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Homeland Security

01 March 2003

Drug Control Programs a Key to Fighting Global Terrorism, U.S. Says

(International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 2002) (350)
By Peggy Hu
Washington File Staff Writer
Washington -- The U.S. campaign against global terrorism in 2002
highlighted the importance of international drug control programs,
says the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) of
2002 issued by the U.S. State Department March 1.
"As the single greatest source of illegal revenue, the drug trade has
long been the mainstay of violent political insurgencies, rogue
regimes, international criminal organizations, and terrorists of every
stripe. Whether through the heroin that financed the former Taliban
regime in Afghanistan or the cocaine that sustains the decades-old
insurgency in Colombia, the drug trade generates the money that is the
lifeblood of the violence that increasingly threatens global peace and
stability," the report says.
According to the INCSR, in 2002 the United States and its allies
helped key governments weaken the drug trade at critical points,
including attacking crops on the ground, destroying processing
facilities, interdicting drug and precursor chemical shipments, and
breaking up trafficking organizations. The United States also provided
essential training assistance to countries to strengthen their law
enforcement and judicial systems and improve their extradition
procedures, while working with them to reduce drug consumption.
At the same time, closer international cooperation among governments
and financial institutions "is systematically closing the loopholes
that have let the drug trade legitimize its enormous profits through
sophisticated money laundering schemes," the report says.
In particular, the report cited the establishment of the Multilateral
Evaluation Mechanism (MEM) as a tool that has strengthened
counternarcotics cooperation within the western hemisphere. The MEM is
a peer review system managed by the Inter American Drug Abuse Control
Commission of the Organization of American States to assess national
and hemispheric performance and to identify ways in which that
performance can be improved.
The full report can be found on the Web at:
(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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