The illegal drug trade and growing criminal enterprise around the world are among the most serious threats to the United States in the post-Cold War era. The U.S. government is responding to these threats by placing the fight against international narcotics and organized crime high on our national security and foreign policy agendas. Within the State Department, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has broad responsibility for law enforcement policy and program coordination in the international arena.
Drugs and crime pose a unique threat to the long-term security of the United States and are among the two most important sources of global instability today. Unlike other aspects of foreign policy that may challenge either domestic or external interests, drugs and crime simultaneously target both. Through their power to corrupt and subvert they have the capacity to erode U.S. social and economic structures.
Domestically, the social cost to the United States from the drug trade is tremendous. Illicit drug use directly or indirectly causes the death of 52,000 Americans and costs our society $110 billion a year—and that is without taking into account the lives wasted or destroyed by addiction. And it threatens to claim a new generation. Surveys have shown an alarming increase since 1992 in the number of American teens using drugs. Heroin is staging a comeback among young people ignorant of the epidemic of the 1960s and 1970s. Domestic prevention and enforcement alone cannot cope with the avalanche of drugs entering the U.S.; they must be supported by effective control in the source and transit countries. President Bush has pledged to work with producing nations to eliminate the sources of drugs at their root.
Like the trade in illegal drugs, other aspects of global organized crime, such as money laundering, credit card fraud, and the traffic in illegal aliens, illegal firearms, and stolen vehicles, cost the U.S. taxpayer billions of dollars annually by draining capital from U.S. businesses, disrupting the labor market, and putting additional strains on public health, education and welfare institutions.
International drug trafficking and organized crime are forces that jeopardize the global trend toward peace and freedom, undermine fragile new democracies, sap the strength from developing countries and threaten our efforts to build a safer, more prosperous world. All international criminal organizations ultimately share the same goal: creating a secure operating environment for their criminal ventures. To do so, they try to manipulate and, where possible, dominate legitimate governments by corrupting key officials. Informal alliances of drug traffickers and other criminal organizations are exploiting the new openness of Europe to establish operating hubs in key countries in Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. They have set their sights on the U.S., as demonstrated by the emergence of Russia-based, organized crime networks in major U.S. cities.
Emerging crimes such as trafficking in women and children, and high-tech and intellectual property rights crimes are demanding more of our attention, even as we continue to address money laundering, alien smuggling, stolen cars, and firearms trafficking. Together, these crimes take a substantial toll on our economy and foreign interests. We pay through higher costs and poorer quality goods and services and lower standards of living at home because, in increasingly dangerous, uncertain, and unregulated foreign environments, we cannot protect our investments abroad.
Often, the countries that play the most critical roles in furthering the international drug and crime problems are the ones least capable of responding to the problem. Frequently, their law enforcement institutions are too weak to resist rich and violent drug and crime syndicates, and their economies too weak or small to generate alternative incomes for drug producers. Once in place, crime syndicates quickly secure their positions through corruption and intimidation. Their strategic attacks on the rule of law and effective corruption of democratic and free market processes—-as seen in Russia, Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Pakistan, and elsewhere—-erode the very foundations of states, putting our entire range of foreign policy interests at risk.
The Administration is answering these national security threats by making international narcotics and crime control top foreign policy priorities. Our no-nonsense policy is aimed at achieving greater U.S.-led international cooperation focused on the most critical drug and crime targets. INL’s efforts are targeted at reducing drug availability in the U.S. by 50 percent between 1996 and 2007. INL had a central role in developing the “International Crime Control Strategy,” and will strengthen existing programs and create new ones to support its objectives. These include extending our first line of defense and strengthening our borders, ensuring that global criminals have nowhere to hide, attacking international financial and trade crimes, and responding to emerging crime challenges.
INL’s primary goals and objectives are as follows:
- To reduce and ultimately choke off the flow of illegal drugs to the U.S.;
- To deter, prosecute, and thwart international crime and criminal organizations;
- To identify, target, and eliminate those international drug and crime threats that pose the greatest danger to U.S. security interests; and
- To increase international awareness of these threats and strengthen the ability of national and multilateral institutions to combat them.
Where drugs are concerned, these programs will:
- Reduce drug crop cultivation through a combination of enforcement, eradication, and alternative development programs;
- Strengthen the ability of law enforcement and judicial institutions to investigate and prosecute major drug trafficking organizations, and to seize and block their assets; and
- Improve the capacity of host nation police and military forces to attack narcotics production and trafficking centers.
With respect to international crime, our programs are designed to:
- Build stronger law enforcement networks to prevent and combat, among other threats, financial crimes and money laundering, alien smuggling and trafficking in women and children, violence against women and children; uncontrolled trafficking in small arms, and intellectual property threats;
- Strengthen efforts by the UN and other international organizations to assist member states to combat international criminal activity; and
- Thwart international crime’s ability to undermine democracy and free-market economies in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and other vulnerable states through strengthening law enforcement and criminal justice systems and anticorruption initiatives.
The expansion of transnational crime and international narcotics trafficking into new areas has increased the demand for INL’s programs and assistance. More and more nations understand the threat that these illicit activities pose to order, economic progress, and good governance, and they are looking primarily to the U.S. for assistance in dealing with these problems. It is in our national security interest to help them respond, but to do so will require significant additional resources.
INL funds various bilateral and multilateral international drug and crime control programs to accomplish these goals and objectives. We continue to direct our greatest counternarcotics efforts at Latin America, focusing on eliminating the cocaine and heroin trades and combating emerging methamphetamine trafficking from Mexico. Our overall aims are to reduce significantly coca and opium poppy cultivation, disrupt processing and trafficking operations in the region, and dismantle the organizations that dominate and finance the drug trade.
In keeping with the presidential directive, we are concentrating most of our efforts in the source countries of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, and other countries bordering Colombia, such as Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela and Panama. We are also attacking the major drug transit routes from South America to the U.S. They tend to shift between Mexico/Central America, and the countries of the western and eastern Caribbean, depending on the ongoing levels of enforcement. Thus, while we continue to work closely with Mexico (still the leading drug smuggling gateway into the U.S.) we will intensify efforts in the Caribbean to respond to signs of renewed trafficking there.
Our narcotics control priority in Asia is heroin. Efforts to attack that trade are complicated by security and political barriers that limit our access to the major opium and heroin producing countries—Burma and Afghanistan. Our efforts, therefore, focus on working through diplomatic and public channels to boost international awareness of the expanding heroin threat; promoting the United Nations Drug Control Program and regional financial institution involvement in eliminating the threat; bringing law enforcement efforts to bear against the leading heroin production and international trafficking organizations; and addressing the activities of the underground banking systems that finance drug operations. We will continue to support crop suppression programs in Laos—the third leading producer of opium poppy—-and in Pakistan and Thailand, where we have access and government cooperation.
Regarding other forms of international crime, INL has increasingly taken the lead to define the threat, outline the policies to respond, and implement the training and other programs to confront it. Much of this is reflected in the “International Crime Control Strategy.” Through training and institution-building, our goal is to ensure that foreign authorities have the skills, confidence, professionalism, contacts, and resources necessary to identify and investigate the most serious forms of international crime. To advance police cooperation, we will pursue efforts to establish an International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in the Western Hemisphere to complement those already established in Bangkok, and Budapest. An ILEA to serve the needs of southern Africa is being established in Gaborone, Botswana. We will work to strengthen the abilities of foreign judicial systems, intensify our efforts against money laundering, and strengthen our international web against alien smuggling.
Despite the enormity of the task and the challenges ahead, INL’s programs are achieving success:
- Eradication and alternative development programs in source countries are eliminating illicit cultivation of coca at record rates. In Bolivia, for example, net cultivation of coca for 2000 was down by 33 percent from the previous year. In Peru, net cultivation for the year was down 12 percent, with an overall 70 percent reduction since 1995.
- Our global initiatives to strengthen and better regulate financial institutions are making it easier for authorities to identify and track money laundering and seize the assets of organized crime. INL has fostered a global network of financial regulators who are trading information daily; we have funded efforts that have exposed some of the biggest money launderers in the past few years. Working with foreign banking and regulatory officials, U.S. authorities are confiscating hundreds of millions of dollars in cash and bank accounts from organized crime syndicates.
- Agreements were reached with the governments of Ecuador, El Salvador and the Netherlands to establish forward operating locations at Manta, Ecuador, Comalapa International airport in El Salvador, and in Curacao and Aruba, to support interdiction and detection and monitoring efforts.
- A new International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) is being established in Gaborone, Botswana. Like our ILEAs in Budapest and Bangkok, the purpose of our Gaborone ILEA is to strengthen regional cooperation and improve participating law enforcement agency performance.
- In 2000, INL continued strengthening anticrime coordination with and among European and other major donor countries.
We have also been instrumental in focusing the attention of the G-8 Experts Working Group on Organized Crime on tracing electronic evidence across borders; thwarting the trafficking of women, children, and firearms; and adopting mutual legal assistance procedures for the 21st century. We are coordinating with the EU on many of these same issues as well as on combating child pornography on the Internet. Through these organizations we are successfully building a pattern of law enforcement cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic.
The FY 2002 INL budget request is formulated to support the Administration’s comprehensive strategy for combating the global threat of narcotics and organized crime. While attacking the core targets, it emphasizes the need to strengthen host nation capabilities through institution building so that key countries can bolster their own effectiveness in fighting international drugs and crime. The budget reflects a long-term commitment to attack these problems globally. It underscores the need to create competent and honest counternarcotics and anticrime forces in countries where laws and institutions are weak, and it promotes more effective action in nations where motivated and capable enforcement organizations are hampered by a lack of public awareness and political will. Requested funding will permit INL to continue implementing the comprehensive heroin control strategy. The strategy supports efforts by multilateral organizations to reduce opium production in those major growing areas where our access is limited, such as in Burma and Afghanistan. At the same time, it strengthens law enforcement operations against the major processing, distribution, and financial organizations in countries where we have access. In addition, the budget request will enable INL to respond to the President’s requirement to implement a comprehensive international crime control strategy. The anticrime strategy includes aggressive diplomatic initiatives to bolster international cooperation, backed by an expanded international training program through International Law Enforcement Academies. It places special attention on money laundering and financial crimes.
The FY 2002 budget request directs our greatest counternarcotics efforts at Latin America, focusing on eliminating the cocaine and heroin trades and combating emerging methamphetamine trafficking from Mexico. This request will allow us to advance our source country approach against the cocaine threat in South America; it will provide for alternative development resources to buttress successful crop control efforts; it will allow continued materiel and logistical support to the police and military to block drug shipments out of the producing areas and through key transit zones; and it will furnish the training and other institution-building assistance needed to strengthen the judiciary’s ability to resist trafficker corruption and to prosecute major cases successfully.
In support of programs initiated with the FY 2000 Emergency Supplemental, we are requesting substantial Andean Regional Initiative follow-on funding to continue enforcement, border control, crop reduction, alternative development, institution building, administration of justice and human rights programs for the source countries of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. Specifically, for Colombia we are requesting $399 million for operations and maintenance of air assets provided under Plan Colombia supplemental funding, for Colombia National Police and Colombian Army Counternarcotics Brigade operational support, herbicide, airfield upgrades, base and security upgrades, communications equipment, and riverine and coastal interdiction activities. The request for Peru and Bolivia focus on interdiction and border control efforts to preempt spillover from Colombia, continuation of forced eradication, alternative development and institution building. We are also requesting similar funding for Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela and Panama, for enhanced border control and interdiction programs, plus alternative development monies for Ecuador. The transit routes tend to shift between Mexico/Central America, and the countries of the western and eastern Caribbean depending on the levels of enforcement. Thus, we will intensify efforts in the Caribbean to respond to signs of renewed trafficking there, while we continue to work closely with Mexico, still the leading drug smuggling gateway to the U.S. The Latin American Regional budget will particularly target drug interdiction efforts and money laundering in the Caribbean, Central America, and the Southern Cone.
The FY 2002 INL budget request for Asia/Middle East programs will continue to support opium crop suppression programs in Laos, Pakistan and Thailand, where we have access and government cooperation. The Asia/Middle East Regional account is designed to help governments begin establishing counternarcotics law enforcement units, obtain training and equipment, and conduct demand reduction/public awareness campaigns. The intent is to establish programs through seed money for countries to help themselves and to complement drug control funding provided through international organizations, such as the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP).
The FY 2002 Interregional Aviation Support budget request will continue to focus on key aerial programs in Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, with temporary deployments of aircraft and personnel, on an as-needed basis, elsewhere in the Andean region and Central America. Reaching self-sufficiency status for aircraft maintenance and training programs in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia is a continuing goal. The Systems Support and Upgrade account will focus primarily on C-26 support in addition to airborne surveillance initiatives and OV-10 refurbishment.
The International Organizations budget request will support multilateral drug control operations, programs and policy objectives of the U.S. and the UNDCP, the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), and the Colombo Plan. The FY 2002 request for Drug Awareness and Demand Reduction will support a range of training programs to strengthen the ability of host nations to conduct more effective demand reduction efforts on their own, and to build public support and political will for implementing counternarcotics programs.
The anticrime program request will build upon collaborative efforts to combat international criminal activity, especially through law enforcement training programs, legal and regulatory reform, technical assistance in combating the trafficking in firearms and stolen cars, as well as numerous other initiatives, such as those aimed at thwarting alien smuggling, financial crimes, border controls, trafficking in persons, and other illegal activities that negatively affect U.S. national security interests. INL will continue to manage the USG’s interagency program at the International Law Enforcement Training Academies in Budapest, Bangkok and Gaborone, Botswana, and will support new training centers in Costa Rica and Roswell, New Mexico. In cooperation with other U.S. agencies, INL will offer training and technical assistance programs in the criminal justice sector, particularly in countries in transition from civil strife or military rule to democratic rule. INL will draw on FREEDOM Support Act and SEED Act monies to assist the Bureau in these initiatives and to complement INCLE funds.
The Africa regional anticrime program was initiated in FY 2001 to address the increasing number of criminal groups that have emerged in this region of the world. Most of the limited counternarcotics and anticrime funds spent to date in Africa have been focused on narcotics programs in Nigeria and South Africa. Future programs will continue to concentrate on Nigeria and southern Africa, but will aid other governments and regional organizations so that African organized crime will be reduced, not just displaced to other countries in the regions. Training will be paramount in the Africa program for FY 2002. Customs training, police science training, specialized training for counternarcotics units, demand reduction programs, technical assistance and public education campaigns will account for the majority of requested Africa regional funding. Material assistance is also planned to include communications, vehicles and computer equipment.
U.S. participation in international civilian police (CIVPOL) operations has increased to over 855 experienced police officers assigned in Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, and East Timor in CY 2001. While we have greatly improved our capacity to respond to requests from the UN and other organizations for U.S. participation by enhancing procedures for recruitment, selection, and preparation of personnel for CIVPOL operations, further refinements are necessary to improve our overall capability for rapid response.
The FY 2002 request builds on current year efforts to establish a voluntary reserve of some 2,000 law enforcement personnel who remain in their regular jobs until called for CIVPOL duty. The FY 2002 program includes implementing standardized organizational structures, operating procedures, and systems needed to effectively manage personnel identified for the ready roster. Through this program, U.S. CIVPOL will have opportunities to participate in specialized law enforcement training that is designed to meet domestic in-service training requirements, as well as basic and advanced instruction that is unique to the organizational and operational challenges presented by international CIVPOL missions.