Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Senate Foreign Relations Testimony: DOD

Although, according to William Wechsler
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Office of Counternarcotics and Global Threats
, cocaine trafficking in West Africa has been a major and growing issue since 2005, we have yet to get inside the traffickers' OODA loops:
In conclusion, we are still discovering the scope of the problem in West Africa, and are in the process of building a complete picture and comprehensive plan to assist West African countries in becoming capable partners against drug trafficking organizations.

Specific actions DOD has taken so far include:
  • AFRICOM CNT sponsorship of students from multiple West African nations on Africa Partnership Station to attend courses taught by US Coast Guard Trainers.
  • Construction of a pier and refueling facility to extend the range of the Senegalese Navy.
  • Supported the establishment of Cape Verde Maritime Security Interagency Operations Center, which is an interagency fusion center that will help to develop the regional intelligence picture and communications with US organizations like JIATF-S and the MAOC in Lisbon.
  • Construction of a climate controlled facility at the international airport at Accra, Ghana to screen passengers suspected of swallowing drugs.
  • Collaborating with 6th Fleet to construct a boat facility in Ghana to support Defender Class boats that were provided by the US.
  • Supporting the training or the future Liberia Coast Guard Commander and Deputy Commander at the International Maritime Officer’s Course at the USCG training facility in Yorktown, VA

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