Today, the US Office of National Drug Control Policy released its official plan for continuing the war on drugs. Highlights: we love Mexican cocaine; Predator drones; twice the Border Patrol and an official "tunnel strategy."
Each year since 2009, the ONDCP has released plans for combating narcotics in different regions.
Today, ONDCP released its 2011 plan--officially called the "National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy"--for eliminating drug trafficking operations along the Mexico-US border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
You can read all 100-plus pages by clicking here (pdf), but we've distilled it into a few bullet points:
- "Illicit trafficking across the Southwest border"--of guns, drugs, money and people--"continues to be
- a chronic threat to our Nation."
- (because it's such a great source of income?)
- A whopping
- 90 percent
- of all cocaine bound for US markets goes through "the Mexico/Central America corridor."
- Even so, our relationship with Mexico has apparently "never been stronger"--perhaps because we're planning to fork over a hefty
- $500 million
- to help that Mexico fight the drug war.
- The US
- Border Patrol has more than doubled
- in less than a decade, "from 10,000 in 2004 to over 20,700 today." Another 300 or so agents are slated for hiring before the end of the year.
- So, what have they accomplished? In the past two fiscal years, feds in southwest border states have seized 60% more illegal currency and 30% more drugs than they did in the two years before. Which is nice.
- At least they're not in the air: "For the first time, DHS now has
- Predator Unmanned Aircraft
- System coverage along the entire Southwest border
- , from the El Centro Sector in California to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas." Using Predator drones on our own citizens? I'm betting on a lawsuit from the ACLU any day.
- There's a US Bomb Data Center. Yeah. There is.
- The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives plans to open nine new offices along the Southwest border for a
- recently embattled
- Project Gunrunner
- , "as funding becomes available."
- And now for some healthy messaging: "The consumption and production of illicit drugs along the U.S.-Mexico border
- erodes societies
- endangers families
- , and
- provides illicit earnings
- that fuel corruption, crime, and violence."