Obama's 2011 Southwest Border Drug War Policy Released

Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano and Obama Drug Czar R. Gil Kerlikowske this week released the Administration's 2011 Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy. (Full report here.)

The increased use of privacy-invasive technology predominates throughout. As does the sharing of information with Mexico (hardly a wise idea given the corruption that continues to exist in their police and military).No wonder they call it the war on drugs, it reads like a military/CIA manifesto: [More...]

The Executive Summary with highlights is here. Some of the jargon:

  • Enhance coordination of intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination to all those, at the border and across the country, working drug issues.
  • Expand the scope, quality, and timeliness of actionable information and intelligence that is shared with state, local, and tribal partners.
  • Improve the coordination of information that is shared with Mexican partners.
  • Work with interagency partners, Mexican counterparts, and the private sector to increase the use of advance information to screen vehicles and cargo.
  • Improve infrastructure and use of license plate readers at POEs.
  • Increase operational capabilities at or near the border.
  • Improve the use of biometric identification systems between POEs and enhance information sharing with Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement
  • Sustain air and maritime detection and monitoring, intercept, tracking, and apprehension operations along the Southwest border.
  • Increase cooperation with Mexican counterparts through the exchange of liaison officers and increased information sharing.
  • Modernize airborne sensors and other information collection mechanisms
  • Broaden the presence and function of U.S. law enforcement liaisons in Mexico.
  • Increase the focus of personnel and resources on the Southwest border.
  • Increase the capacities of prosecutors and other criminal justice components
  • Improve intelligence and information sharing relating to illegal weapons with Federal, state, local, and tribal partners.
  • Employ state-of-the-art technology to interdict drugs and other contraband.
  • Improve sensor, data fusion, and data sharing capabilities.
  • Develop capabilities to detect, identify, track, and interdict small vessels, including self-propelled semi- and fully submersibles
  • Develop the capability to detect clandestine and infrastructure tunnels used for illegal activities.
  • Enhance capacity building and training initiatives to strengthen Mexican agencies and institutions.

What's the plan for dealing with corruption of Mexican officials?

  • Counter corruption among foreign officials through visa denials and revocations

The Administration says the plan is also geared towards treatment and prevention, which includes:

  • Develop strong, resilient communities that resist criminal organizations and develop a culture of lawfulness.

The agencies involved:

ONDCP will oversee the implementation of this Strategy, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement (DHS/CNE), and the Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General (DOJ/ODAG), through meetings of the Southwest Border Executive Steering Group (SWB ESG). This group, which includes senior leaders from the Southwest border High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and over 20 Federal agencies involved in Southwest border security,

How will we pay for all this? Through Meridia, which authorized $1.4 billion in assistance to Mexico, as well as the $600 million in supplemental funds for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities contained in the Southwest Border Security Bill signed by Obama on August 13, 2010 and his separate authorization for temporary deployment of up to an additional 1,200 National Guard troops to the border. ("The Departments of Homeland Security and Defense agreed to equally fund this National Guard support; however, as Congress rejected the Department of Homeland Security’s reprogramming requests, the Department of Defense has funded the full cost.")

The manpower and technology being used:

For the first time, DHS now has Predator Unmanned Aircraft System coverage along the entire Southwest border, from the El Centro Sector in California to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. DHS is also improving its tactical communications systems and adding two new forward operating bases to improve coordination of border security activities.

The Border Patrol increased its agents from approximately 10,000 in 2004 to over 20,700 today. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) allocated nearly 29 percent of its domestic agent positions to the Southwest border, while U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) increased its Federal agents on the border from 3,034 in FY 2008 to approximately 3,300 in FY 2010.

No wonder there's a shortage of money for social security, medicare and education.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Now this is an Obama move (none / 0) (#1)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sun Jul 10, 2011 at 04:11:44 PM EST
    that I can get behind blasting him about. OBAMA IS TERRIBLE*

    *on drug issues.

    it's really no surprise (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 10, 2011 at 06:37:12 PM EST
    I don't (none / 0) (#3)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sun Jul 10, 2011 at 07:08:54 PM EST
    Really understand this aspect of his policies.  This is the one place that his pragmatism should lead him to the more liberal position.  The drug war has failed.  He knows that. Logic dictates that he stop prosecuting it so doggedly.

    I would say he's (none / 0) (#4)
    by Rojas on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 08:22:25 AM EST
    being very pragmatic. No Democrat has been sent home early for sending poor people to jail.

    I wonder... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:51:10 PM EST
    do they write these policy papers with a straight face, or do they literally laugh out loud at the sucker that is the US taxpayer.

    Bigger utter and total wastes of cashish are hard to find, not to mention the human toll of our tired, tyrannical ways.  And I will personally guarantee any and all prohibited substances will be readily available in 2011, 2012, 2013....same as 2010, 2009, 2008.  It's not only tyrannical, it doesn't even work!

    But we all knew that.