Narcodiplomacy: Exporting the U.S. War on Drugs


If illicit drug trafficking is a global problem, why won't other nations comply with the drug control agenda of the United States? NarcoDiplomacy departs from traditional responses to this question, which have held that compliance with the American agenda has been beyond the capacity of key countries. By focusing on Germany and Japan, touted as two of the strongest allies of the United States in drug control efforts, H. Richard Friman exposes the flaws in capacity arguments and the policies based on them. Drawing on sources ranging from previously unknown Imperial German archives to interviews with policy makers and law enforcement officials, Friman offers a thorough analysis of bilateral and multilateral relations. He traces their evolution from international opium control efforts of the early 1900s through disputes over cocaine and money laundering during the Reagan and Bush antidrug campaigns. His work reveals that, although the internal logic of the U.S. posture was sound, American policy makers failed to recognize the nature of German and Japanese cooperation and defection, or to identify which aspects of capacity were at issue. The resulting policy, Friman contends, actually undermined German and Japanese compliance with the American agenda. Extending this analysis to Latin America, NarcoDiplomacy explores the ramifications of Friman's findings for the future of U.S. drug control policy.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Ithaca, NY
Publication year:
  • 1996


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