Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Senate Foreign Affairs Committee: Testimony of Former DEA Assistant Adminstrator Michael Braun

According to Michael Braun, former Assistant Administrator and Chief of Operations with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and former Acting Chief of Intelligencethe threat posed by West Africa is growing while the United States' capacity to respond has declined.

He states that Europe is on the verge of a drug trafficking "catastrophe":

I see Europe today teetering on the brink of a drug trafficking and abuse catastrophe similar to the one our Nation faced about 30 years ago. If you need a visual on what I predict Europe is facing in the years to come, just picture Miami, Florida in the late 1970s, followed by the ‘crack’ cocaine epidemic that exploded all across our Nation in the 1980s. The bottom line—Latin American and Mexican drug lords currently face far less of a threat distributing their poison in Europe then they do in the United States, and there is far more to gain in the way of profits.

While West African gangs are becoming more sophisticated:

Local indigenous organized crime groups in Africa are as brutal, if not more so, than any in the world, but they have historically lacked the sophistication of global drug trafficking cartels and other transnational organized crime groups. However, they are now learning from the most advanced organized crime organizations in the world

and United States' resources have been diverted:

Many Department of Defense detection and monitoring (D&M) resources, as well as maritime interdiction resources, were moved out of Southern Command’s area of responsibility after the 9/11 attacks on our Nation, and these resources have never been fully recouped. These assets are responsible for identifying and interdicting drug loads moving by sea and air. Although Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S) interdiction seizures have been nothing short of spectacular over the past few years, it is in large part due to our military working closer with federal law enforcement in the post 9/11 era. Needless to say, if Southern Command recovered those missing D&M and interdiction resources, the seizure numbers would be even greater, including the interdiction of drug loads destined for Europe via Africa.

No comments:

Post a Comment