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The War on Drugs and U.S. Foreign Policy Essay

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Introduction

The War on Drugs has been a common phrase in the United States for many decades. What exactly does this mean and how does it shape U.S. foreign policy? The War on Drugs can be defined as the systematic and aggressive policy that is determined to undermine and stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. This policy is backed by several U.S. institutions including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Customs. Also, included in this list are the numerous local law enforcement agencies across the country.

The U.S. government has instituted the following ways for enforcing its foreign drug policy: interdiction, eradication, legislative reform. Interdiction is the attempt to stop drugs as they are en route to the United States. This remains to be a formidable task; because of the enormous size of the United States, policing its vast borders has proven to be extremely difficult. For example, the United States has over 12,000 miles of shoreline, through 300 ports of legal entry, and over 7,500 miles of border with Canada and Mexico. The jurisdiction of these border points fall under all of the above mentioned agencies and military branches. Herein lays the first problem of foreign policy on drugs, determining which agency/branch has rightful control over which part of the border. The DEA and FBI have overlapping roles in when it comes to enforcing drug policy. Miscommunication often happens when attempting to interdict drugs because of overlapping jurisdiction between two government agencies. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, the United States has spent over $25 billion on s...


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...ment with local towns to pinpoint the appropriate crops to be exterminated. Strong legal punishment is needed to deter would be drug traffickers from committing crimes. All of these crucial steps need to be followed in order to start winning the war on drugs.



Works Cited

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/basicfax.htm#q7

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/co.html#Econ

http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/intel/02006/#4c

http://www.tni.org/drugs/pubs/drugsum.htm

http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/02_12_03fuzzy.cfm

http://www.drugpolicy.org/global/drugpolicyby/latinamerica/

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/military.htm

http://www.drugwar.com/interdiction.shtm

http://www.fpif.org/briefs/vol6/v6n22andes.html

http://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/intervention/2004/0512colombia.htm

http://www.tni.org/drugs/research/airbridg.htm


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