law enforcement organizations to implement programs overseas. 

Q: Who works in INL?

A: INL positions overseas and in Washington are filled by career Civil Service and Foreign Service employees. INL manages programs in approximately 80 countries and has dedicated INL staff at 42 overseas posts who serve as International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Officers, Justice Sector Program Officers, Management Officers, and Office Management Specialists. Information about Civil Service openings can be found at USAjobs. Information about the Foreign Service can be found at careers.state.gov.

Q. Does INL hire police, corrections, and legal experts to go abroad to train others?

A: Yes. INL deploys highly skilled criminal justice professionals to serve as mentors, trainers and advisors. INL works closely with a wide range of federal, state, and local partners - including police, corrections, and justice agencies across the United States – as well as with international organizations, civil society, and the private sector to identify and deploy the right person for the right mission. If you are interested in finding out more about working for INL in a subject-matter capacity, please send your inquiry or resume to INLCAPJobs@state.gov.

Q: What is INL doing to address the drug problem in the United States?

A: INL works with foreign governments, international organizations and civil society to address many different aspects of the drug problem in order to reduce the impact of illegal drugs on U.S. citizens. Specifically, INL provides technical expertise, training, equipment and modest infrastructure support to reduce cultivation/harvesting of illicit crops, the availability of chemicals required to manufacture illicit drugs, drug trafficking, and demand for drugs. By helping our international partners to develop more effective criminal justice institutions, INL assistance enhances the ability of foreign governments to stem the flow of illicit drugs, including to the United States, while also strengthening foreign partners’ ability to cooperate with U.S. law enforcement in their efforts to dismantle drug trafficking organizations. For questions related to U.S. domestic drug policy we refer you to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Q: Who do I contact if I have information about a crime or a criminal?

A: Outside the United States, individuals wishing to provide information on major transnational criminal organizations may contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In the United States, individuals should contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), or the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directly. The U.S. Government ensures confidentiality to individuals who provide information on members of transnational criminal organizations, and, if appropriate, will relocate these individuals and their families. The Department of State oversees a number of rewards programs for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of certain criminals. Under the Narcotics Rewards Program, the Secretary of State is given statutory authority to offer rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of major narcotics traffickers who operate outside of the United States to send drugs into the U.S. Reward proposals are carefully reviewed by an interagency committee, which makes a recommendation for a reward payment to the Secretary of State. Government officers and employees are not eligible for rewards. For more information visit: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/narc/rewards/index.htm

The Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program was established by Congress in 2013 as a tool to assist the U.S. Government to identify and bring to justice members of significant transnational criminal organizations. The program complements the Narcotics Rewards Program by authorizing rewards for information on leaders and members of significant transnational criminal organizations involved in activities beyond drug trafficking, such as human trafficking, money laundering, and trafficking in arms, wildlife, and other illicit goods. For more information visit: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/tocrewards/index.htm

Government officials and employees are not eligible for rewards.

Q: What is the Department of State’s Air Wing?

A: In the mid-1980s, an Air Wing was established within the Department of State and is overseen by INL for the purpose of conducting aerial eradication and interdiction operations in drug-producing countries under bilateral agreements. Since its inception the Air Wing has expanded beyond counter narcotics and also supports Embassies in high threat areas with passenger and cargo movements where commercial aviation is not secure. The Air Wing provides aviation expertise and resources for:

  • Reconnaissance and surveillance operations.
  • Command and Control for counter-narcotics operations.
  • Interdiction operations.
  • Logistical support.
  • Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC).
  • Personnel and cargo movement by air.
  • Aerial eradication of drug crops (currently only in Colombia). 

Q: Where is the Air Wing located?

A: The headquarters of the State Department Air Wing (officially the Office of Aviation) is located at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. The Air Wing currently conducts operations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Pakistan, and Peru.

Q: How many and what types of aircraft are in the fleet?

A: The Air Wing has approximately 176 active aircraft in its fleet, including approximately 137 helicopters.

Q: I am a news reporter and have additional questions. Who should I contact?

A: INL encourages you to contact a Department of State public affairs representative with any additional questions you may have regarding INL. A press officer can be reached at the State Department’s Press Office at (202) 647-2492.

Q: I am a Member of Congress or a Congressional staff member and have additional questions, who should I contact? 

A: The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) stands ready to assist you. INL’s Congressional Affairs staff can be easily reached by email to INL-Congressional-DL@state.gov. Alternatively, the Department of State’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs can be reached at 202-647-4204. 

Q: I am a private company interested in bidding on INL contracts, where can I find additional information? 

A: INL encourages you to review information and opportunities available at the Federal Business Opportunities website (www.FedBizOpps.gov). Additional information is also available at the Department’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization web site found at //2009-2017.state.gov/s/dmr/sdbu/.