Federal Drug Abuse Control Policy and the Role of the Military in Antidrug Efforts

T-GGD-88-38: Published: Jun 8, 1988. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 1988.

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GAO discussed the federal government's antidrug efforts, including the military's role. GAO noted that federal efforts: (1) originally focused on drug supply reduction but later expanded to include drug demand reduction; (2) have received steadily increased funding; (3) are frequently ineffective in combatting increasingly sophisticated drug production, smuggling, and trafficking techniques; and (4) are fragmented and lack a centralized, coordinated approach. GAO also noted that the Department of Defense: (1) supports civilian drug interdiction efforts by providing radar coverage, patrolling waters, transporting law enforcement personnel, sharing intelligence, training law enforcement personnel, and loaning equipment; and (2) believes that increasing its role in antidrug efforts will adversely affect military readiness. GAO believes that: (1) a single individual, accountable directly to the President, should be responsible for planning and coordinating federal antidrug efforts; (2) federal efforts should provide more emphasis on drug demand reduction; and (3) efforts to increase the military's role in drug interdiction should consider impact on military readiness, separation of national defense and civilian law enforcement, and domestic intelligence operations.

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