Sharing the Secrets: Open Source Intelligence and the War on Drugs

Sharing the Secrets: Open Source Intelligence and the War on Drugs

Sharing the Secrets: Open Source Intelligence and the War on Drugs

Sharing the Secrets: Open Source Intelligence and the War on Drugs

Synopsis

This important work identifies the problems of counter-drug intelligence and points toward a remedy for the failed anti-drug policies in the United States through the effective use of open source intelligence.

Excerpt

We are pilgrims, Master; we shall go Always a little further. --J. F. Flecker, inscription on the Clock, Bradbury Lines, Hereford, U.K. Home of the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS)

Even as I began the outline that would serve as the framework for this book, the title, Sharing the Secrets came to mind. I knew that those words best described the essence of what it was that I wanted to write about. the title, and really the idea for such a work, had their genesis some 25 years earlier in Vietnam. There as a Lieutenant, and later as a Captain of Marines, I learned the art of reconnaissance and the craft of intelligence as a platoon leader and S-2 (Intelligence Officer) with the 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company and as the commander of Company D, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. Later, with Company 3-3, 3rd Combined Action Group, 3rd Marine Division, operating along la rue sans joie (the Street without Joy) Route 1--the war-scarred highway that ran between Hue, Quang Tri, and Danang--I learned an entirely new aspect of intelligence. It was here that I learned about drug trafficking. in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive, it amazed me that opium still flowed from the Golden Triangle--the world's largest poppy growing area along the China, Burma, Thailand border--unslowed by war.

In 1980, now with the Army as the Latin America and Caribbean Team Chief, 9001st Military Intelligence Detachment (Terrorism Counteraction), I experienced the same amazement as we watched cocaine flow from the Andean Ridge toward the United States, seemingly unrecognized and certainly unchecked. By the time cocaine and then "crack" were at last discovered, long after we and others had sounded an unheeded warning and we had coined the term "narco-terrorism," I was "hooked" on the drug business. What struck me early on, however, was the inadequacy of intelligence in dealing with drug trafficking issues. Something was missing.

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