Drug Control:

Expanded Military Surveillance Not Justified by Measurable Goals or Results

T-NSIAD-94-14: Published: Oct 5, 1993. Publicly Released: Oct 5, 1993.

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GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) role in drug interdiction. GAO noted that: (1) although DOD has significantly expanded its capability to detect and monitor cocaine smugglers, it has become increasingly more costly and has not led to any reduction in the flow of cocaine into the United States; (2) budget increases that have allowed DOD to expand its surveillance operations have not been based on measurable goals and results; (3) decisionmakers do not have critical information to assess the costs and benefits of military surveillance; (4) the capability to detect and monitor drug smugglers does not ensure interdiction success; (5) interdiction success ultimately depends on the capability to apprehend smugglers; (6) drug trafficking profits make interdiction losses relatively inconsequential, especially since production and smuggling costs account for a small part of drug prices; and (7) continuing failures to reduce the flow of cocaine into the United States indicates that military surveillance has not produced results commensurate with its costs.

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