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NCJ Number: 118321 Find in a Library
Title: Drug War: Going After Supply -- A Commentary
Journal: Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs  Volume:30  Issue:2 & 3  Dated:special issue (Summer/Fall 1988)  Pages:77-85
Author(s): K E Sharpe
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 9
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The drug supply war's major focus is the growing production of narcotics in Third World countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia and their shipment to the United States.
Abstract: The major U.S. option is to support Latin American governments' own drug-fighting capabilities by supplying funds, training, and equipment. Reducing the drug supply, however, may be impossible as long as poverty, economic underdevelopment, and debt in Latin America make narcotics trafficking economically rational. These problems will not be solved in the short or medium term even with cooperation and financial resources. Further, the strategies of narcotics traffickers limit the usefulness of force, and arming and training local police and military organizations to fight the drug war is not going to work if such organizations are an easy prey to corruption. Consequences of the drug supply war for both U.S. and Latin American interests may be slow, incremental, and sometimes subtle. For example, it is difficult to coordinate eradication efforts with crop substitution in ways that do not alienate peasants who rely on coca production as their major source of income. A key question is how to balance U.S. security interests in narcotics control with other foreign policy objectives such as the promotion of democracy. Another issue is that the use of covert activities, an essential part of low intensity conflict and the war against leftist regimes and guerrillas, may put U.S. intelligence agencies in close contact with drug dealers, contradictory to a war on drugs. 5 references.
Main Term(s): International drug law enforcement
Index Term(s): Cocaine; Drug smuggling; Latin America
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