The Latin American Narcotics Trade and U.S. National Security

By Donald J. Mabry | Go to book overview

7
International Narcopolicy and the Role of the U.S. Congress*

Raphael Perl


OVERVIEW

In recent years Congress has expressed growing concern over the problem of drug abuse in the United States. Much attention has been given to international narcotics control through programs primarily aimed at reducing the supply of illicit narcotics in source countries and interdicting supply routes. Funding has been used for crop eradication and control, law enforcement assistance, equipment and materials, training of foreign law enforcement personnel, and development assistance to provide economic alternatives to illicit narcotic crops.

In the past, Congress expressed its concern by enacting legislation authorizing the President to suspend assistance to major illicit narcotic drug-producing or drug-transit countries that did not take adequate remedial action to improve their status as illicit narcotics producers or providers. In addition, Congress established detailed requirements, indicating progress in narcotics control, for continuing of U.S. aid to Bolivia, Jamaica, Mexico, and Peru. 1

The overall present direction of congressional foreign narcopolicy may be characterized as supply reduction oriented, bilaterally oriented, and more "stick" than "carrot" oriented. Three pieces of noteworthy legislation passed in 1988 may have significant impact on narcopolicy in these three areas. They are the Antidrug Abuse Act of 1988, 2 the Defense Authorization Act for 1989, 3 and the Foreign Assistance Appropriations Act for 1989. 4 A discussion of U.S. international narcotics control policy, the congressional role in antidrug sanctions, and the above-mentioned three legislative enactments follows.


CURRENT U.S. INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL POLICY 5

The primary goal of U.S. international narcotics policy is to reduce the supply of illicit narcotics flowing into the United States. A second and

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