“Can We Protect Our Borders From Illegal Drugs?’
What would the drug landscape of the United States be if illegal drugs where no longer available? Would all those addicted to these drugs be instantly cured with their addictions? I am referring to the following drugs cocaine, crack and pot specifically. Abuse of prescription drugs will not fall within the realm of this particular discussion. Can I make the assumption that because the lack of availability of these illegally smuggled drugs that those addicted would have no choice but to become clean and sober? What choice would these people have? They cannot abuse what is no longer available!
Now that I have put forth the basic premise concerning the potential of recovery because of no supply of product, can I put forth a valid argument for the ability of our country to effectively stop the smuggling of these drugs?
Does the United States have the capacity in terms of technology, manpower and the real willingness to once and for all eliminate this devastating issue?
Let’s first discuss manpower. The United States has put forth minimal manpower numbers in relation to the gravity of this issue. How many DEA agents do we now have as compared to years past and how many do we really need to appropriately deal with this issue. I know that within the past several years we have increased the number of these agents, but one could certainly argue we are still tremendously undermanned in this area. The government has increased numbers of border custom agents recently, but this is due in part to deal with the illegal immigration issue. The United States has a wonderful resource of the National Guard that could be utilized for border patrol and security that could go a long way in eliminating both of the above issues. But these resources are strained by fighting wars on two fronts in the Mid East. But if these troops were to return home I think we could easily redeploy appropriate numbers to have a dramatic impact on reducing the amounts of illegal drugs coming into our country. We must also develop a reasonable approach to the legal implications of supporting any of our personnel that protect and patrol our borders. Case in point the two custom agents that are now serving long prison terms for protecting us from drug traffickers. This issue was reviewed by higher courts and their guilty status and punishments have not been adjusted. In my humble opinion this is a gross injustice to those that are protecting and serving us.
Now lets discuss if this country has the technological ability to protect our land, air and sea borders effectively. I can summarize my view with the following point. Did we not put two men on the surface of the moon a number of years? Give me a break! If we really got serious about this with all the technology we have, we could develop and implement the needed technology within a short period of time. Many other countries with far less resources than the United States do a much better job than us.
This now leads me to my final question. Do we really have the will and stomach to do what we really need to do to finally abate this serious problem in our country? On first blush I must sadly say that it does appear that we have really placed a high enough priority on this issue nor have placed a high enough allocation of resources to effectively deal with the illegal importation of illicit drugs in this country.
What do you think we can do to stop the influx of these drugs into our country?