Operation Laser Strike
Southern Command coordinates multiple counterdrug operations involving all 19 Latin American countries in its area of operations. Operation Laser Strike expanded the focus from Green Clover to include operations aimed at disrupting the riverine and coastal criminal drug smuggling. As a result of Green Clover DOD concluded that increasing air surveillance was just forcing the traffic down to the ground. So Laser Strike was a much broader operation that involved about half a dozen countries rather than two countries, and it involved air, naval, riverine and ground operations. Laser strike involved a sustained level of US detection, monitoring and tracking resources, as well as assessments and training, to support expanded interdiction and law enforcement efforts by nations of the source region.
These operations achieved tactical successes with US military elements which deployed to support allied police and military forces. The cooperative efforts of the US country teams, the DEA, the US Customs Service, the CIA, and the US Coast Guard were fundamental to these activities. Each day there are about 20 US Coast Guard, Customs, and DOD aircraft involved in source country counterdrug operations. Approximately 300 additional military personnel are deployed in South America supporting Operation Laser Strike. These military personnel staff Ground Based Radar sites in remote Andean locations, fly detection and monitoring aircraft, and provide operational and intelligence support to allies participating in this regional operation.
In conjunction with operation Laser Strike during the summer of 1996, the Colombian Army and National Police began aggressive operations in the coca and opium growing and production regions aimed at reducing cultivation, processing, and the introduction of precursor chemicals to the areas.
As part of Operation Laser Strike in Peru, from September 1996 through June 1997 US Marines supported the counter-drug operations of US Southern Command (CINCSOUTH) with a ground mobile radar and communications team.
- CUTTING THE GORDIAN KNOT: DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN COUNTERNARCOTICS AND COUNTERINSURGENCY IN COLOMBIA David Passage Strategic Studies Institute, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks March 2000
- LANDPOWER AND AMBIGUOUS WARFARE: THE CHALLENGE OF COLOMBIA IN THE 21st CENTURY Conference Report Strategic Studies Institute, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks March 10, 1999
- COLOMBIA'S THREE WARS: U.S. STRATEGY AT THE CROSSROADS Gabriel Marcella & Donald Schulz Strategic Studies Institute, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks March 5, 1999
- DoD News Briefing Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD (PA) Tuesday, June 25, 1996
- MISSIONS IN SUPPORT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT CHAPTER 7 FM 100-19 FMFM 7-10 DOMESTIC SUPPORT OPERATIONS 1 July 1993
- William G. Bozin Office of National Drug Control Policy Executive Office of the President Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control and the House Committee on Transportation Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation September 12, 1996
- Statement by General Barry R. McCaffrey. Director Office of National Drug Control Policy Executive Office of the President Committee on Government Reform and Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal Justice, U.S. House of Representatives October 1, 1996
- Counterdrug Strategy - Illusive Victory: From Blast Furnace to Green Sweep William W. Mendel, Colonel, U.S. Army (retired) Military Review December 1992, pp. 74-87
- The Drug Threat: Getting Priorities Straight William W. Mendel and Murl D. Munger, Parameters - The US Army War College Quarterly, Vol. XXVII, No. 2, pp. 110-124
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