The United States has already taken important steps to engage in this theater. Africom, the DEA and State Department each are devoting considerably more resources to drug issues in West Africa than they were a year or two ago. But by any measure it is not enough, and certainly has not slowed the flow of cocaine through the region. Compartmentalization, stove-piping of information and the continued focus on delimited geographic territories continue to hamper the effectiveness of counter drug programs. It is no longer a useful model to look at the old, static model of Latin American drug trafficking organizations because the new organizations operate on multiple continents rather than a single country or region. Hence, information sharing across regions and across U.S. government agencies is vital to beginning to significantly improve the situation.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
While the penetration of cocaine into West Africa is a major issue, the United States needs to do more, journalist Douglas Farah testified to the United States Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday: