Drug War:

Drug Enforcement Administration Staffing and Reporting in Southeast Asia

NSIAD-93-82: Published: Dec 4, 1992. Publicly Released: Jan 4, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) staffing and intelligence reporting in Southeast Asia, focusing on: (1) determinants of the size, location, and operation of DEA offices in Southeast Asia; (2) Southeast Asia-based DEA intelligence analysts' contributions and qualifications; (3) the U.S. Pacific Command's (USCINCPAC) analytical support to Southeast Asia DEA intelligence programs; and (4) the adequacy of Southeast Asia DEA intelligence reporting.

GAO found that: (1) DEA did not fully staff its Southeast Asia offices with qualified personnel; (2) transfers of and poor performance of some intelligence analysts produced lowered intelligence contributions and unmet reporting objectives for some special programs; (2) political and administrative factors influenced the size, location, and operations of DEA offices in Southeast Asia; (3) DEA had no criteria to determine if intelligence analysts' knowledge, skills, and abilities were adequate for the position, but it planned to provide area training to future assignees; (4) USCINCPAC provided some intelligence support to DEA as part of its counternarcotics mission, which helped fill some intelligence gaps, but DEA officials were not uniformly satisfied with those analysts' performance; (5) DEA indefinitely postponed assigning additional USCINCPAC intelligence analysts; and (6) three of five special field intelligence programs did not meet their operational plans' reporting objectives, partially due to decreased levels of support and an increased focus on enforcement activities rather than information collection and analysis.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DEA completed its assessment and determined that it needs more intelligence analysts in southeast Asia (DEA did not prepare a written report for the assessment). DEA cannot implement the assessment's conclusions due to a shortage of resources. DEA continues to use a DOD analyst in its Bangkok office who is assigned there on a long-term (179 days or less) basis with the possibility of an extension.

    Recommendation: DEA should conduct a comprehensive assessment of its need for intelligence analysts in Southeast Asia, both from DEA and USCINCPAC.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice: Drug Enforcement Administration

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DEA provided area familiarization training to the three intelligence analysts assigned to southeast Asia in fiscal year 1994. It also provided Thai language training to the analyst on an as-needed basis. DEA judged the area familiarization training as very successful and intends to provide it to all intelligence analysts selected for overseas posts.

    Recommendation: DEA should reevaluate its recruitment selection and training process for intelligence analysts selected for assignment in Southeast Asia.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice: Drug Enforcement Administration


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