Monday, 8 June 2009

UNITED STATES: Counternarcotics Strategy for Southwest Border

ONDCP Releases 2009 Counternarcotics Strategy for the Southwest Border

2009 National Southwest Border Counternarcotics StrategyOn June 5, 2009, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske, released the 2009 National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy at an event with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An update of the 2007 strategy, this strategy expands its original focus of stemming the inbound flow of illegal drugs from Mexico and addresses the role that the outbound flow of illegal cash and weapons plays in sustaining cartels. The strategy is the result of an expanded consultation process, including coordination with Congress, State and local authorities, and the Government of Mexico.

View the 2009 National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy online at the ONDCP Web site at www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov.

The report states

"As the President has stated, stemming the inbound flow of narcotics and other contraband is not enough. We must acknowledge the full range of factors that contribute to the current situation on the Southwest border in order to successfully address it. In Chapters 6 and 7, this strategy provides a plan to support the dedicated efforts of the Mexican Government in its fight against the cartels by addressing the role that the United States plays as a supplier of illegal cash and weapons to the cartels. 

We must also acknowledge that it is the demand for illegal drugs in the United States that drives the threat along the border. The National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy is an integrated component of this Administration’s broader national drug control policy, which includes a renewed commitment to reduce the demand for illegal drugs at home. Approximately $5 billion have already been committed in the previous year for initiatives to reduce illicit drug use within our borders. The Administration is focusing on integrating substance abuse services into national healthcare systems with early screening, diagnosis, and intervention as regular preventative medicine. The fiscal year (FY) 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act includes $63.9 million for drug courts that bring together the judicial, law enforcement, and treatment communities, as well as other social and public services, in order to end a nonviolent offender’s drug addiction. 

Effective prevention is essential to our efforts to reduce illegal drug use over the long term. In the Southwest border region in particular, just as increased national and binational collaboration can improve interdiction, intelligence, and enforcement efforts, an increased and coordinated focus on substance abuse prevention will benefit both the United States and Mexico. The Administration will work to increase communication and collaboration among relevant Federal, State, and local agencies, binational organizations, and Mexican counterparts in order to address the common factors that influence the region’s violence and substance abuse problems. While specific local circumstances may differ, the United States will place a greater focus on shared issues and work in concert with Mexico to pursue common substance abuse prevention goals."

A direct link to this 77 page pdf document is 

http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/swb_counternarcotics_strategy09/swb_counternarcotics_strategy09.pdf

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