Drug Control:

Enforcement Efforts in Burma Are Not Effective

NSIAD-89-197: Published: Sep 11, 1989. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 1989.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the U.S.-supported anti-narcotics program in Burma, under which the Department of State supplied aircraft and other equipment for such activities as narcotics interdiction and aerial eradication of opium poppies.

GAO found that: (1) the United States suspended its assistance programs in 1988 after Burma violently suppressed public demonstrations for political and economic reform; (2) prior to program suspension, State had sought expanded anti-narcotics assistance for Burma; (3) political and civil unrest, economic underdevelopment, and narcotics-related corruption hampered Burmese narcotics control efforts, which did not keep pace with the dramatic increase in opium production between 1985 and 1988; (4) although State did not collect adequate data to determine how Burma used assistance for anti-narcotics objectives, it did determine that Burma inefficiently used aerial eradication resources; (5) Burma did not follow recommended health precautions when using an herbicide for aerial eradication and did not allow State to adequately monitor spray operations; (6) the long-term health effects of the herbicide used during aerial eradication are unknown; (7) further eradication and enforcement efforts would not significantly reduce Burmese opium production unless combined with economic development and political settlement activities; and (8) State believed that Burma would more efficiently use resources as it gained experience but did not plan to reinstate the program.

Oct 15, 2018

Sep 27, 2018

Sep 20, 2018

Sep 18, 2018

Sep 6, 2018

Sep 5, 2018

Aug 30, 2018

Aug 8, 2018

Jul 30, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here