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 program, 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."