oversight

Drug Control: Assets DOD Contributes to Reducing the Illegal Drug Supply Have Declined

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-12-21.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                 United States General Accounting Office

GAO              Report to Congressional Requesters




December 1999
                 DRUG CONTROL

                 Assets DOD
                 Contributes to
                 Reducing the Illegal
                 Drug Supply Have
                 Declined




GAO/NSIAD-00-9
Contents



Letter                                                                               3


Appendixes   Appendix I:   Framework of Strategies Directs Department of
               Defense’s Counterdrug Efforts                                        29
             Appendix II: Key DOD Counterdrug Intelligence, Detection,
               and Monitoring Assets                                                34
             Appendix III: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                       42
             Appendix IV: Comments From the Department of Defense                   44
             Appendix V:   GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                    47


Tables       Table 1: Transshipment Area Flying Hours of Major DOD Aircraft
               Used for Counterdrug Missions, Fiscal Years 1992-99                  15
             Table 2: Inventory of Major DOD Equipment Available for
               Counterdrug Missions, Fiscal Years 1992-99                           24
             Table 3: Major DOD Airborne and Maritime Assets Used for
               Counterdrug Operations                                               34
             Table 4: DOD Radar Assets Used for Counterdrug Operations              36


Figures      Figure 1: Estimated 1998 Cocaine Flow to the United States              6
             Figure 2: DOD’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
               Counterdrug Aircraft Support in Central and South America and
               the Caribbean, Fiscal Years 1997-99                                  12
             Figure 3: DOD, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S. Coast Guard Flight
               Hours Allocated to Tracking Illegal Drug Shipments in
               Transshipment Areas, Fiscal Years 1992-99                            14
             Figure 4: DOD and U.S. Coast Guard Counterdrug Ship Days, Fiscal
               Years 1992-99                                                        16
             Figure 5: DOD Forward Operating Locations and Sites                    19
             Figure 6: Major DOD and Interagency Counterdrug Strategies and
               Plans                                                                29
             Figure 7: Location of DOD-supported Regional Counterdrug
               Campaigns and Steady-state Operations                                33
             Figure 8: Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar Coverage                  37
             Figure 9: DOD's Radar Network Coverage on the U.S. Southern
               Border and in the Caribbean and Central America and South America    38
             Figure 10: DOD Counterdrug Assets                                      40




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Contents




Abbreviations

DOD        Department of Defense




Page 2                             GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
United States General Accounting Office                                                         National Security and
Washington, D.C. 20548                                                                   International Affairs Division



                                    B-283733                                                                                   Leter




                                    December 21, 1999

                                    The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
                                    Chairman, Caucus on International Narcotics Control
                                    United States Senate

                                    The Honorable John L. Mica
                                    Chairman, Subcommittee on Criminal Justice,
                                      Drug Policy and Human Resources
                                    Committee on Government Reform
                                    House of Representatives

                                    Illegal drugs, primarily cocaine and, increasingly, heroin from South
                                    America, continue to threaten the health and well-being of American
                                    citizens. The U.S. national counterdrug effort is directed by the five goals of
                                    the National Drug Control Strategy published by the Office of National
                                    Drug Control Policy. In 1998, approximately $16.1 billion was spent to
                                    support the strategy. The Department of Defense (DOD) plays an important
                                    role in U.S. efforts to interdict drugs in transit to the United States and to
                                    stop drugs at their source−two major goals of the National Drug Control
                                    Strategy. In 1998, DOD spent about $635 million to support these supply
                                    reduction efforts.1

                                    DOD is the lead federal agency for detecting and monitoring maritime and
                                    aerial shipments of illegal drugs and provides assistance and training to
                                    foreign governments to combat drug-trafficking activities. DOD’s
                                    counterdrug activities are integrated with the international activities of
                                    other U.S. agencies such as the Customs Service, the Coast Guard, and the
                                    Drug Enforcement Administration and with foreign governments. These
                                    agencies and governments are largely responsible for the “end game”−the
                                    arrest of traffickers and the seizure of illicit drugs. Despite U.S. efforts to
                                    stem the flow of illicit drugs into the United States, the Office of National
                                    Drug Control Policy reported in 1999 that cocaine usage and price have
                                    been relatively stable throughout the 1990s.


                                    1
                                     National Drug Control Strategy, Budget Summary, Office of National Drug Control Policy
                                    (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 1999). The amount excludes the value of excess defense articles,
                                    international military education and training, and foreign military sales programs DOD
                                    provides to foreign governments for counterdrug purposes.




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                   You expressed concerns as to how DOD carries out its counterdrug
                   mission. As requested, we examined (1) DOD’s plan for supporting U.S.
                   counterdrug efforts and how DOD measures its effectiveness, (2) changes
                   in the level of DOD support for counterdrug activities from fiscal year 1992
                   through fiscal year 19992 and the reasons for the changes, and (3) obstacles
                   DOD faces in providing counterdrug assistance to foreign governments.



Results in Brief   The Department of Defense has plans and strategies that support the goal
                   of reducing the nation’s illegal drug supply as specified in the National Drug
                   Control Strategy. DOD supports this goal by providing military personnel,
                   detection and monitoring equipment, intelligence support, communication
                   systems, and training. However, DOD has not yet developed a set of
                   performance measures to assess its effectiveness in contributing to this
                   goal but has taken some initial steps to develop such measures. These steps
                   include the development of a database to capture information that can be
                   used to assess the relative performance of DOD’s detection and monitoring
                   assets.

                   DOD’s level of support to international drug control efforts has declined
                   significantly since 1992. For example, the number of flight hours dedicated
                   to detecting and monitoring illicit drug shipments declined from
                   approximately 46,000 to 15,000, or 68 percent, from 1992 through 1999.
                   Likewise, the number of ship days declined from about 4,800 to 1,800, or
                   62 percent, over the same period. Some of the decline in air and maritime
                   support has been partially offset by increased support provided by the U.S.
                   Coast Guard and Customs Service. Nevertheless, DOD officials have stated
                   that coverage in key, high-threat drug-trafficking areas in the Caribbean and
                   in cocaine-producing countries is limited. The decline in assets DOD uses
                   to carry out its counterdrug responsibilities is due to (1) the lower priority
                   assigned to the counterdrug mission compared with that assigned to other
                   military missions that might involve contact with hostile forces such as
                   peacekeeping and (2) overall reductions in defense budgets and force
                   levels. DOD officials believe that their operations are more efficient today
                   than in the past and that this has partially offset the decline in assets
                   available for counterdrug operations. Because of a lack of data, however,
                   the impact of the reduced level of DOD support on drug trafficking is
                   unknown.

                   2
                    This period was selected because data on DOD’s support for counterdrug activities was not
                   available before 1992.




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             DOD faces several challenges in providing counterdrug support to
             host-nation military and law enforcement organizations. These
             organizations often lack the capability to operate and repair equipment and
             effectively utilize training provided by the United States. In addition, DOD
             faces restrictions on providing training support to some foreign military
             units and sharing intelligence information with certain host-nation
             counterdrug organizations because of past evidence of human rights
             violations and corruption within these organizations.

             We are recommending that DOD develop measures to assess the
             effectiveness of its counterdrug activities.



Background   According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, almost 14 million
             Americans use illegal drugs regularly, and drug-related illness, death, and
             crime cost the nation approximately $110 billion annually. Between 1990
             and 1997, there were more than 100,000 drug-induced deaths in the United
             States. The United States consumes over 300 metric tons of cocaine per
             year. Coca is grown for market distribution almost exclusively in Bolivia,
             Colombia, and Peru (see fig. 1). Also, over the last 4 years, Colombia has
             supplied an increasing percentage of the heroin used in the United States.




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Figure 1: Estimated 1998 Cocaine Flow to the United States

                            Direct to the continental United States

                                         11%
                                     59 Metric tons




                                                                                                               Caribbean corridor




                                                                                            30%
                                                                                       161 Metric tons

       Mexico/Central America
              corridor                          59%
                                           321 Metric tons


                                                                                 Colombia




                                                                             Peru




                                                                                              Bolivia



                                                 Note: Percentage figures refer to total cocaine shipped through Central America, the Caribbean, or
                                                 directly to the United States from Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru.
                                                 Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy.




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In response to the threat, in 1995 the Office of National Drug Control Policy
prepared a national drug control strategy that established goals to reduce
drug demand and supply.3 The strategy includes two supply reduction goals
to reduce the flow of drugs entering the United States by 20 percent by
2002. The two goals are to shield America’s air, land, and sea frontiers from
the drug threat and to break foreign and domestic drug sources of supply.

DOD initially became involved in counterdrug operations in the early 1980s
and in 1988 was formally tasked by Congress to take the lead in detecting
and monitoring illegal drug shipments and assisting domestic and foreign
law enforcement agencies in interdicting them.4 From fiscal year 1989
through 1999, DOD spent over $10 billion for counterdrug activities. DOD
primarily provides support by using equipment such as ships, patrol boats,
aircraft, and radar to detect drug shipments in the transshipment areas
from South America to the United States.5




3
 The Office of National Drug Control Policy was created in 1989 to establish a coherent
national policy and to unify the more than 30 federal agencies and innumerable state and
local authorities involved in counterdrug activities.
4
    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1989 (P.L.100-456 [Sept. 29,1988]).
5
 In 1981 Congress enacted legislation authorizing DOD to provide certain types of assistance
to civilian law enforcement agencies, and in 1990 Congress enacted legislation specifically
intended for DOD support of drug interdiction and other law enforcement activities. (See
10 U.S.C. 371-382 and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991,
respectively.) The 1981 legislation states that DOD shall prescribe regulations as may be
necessary to ensure that any activity performed under this legislation shall not include or
permit direct participation by a DOD member in a search, seizure, arrest, or similar activity,
unless participation in such activity is otherwise authorized by law (10 U.S.C. 375). Also,
DOD personnel are prohibited, with certain exceptions, from directly effecting an arrest in
any foreign country as part of any foreign police action with respect to narcotic control
efforts (22 U.S.C. 2291 (c)).




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The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low
Intensity Conflict has been designated as the DOD Coordinator for Drug
Enforcement Policy and Support. The Coordinator is the principal staff
assistant and advisor to the Secretary of Defense for drug enforcement
policy, requirements, priorities, systems, resources, and programs and
serves as DOD’s liaison to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. DOD
works closely with the other U.S. agencies involved in interdiction
activities, such as the Customs Service, the Coast Guard, and the Drug
Enforcement Administration.6 U.S. embassies are responsible for working
with other federal agencies to formulate a comprehensive strategy for U.S.
counterdrug activities within host nations that is consistent with the U.S.
national drug strategy.

DOD’s Southern Command, one of DOD’s five combatant commands, has
the lead role in counterdrug detection and monitoring in the area that
includes Central and South America and the Caribbean. DOD’s Atlantic and
Pacific Commands also support DOD counterdrug activities in their
respective regions. Two counterdrug joint interagency task forces, East and
West, come under the authority of the Southern and Pacific Commands,
respectively. These task forces, comprised of personnel from the Army, the
Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, the Customs
Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, have primary responsibility for implementing international
counterdrug detection and monitoring activities. Joint Interagency Task
Force East takes the lead role in the coordination of efforts against the
northward flow of drugs from South America, and Joint Interagency Task
Force West takes the lead in the flow of drugs from Asia.

DOD provides support to domestic and foreign counterdrug organizations
in the form of detection and monitoring, intelligence, and communication
assets. DOD provides these assets from its existing inventory rather than
purchasing new equipment. DOD also provides counterdrug support to
host nations by supplying support services and training and allowing use of
its facilities. In 1997, DOD provided Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia with
assistance totaling about $44 million, $28 million, and $4 million,
respectively.




6
 The U.S. Customs Service and Coast Guard also conduct detection and monitoring
activities.




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DOD’s Counterdrug            A framework of strategies and plans linked to the National Drug Control
                             Strategy guides DOD’s counterdrug activities. DOD has not yet developed a
Strategies Are Linked        set of performance measures to assess the impact of its counterdrug
to the National              operations but has taken some steps to improve its ability to measure its
                             performance. Without such measures, DOD cannot clearly assess the
Strategy, but DOD            effectiveness of its strategy, operations, and limited counterdrug assets.
Lacks Measures of
Effectiveness

A Framework of               National, headquarters, and command-level strategies and plans, all of
Counterdrug Strategies and   which are linked to the National Drug Control Strategy, provide guidance
                             for DOD’s counterdrug activities (see app. I for a complete description of
Plans Guides DOD’s Efforts
                             these strategies and plans). These strategies and plans, drafted by various
                             organizations within the national security system and proceeding from the
                             President’s office down to field commanders, guide DOD’s counterdrug
                             operations. Each strategy or plan is crafted for a specific purpose and
                             supports the higher-level strategies above it. The national security, military,
                             and drug control strategies describe the broad policy goals and objectives
                             the nation wants to achieve in combating illegal drugs. In addition, they
                             place counterdrug activities within the context of the nation’s overall
                             national security concerns and provide a rationale for DOD’s involvement.

                             DOD’s Office for Drug Enforcement Policy and Support has developed a
                             5-year counterdrug plan based on the goals of the National Drug Control
                             Strategy. The plan broadly describes the military personnel, detection and
                             monitoring assets, intelligence support, communication systems, and
                             training DOD will provide to domestic law enforcement agencies and
                             foreign counterdrug military and police forces to implement the National
                             Drug Control Strategy’s supply reduction goals. Regional commanders in
                             the field develop more detailed strategies and plans. For example, the U.S.
                             Southern Command’s latest counterdrug campaign plan, completed in
                             August 1999, describes the illicit drug threat, the command’s counterdrug
                             mission, objectives intended to counter the threat, and some of the key
                             resources available to achieve the plan’s objectives. In addition, the plan
                             reflects changes that have occurred in the illicit drug threat, the level of
                             available assets, and the command’s location and geographic area of
                             responsibility since 1992 when the command’s prior plan was issued.
                             According to a Southern Command official, a new plan was needed to
                             provide a framework for conducting operations over the long term, to




                             Page 9                                               GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
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                        better focus limited assets, to define future requirements, and to improve
                        interagency coordination.

                        The campaign plan is based on the assumption that the assets required to
                        achieve Southern Command’s counterdrug objectives will be available.
                        However, DOD officials noted that the level of counterdrug assets will
                        continue to be constrained by DOD’s requirement to satisfy other higher
                        priority missions; consequently, the assets may not be available.


DOD Has Not Developed   DOD has not developed a set of performance measures to evaluate its
Performance Measures    counterdrug activities as part of its counterdrug strategies; however, it has
                        taken steps that may help it develop performance measures. Such
                        measures could help DOD determine the effectiveness of its counterdrug
                        operations and make better use of limited intelligence, detection, and
                        monitoring assets. The 1993 Government Performance and Results Act
                        incorporates performance measurement as one of its most important
                        features.7 Under the act, executive branch agencies are required to develop
                        annual performance plans that use performance measurement to reinforce
                        the connection between the long-term strategic goals outlined in their
                        strategic plans and their day-to-day activities. DOD designated the 1997
                        Quadrennial Defense Review as its overall strategic planning document for
                        the purpose of satisfying the requirements of the Results Act. The
                        Quadrennial Review identifies DOD’s support role in reducing the
                        production and flow of illegal drugs to the United States as a subset of the
                        overall DOD strategy of “shaping the international environment.”

                        According to DOD, although the Department has not developed its own
                        performance measures, it supports the goals and measures of the Office of
                        National Drug Control Policy. However, we found that the Office of
                        National Drug Control Policy’s measures are intended to determine
                        progress in achieving national counterdrug-related goals, not to measure
                        the performance of the individual federal agencies that implement U.S.
                        counterdrug activities. None of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s
                        measures relates directly to DOD’s current detection and monitoring
                        efforts.

                        According to DOD officials, DOD is working with the joint interagency task
                        forces to help them develop performance measures and that it will use its

                        7
                        P. L. 103-62 (Aug. 3, 1993).




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                              Consolidated Counterdrug Data Base to help judge the performance of its
                              detection and monitoring assets. DOD officials believe these initial steps
                              will enable them to begin the process of establishing departmentwide
                              counterdrug performance measures.



DOD’s Support to              DOD’s support of U.S. intelligence, detection, and monitoring of illegal drug
                              shipments declined from fiscal years 1992 through 1999. Specifically, the
Counterdrug Efforts           number of flight hours and ship days DOD dedicated to detecting and
Has Declined                  monitoring drug trafficking in primary drug-trafficking routes to the United
                              States dropped. In addition, interdiction support in cocaine source
                              countries has also declined in recent years. Consequently, coverage of key
                              drug-trafficking routes to the United States is limited. DOD attributes the
                              decline to the low priority assigned to the counterdrug mission compared
                              with that assigned to other missions, as well as to decreases in its overall
                              budget. Although they had not developed any supporting data, DOD
                              officials believe their operations are more efficient today than in the past
                              and that this has partially offset the decline in assets available for
                              counterdrug operations. The officials cited a better understanding of the
                              drug threat, the addition of Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar systems
                              that provide increased wide-area surveillance of airborne targets, and
                              enhanced cooperation with U.S. and host-nation organizations as factors
                              contributing to more efficient operations.


Intelligence, Surveillance,   Effective intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations are
and Reconnaissance Flights    critical to the U.S. international counterdrug efforts. DOD uses intelligence,
                              surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft to provide timely and focused
Have Declined
                              intelligence information to forces involved in detection, monitoring, and
                              interdiction. The assets collect signals, imagery, and measurement and
                              signature intelligence.8 DOD officials told us that without a robust
                              intelligence collection capability, the U.S.’ ability to locate and identify drug
                              production facilities, airfields, and trafficking patterns is greatly reduced.
                              As shown in figure 2, the number of intelligence collection flights


                              8
                               Signals intelligence comprises all communications, electronic, and foreign government
                              instrumentation intelligence, however transmitted. Imagery intelligence involves the
                              production of images from visual photography, lasers, electro-optics, and infrared and radar
                              sensors. Measurement and signature intelligence is the scientific and technical information
                              obtained by quantitative and qualitative analysis of data derived from sensors for the
                              purpose of identifying a target’s features.




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decreased by over 30 percent from fiscal years 1997 through 1999 in Central
and South America and the Caribbean, while Southern Command’s
requirements increased. DOD could only meet 43 percent of U.S. Southern
Command’s requests for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
flights in fiscal year 1999.



Figure 2: DOD’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Counterdrug
Aircraft Support in Central and South America and the Caribbean, Fiscal Years
1997-99




Note: Data prior to 1997 was not available.
Source: U.S. Southern Command.


According to the Southern Command Commander, “significant deficiencies
in the availability of required assets” impede the command’s ability to react
quickly and effectively to changes in drug traffickers’ patterns throughout




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                         the region. For example, U.S. embassy officials in Peru told us that
                         shortages of intelligence assets are a problem there. The United States uses
                         reconnaissance assets to collect information that helps analysts
                         understand the drug-trafficking threat and traffickers’ trends. According to
                         embassy officials in Peru, reconnaissance assets have only been used once
                         in Peru in recent years. Results from this reconnaissance activity were
                         limited because of (1) the amount of time the assets were available, (2) the
                         distraction of assisting ongoing humanitarian operations outside of Peru,
                         and (3) a scheduled maintenance period that occurred during the time the
                         assets were in Peru. Consequently, while the information provided by the
                         reconnaissance assets was useful, it was of limited quantity. The embassy
                         would like more frequent deployments of longer duration in the future.


DOD Detection and        Early detection and continuous tracking of air and surface vessels
Monitoring Support Has   suspected of drug trafficking are key aspects of U.S. interdiction efforts.
                         Although DOD has a lead role in this task, its contribution in terms of flying
Been Reduced
                         hours and ship days has decreased since its peak in fiscal year 1992. As
                         shown in figure 3, flying hours dedicated to tracking suspect shipments in
                         transit to the United States declined from 46,264 to 14,770, or 68 percent,
                         from fiscal years 1992 through 1999. Some of the reduction in aerial
                         support can be attributed to the shift in drug trafficking from aerial to
                         maritime methods.9 In addition, as shown in figure 3, increases in the U.S.
                         Customs Service and U.S. Coast Guard aircraft flight hours have offset
                         some of the decline in DOD’s flight hours during this period.10 DOD officials
                         stated that the Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar systems, introduced in
                         1994 and 1995, improved their ability to detect airborne drug trafficking by
                         providing near 24-hour, wide-area surveillance. However, the radar systems
                         lack the capability to provide data on the precise location of air targets and
                         provide only limited surveillance of maritime drug traffic.




                         9
                          Beginning in fiscal year 1993 and continuing through fiscal year 1998, cocaine traffickers
                         increased their reliance on maritime vessels rather than aircraft. During this period, air
                         drug-trafficking events decreased by 42 percent, while maritime events increased by 55
                         percent.
                         10
                           The increase, due in part to congressional funding decisions to enhance law enforcement
                         interdiction capabilities, was not planned as a direct response to DOD reductions.




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Figure 3: DOD, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S. Coast Guard Flight Hours Allocated
to Tracking Illegal Drug Shipments in Transshipment Areas, Fiscal Years 1992-99




Note: U.S. Customs Service data prior to 1993 was not available.
Source: Joint InteragencyTask Forces East and West, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S. Coast Guard.


As shown in table 1, reductions in flight hours occurred in most classes of
aircraft. See appendix II for descriptions of DOD’s counterdrug detection
and monitoring assets.




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Table 1: Transshipment Area Flying Hours of Major DOD Aircraft Used for
Counterdrug Missions, Fiscal Years 1992-99
                                                                                      Percent change
Aircraft                                         1992              1999                      1992-99
Navy P-3C                                      23,254             8,321                          -64
Navy E-2 (AEW)                                  7,334             3,154                          -57
Air Force F-15/16                                 574               638                         +11
Air Force E-3                                   2,734               544                          -80
Air Force KC-135                                  995               291                          -71
Navy S-3                                        1,644                  0                        -100
Navy SH2F                                       2,876               640                          -78
Navy SH60B                                      4,611              1182                          -74


Legend: AEW=Airborne Early Warning
Note: Flight hours in the table do not reflect all DOD assets included in figure 3.
Source: Joint InteragencyTask Forces East and West.


Despite the shift in trafficking methods from primarily airborne to
maritime, the number of DOD ship days devoted to supporting interdiction
of suspected maritime illegal drug shipments declined 62 percent from 1992
through 1999 (see fig. 4). Declines occurred in several key vessel types
employed by DOD. For example, ship days for DOD cruisers declined from
558 in fiscal year 1992 to 183 in fiscal year 1999. These declines in maritime
interdiction were partially offset by the increase in U.S. Coast Guard ship
days during the same period.




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                          Figure 4: DOD and U.S. Coast Guard Counterdrug Ship Days, Fiscal Years 1992-99




                          Note: “Ship Day” refers to each day a ship was working on counterdrug efforts.
                          Source: Joint InteragencyTask Forces East and West and U.S. Coast Guard.




Limited Coverage in Key   Although DOD’s 5-year counterdrug plan states that DOD will ensure that
Drug-trafficking Areas    sufficient assets are allocated to support domestic and foreign counterdrug
                          agencies, DOD officials indicated that there are gaps in coverage of high-
                          threat drug-trafficking routes in South America and transit routes to the
                          United States. According to the Southern Command Commander, the
                          command can only detect and monitor 15 percent of key routes in the
                          overall drug-trafficking area about 15 percent of the time. This has been a
                          continuing problem. Consequently, illegal drug shipments to the United



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                                  States can go largely undetected. Further exacerbating DOD’s declining
                                  support was the closure of Howard Air Force Base in Panama in May 1999.
                                  The base provided the logistical and tactical infrastructure for launching
                                  counterdrug flight missions to South and Central America and the
                                  Caribbean.

Gaps in Monitoring Illegal Drug   Reductions have occurred in DOD’s air coverage to support the interdiction
Production and Shipment in        of drugs in the source countries of Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru. Between
Source Countries                  fiscal years 1998 and 1999, detection and monitoring flight hours over these
                                  source countries declined from 2,092 to 1,090, or 48 percent.11

                                  According to embassy officials, reduced aerial support to monitor and
                                  track cocaine shipments within the source countries has hurt U.S. efforts to
                                  sustain a previously successful interdiction program focused on
                                  transshipment routes between Peru and Colombia. In 1995, the Peruvian
                                  Air Force began a program to disrupt air shipments of cocaine base12 from
                                  Peru to Colombia. The program, the Air Bridge Denial Program, used DOD
                                  and other U.S. intelligence and radar data to locate suspect aircraft, which
                                  were then intercepted and either shot down or grounded by the Peruvian
                                  Air Force. As air trafficking dropped, a surplus of cocaine base developed;
                                  consequently, cultivation dropped as coca base prices declined. According
                                  to a State Department report,13 the interception of aircraft was a major
                                  factor in suppressing cocaine base prices to levels below farmers’
                                  production costs. The report further states that as a consequence, farmers
                                  abandoned coca fields because they found coca farming no longer
                                  profitable.

                                  However, since late 1997, U.S. aerial support for the program has declined.
                                  U.S. officials in Peru told us that there has been little or no U.S. airborne
                                  intelligence or surveillance of air traffic routes between Peru and Colombia
                                  since 1997, even though recent changes in smuggling tactics and
                                  communications have made sophisticated airborne surveillance
                                  increasingly important. The U.S. Ambassador to Peru warned in an October
                                  1998 letter to the State Department that the reduction in air support could


                                  11
                                       Data prior to fiscal year 1998 was not available.
                                  12
                                   Cocaine base is partially refined cocaine. Final refinement of cocaine base occurs in
                                  Colombia.
                                  13
                                    International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of
                                  State, 1997-98).




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have a serious impact on the price of coca. According to the Office of
National Drug Control Policy, coca cultivation and price in Peru have risen
over the past year.

With the runway closed at Howard Air Force Base in Panama on May 1,
1999, DOD said that its and other U.S. counterdrug agencies’ aerial
detection and monitoring coverage would be significantly reduced if not
replicated by other means. Howard Air Force Base provided a position
close to cocaine-producing countries for launching U.S. counterdrug
aircraft. To offset the loss of Howard, DOD is establishing three “forward
operating” locations for U.S. aerial detection and interdiction assets in
Aruba/Curacao, Netherlands Antilles; Manta, Ecuador; and a third location
in Central America. The forward operating locations were established
through temporary agreements with the governments of Ecuador and the
Netherlands. The United States signed a long-term agreement (10-year
initial term) with Ecuador in November 1999 and is negotiating a long-term
agreement with the Netherlands for continuous operations from these
locations. The forward operating locations will provide a 24-hour, 7-day
operational capability, including runways, ramp space, maintenance
facilities, refueling and service capability, force protection, and support
services for personnel and aircrews. DOD also has other forward operating
sites throughout the Caribbean and in Central and South America that
supplement the three forward operating locations by providing refueling,
logistical services, and emergency landing rights (see fig. 5 for site
locations).




Page 18                                           GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                                        B-283733




Figure 5: DOD Forward Operating Locations and Sites




                                                                          Guantanamo, Cuba
                                         Belize
                                                  Cayman




   Central America                                 San Jose, Costa Rica
  (to be determined)                                                      Curacao/Aruba

                                         Howard Air Force
                                         Base, Panama                       Venezuela


                                                              Colombia
                                           Manta,
                                           Ecuador


                                          Chiclayo
                                                           Peru

                                                  Lima



                                                                           Bolivia




     Howard Air Force Base
     Forward operating site

     Forward operating location

                                        Source: DOD.




                                        Page 19                                              GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                           B-283733




                           DOD conducts regular detection and monitoring flights over transit routes
                           from Aruba/Curacao and Manta, but it is not currently conducting as many
                           flights in source countries from these locations as it historically conducted
                           from Howard Air Force Base. The main contributing factor is that Manta
                           currently accommodates only one P-3 aircraft. Safety upgrades to Manta’s
                           facilities scheduled over the next 5 months will allow for multi-aircraft
                           operations, to include U.S. Customs Service Airborne Early Warning and
                           other aircraft. Additional upgrades to Manta during fiscal year 2001 will
                           allow larger U.S. Air Force Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems
                           aircraft to operate throughout cocaine-producing countries. DOD stated
                           that once Congress appropriates the funds, it would take 2 years to fully
                           upgrade Manta. DOD officials told us that a Relocatable Over-The-Horizon
                           Radar system in Puerto Rico, scheduled to be operational by February
                           2000, would extend into the source region, allowing for more efficient use
                           of limited airborne surveillance assets by providing information on specific
                           targets and identifying drug-trafficking trends.14 In addition, while
                           agreements between the United States and Venezuela for overflight exist,
                           since June 1999 the Venezuelan government has only allowed a very limited
                           number of U.S. counterdrug aircraft to fly over its territory. DOD officials
                           told us that unless overflights are allowed, its aerial surveillance support
                           would be reduced for cocaine source countries.

Gaps in the Transit Zone   DOD has been unable to sustain operational support in a key threat area in
                           the Eastern Pacific. The Office of National Drug Control Policy estimated
                           in 1998 that 33 percent of the illegal drugs shipped to the United States
                           transits this area. In 1996, DOD supported a successful operation, called
                           Caper Focus, but was unable to sustain the effort due to a lack of available
                           assets. During the operation, Joint Interagency Task Force East
                           temporarily shifted about 200 flight hours and two ships per month from
                           the Caribbean to the Eastern Pacific. As a result of the temporary
                           operation, 27 metric tons of cocaine were seized or jettisoned. Prior to the
                           operation, few seizures had been made. However, according to DOD, it was
                           unable to sustain the operation during 1997 and 1998 because of
                           insufficient flight hours. In fiscal year 1999, Congress provided $6 million in
                           additional funds to DOD for renewed operational support to the Eastern


                           14
                             DOD operates two Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar, located in Virginia and Texas,
                           which provide wide-area coverage to detect suspect aircraft (mostly in the Caribbean). The
                           radar sites do not provide coverage into key trafficking areas in cocaine producing
                           countries. Appendix II provides additional information on DOD’s counterdrug radar
                           facilities.




                           Page 20                                                     GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                               B-283733




                               Pacific. The funds were used to gather intelligence to assess the threat and
                               modes of transportation and to design operations to interdict illegal drug
                               shipments. In June and August 1999, DOD and U.S. agencies helped
                               host-nation authorities seize over 16 metric tons of cocaine.

Better Understanding of Drug   DOD officials stated that its reduced support to the counterdrug effort has
Threat and Cooperation Cited   hampered coverage in key drug-trafficking routes. However, they also
                               believe that DOD’s counterdrug efforts are more efficient today than in the
                               past. The officials cited a better understanding of the drug threat by U.S.
                               counterdrug organizations and improved coordination between U.S. and
                               host nations’ counterdrug organizations as factors that have contributed to
                               increased efficiency. For example, host nations have cooperated with Joint
                               Interagency Task Force East in planning and conducting regional
                               counterdrug operations.

                               Joint Interagency Task Force East officials told us their work with host
                               governments in Central America and the Caribbean resulted in several drug
                               seizures in 1999. For example, Panama supported the United States in the
                               seizure of 27 kilograms of cocaine off the Panamanian coast. In addition,
                               Panamanian and Nicaraguan law enforcement officials eradicated 1.7
                               million marijuana plants in 1999. DOD did not provide any data to
                               demonstrate the degree to which DOD detection and monitoring support
                               had contributed to these improvements. See appendix I for the locations of
                               the Joint Interagency Task Force East/DOD-supported operations.


Low Priority of the            The lower priority assigned by DOD to the counterdrug mission in
Counterdrug Mission Limits     comparison to other missions reduces the availability of detection and
                               monitoring assets for counterdrug operations. In 1989, the Secretary of
DOD Assets Available for
                               Defense issued guidance stating that:
Detection and Monitoring
                               “the detection and countering of the production, trafficking and use of illegal drugs is a high
                               priority national security mission…[and] the Department of Defense will work to advance
                               substantially the national objective of reducing the flow of illegal drugs to the United States
                               through the effective application of available resources….”




                               Page 21                                                        GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
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DOD does not purchase major equipment such as aircraft and ships
specifically for the counterdrug mission. Rather, it carries out counterdrug
operations using assets that are purchased primarily for other missions.
DOD categorizes some of the assets that it uses for counterdrug operations
as low-density, high-demand assets.15 DOD policy that sets priorities for the
use of its low-density, high-demand assets states that the counterdrug
mission is the fourth priority after war, other military operations that might
involve contact with hostile forces such as peacekeeping, and training.

Due to the lower priority assigned to the counterdrug mission, DOD
allocates assets to counterdrug detection and monitoring operations after it
meets the requirements for higher-priority missions. DOD develops
standing orders that specify the number and types of equipment it expects
to be available for counterdrug operations on a continuous basis. However,
commands that provide counterdrug assets can request “relief” from
standing counterdrug orders when higher-priority missions arise. For
example, although DOD usually commits two airborne warning and control
systems aircraft to the counterdrug mission, one aircraft was reassigned in
January 1999 to support the Iraqi no-fly zone (Operation Southern Watch)
and then in April 1999 for the Kosovo crisis. The aircraft has not yet
returned to the counterdrug mission. Further, although Southern
Command’s new counterdrug campaign plan defines detection and
monitoring resource requirements, according to a Southern Command
official, the DOD resource requirements contained in the plan are
constrained by the level of assets DOD has determined are available for the
counterdrug effort after considering other requirements. Joint Chiefs of
Staff officials told us that the level of assets DOD commits to counterdrug
activities is unlikely to change because DOD’s inventory of assets for
detection and monitoring is not growing, and the priority of the
counterdrug mission in comparison to other missions is unlikely to change.




15
 According to DOD policy, low-density, high-demand assets are “major platforms, weapons
systems, units, and/or personnel that possess unique mission capabilities and are in
continual high demand to support worldwide joint military operations.”




Page 22                                                   GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
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Funding and Equipment        DOD’s counterdrug budget has generally declined since 1993. At the same
Levels Have Declined Since   time, the inventory of important counterdrug assets has also declined. DOD
                             experienced initial funding increases in the early 1990s. However, from
the Early 1990s
                             fiscal years 1993 through 1999, DOD’s counterdrug budget declined from
                             $1.3 billion to $975 million, or 24 percent. The funds are used to support
                             military training deployments, radar systems, aircraft, ships, and command
                             and communications systems. DOD’s overall budget declined by
                             approximately 14 percent during this period, from $300 billion in fiscal year
                             1993 to about $260 billion in fiscal year 1999.16

                             DOD spends about 75 percent of its counterdrug funds on drug supply
                             reduction goals to support the interdiction of drugs in cocaine source
                             countries and in transit to the United States. The remaining 25 percent are
                             spent on the domestic and demand reduction goals of the National Drug
                             Control Strategy.17 The funds support law enforcement interdiction efforts
                             in the United States through the use of active duty military and reserve
                             components for intelligence, transportation, and training. Funds are also
                             used for education and awareness programs and drug testing.

                             In addition to decreases in the budget, DOD officials told us that the overall
                             inventory of defense equipment that can be used for counterdrug purposes
                             has declined as a result of the post-Cold War drawdown of U.S. forces.
                             Between 1989 and 1999, DOD made force reductions that included an
                             active military personnel reduction of about 35 percent and corresponding
                             reductions in equipment levels. For example, DOD reduced the number of
                             naval ships by 44 percent from 562 in fiscal year 1989 to 317 ships in fiscal
                             year 1999. As shown in table 2, the inventory of some of DOD’s important
                             detection and monitoring assets also declined from fiscal years 1992
                             through 1999.




                             16
                                  All figures are in 1999 constant dollars.
                             17
                               Data on the budget for reducing the drug supply was only available from fiscal years 1996
                             through 1999.




                             Page 23                                                      GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                              B-283733




                              Table 2: Inventory of Major DOD Equipment Available for Counterdrug Missions,
                              Fiscal Years 1992-99
                                                                                                Percent change
                              Asset type                            1992    1999a                      1992-99
                              Navy P-3C                              255      244                             -04
                              Navy E-2 AEW                           115       71                             -38
                              Air Force F-15/16                      974      735                             -25


                              Legend: AEW=Airborne Early Warning
                              a
                              Data is through June 1999.
                              Source: DOD.




Challenges to DOD’s           DOD provides a variety of support, such as detection and monitoring,
                              training, logistics, and equipment, to assist host nations’ counterdrug
Support of Host-              efforts. In 1997, DOD spent over $459 million on this type of assistance
Nations’ Counterdrug          worldwide. In doing so, it faces several challenges, including (1) the limited
                              capability of host nations to operate and repair equipment or to effectively
Efforts                       utilize training provided by the United States, (2) host-nation difficulties in
                              meeting U.S. eligibility conditions for providing training aid to military
                              units, and (3) U.S. restrictions on sharing intelligence with some host-
                              nation counterdrug organizations.


Maintenance of Equipment      Although DOD has provided equipment and training to a number of host-
and Utilization of Training   nation counterdrug organizations, these organizations have not always
                              been able to utilize this assistance. For example, Congress has
                              appropriated $89 million over 5 years (1998-2002) for a program to interdict
                              drug shipments on the rivers of Colombia and Peru. The program is
                              designed to develop counterdrug forces dedicated to operations on
                              Colombian and Peruvian rivers and includes provisions for training, boats,
                              and floating maintenance facilities and support bases. However, according
                              to U.S. embassy officials in Peru, the Peruvian police (the lead agency for
                              counterdrug enforcement) does not have maintenance capabilities or
                              adequately trained staff to manage its own or U.S.-provided boats designed
                              for river operations. Embassy officials told us that 8 of 16 boats the police
                              purchased with its own funds in 1998 quickly became inoperable because
                              the boats were accidentally beached when water levels dropped, and
                              Peruvian police lacked the knowledge and/or parts to repair them.




                              Page 24                                               GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                              B-283733




                              A February 1999 DOD memorandum on support to the Peruvian police
                              stated that the police lacked the will and skills to maintain the boats.
                              Peruvian police officials told us they do not have the budget resources to
                              assume responsibility for spare parts and maintenance by January 2000, as
                              required by the program agreement between the United States and Peru.
                              Further, Drug Enforcement Administration officials told us that the
                              Peruvian police force does not traditionally dedicate officers to specific
                              tasks or missions and concluded that the objectives of the program may not
                              be met. DOD officials told us that they are working with the Peruvian
                              police to improve the situation.


Restrictions on Assistance    Human rights concerns also limit DOD’s counterdrug assistance to foreign
                              governments. U.S. law prohibits U.S. counterdrug assistance to personnel
                              or units in foreign countries that have credible evidence against them of
                              gross human rights violations.18 We previously reported that U.S. officials
                              had raised concerns about human rights problems with Colombian and
                              Peruvian military and police units and that efforts were underway to
                              overcome the problems.19 According to State Department officials, these
                              concerns have since increased. U.S. embassy personnel in Colombia told us
                              that it would be difficult to provide support for counterdrug efforts to the
                              Colombian military unless its units pass State Department screening for
                              human rights abuses. However, only three of six army brigades operating in
                              drug-trafficking areas passed the screening.20


Limitations on Intelligence   Concerns over evidence of corruption within foreign government
Sharing                       counternarcotics units have caused the United States to limit the amount of
                              intelligence information it will share with other governments.
                              Consequently, although DOD may develop information on suspected drug-
                              trafficking targets, it cannot always provide the information to the host
                              nation. Intelligence obtained by the United States is a crucial element in
                              counterdrug operations in Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Some cooperation


                              18
                                   22 U.S.C. 2304 (a)(2)
                              19
                                 Drug War: Observations on Counternarcotics Aid to Colombia (GAO/NSIAD-91-296, Sept.
                              30, 1991) and Drug War: Counternarcotics Programs in Colombia and Peru
                              (GAO/T/NSIAD-92-9, Feb. 20, 1992).
                              20
                               Drug Control: Narcotics Threat From Colombia Continues to Grow (GAO/NSIAD-99-136,
                              June 22, 1999).




                              Page 25                                                   GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
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                      is occurring. For example, in 1999 the United States signed an agreement
                      with Mexico to increase intelligence sharing on law enforcement activities.
                      Joint Interagency Task Force West officials told us that there have been
                      some improvements in the way they share information with Mexico on the
                      eastern Pacific area. Mexican counterdrug forces now receive more timely
                      data on the presence and movement of vessels suspected of carrying illicit
                      drugs.

                      In Peru, U.S. officials collect intelligence, analyze it, and pass it on to the
                      Peruvian military. However, U.S. officials there told us they are not
                      sufficiently staffed to carry out this task and have therefore been unable to
                      build a sufficient base of intelligence information needed for effective
                      operations. In Colombia, where DOD can share information on insurgent
                      activity if it is directly related to an approved counterdrug operation, U.S.
                      embassy officials sometimes have difficulty distinguishing insurgents from
                      drug traffickers.



Conclusions           Due to reductions in budgets, force structure, and the lower priority
                      accorded to the counterdrug mission, the assets DOD provides to the
                      interagency counterdrug effort have declined. After a decade of effort,
                      DOD has not developed counterdrug performance measures. Without such
                      measures, DOD cannot clearly assess the effectiveness of its strategy,
                      operations, and the assets it contributes to the national drug control effort.



Recommendation        In order for DOD to analyze and report on the relative effectiveness of its
                      counterdrug detection and monitoring efforts on a consistent basis, we
                      recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct that DOD’s Office for Drug
                      Enforcement Policy and Support coordinate with the joint interagency task
                      forces and the Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop a set of
                      performance measures for assessing DOD’s contributions to U.S.
                      counterdrug operations.



Agency Comments and   DOD provided written comments on a draft of this report. DOD partially
                      concurred with the report, and agreed that the Department needs to
Our Evaluation        develop measures of effectiveness for its counterdrug operations. DOD has
                      taken some initial steps to improve its ability to measure its performance
                      that we discuss in our report. However, DOD has not yet developed specific
                      measures of effectiveness. Our recommendation is intended to encourage



                      Page 26                                              GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
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DOD to take further steps to develop a set of performance measures as part
of its counterdrug strategies. For example, one performance measure
might be to determine how often DOD detects known cocaine shipments
and the percentage of detected shipments successfully handed off to law
enforcement organizations. Analyzing trends in such measures could help
DOD better evaluate the effectiveness of its contributions to the national
drug control effort.

DOD stated that it has taken aggressive action to meet its detection and
monitoring responsibilities but that it has no law enforcement role in the
U.S. counterdrug effort. DOD stated that its mission is to support the
efforts of law enforcement agencies and that it should not be evaluated
based on the success or failure of these agencies’ arrests or drug seizures.
DOD noted that it has consistently applied available assets to detect and
monitor illegal drug shipments. However, DOD pointed out that the number
of available assets for counterdrug operations was affected by significant
reductions in force structure, including the 44-percent decline in naval
vessels from 1989 through1999. Further, DOD stated that the introduction
of the Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar system and the efforts of other
U.S. agencies have partially offset the decline in available assets.

Our report clearly defines DOD’s counterdrug support role and does not
attempt to evaluate DOD’s contributions based on the level of arrests or
drug seizures. Our analysis focuses on the unique detection, monitoring,
and intelligence assets DOD contributes to the law enforcement
community. The report accurately describes the decline in the level of
assets DOD has made available to the U.S. counterdrug effort, the reasons
for the decline, the capabilities of the Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar,
and the involvement of other agencies. While DOD states that it has
consistently applied available resources in areas where drugs are produced
and shipped, our report clearly demonstrates that gaps in detection,
monitoring, and intelligence coverage exist in these areas. For example, as
we note in the report, DOD was unable to sustain operations in two high
threat areas, the Eastern Pacific and the transshipment area between Peru
and Colombia, due to a lack of resources devoted to the counterdrug
mission.

DOD also stated that our discussion of the lack of intelligence assets in
cocaine-producing areas is not supported by empirical evidence. Further,
DOD questioned whether the intelligence community would agree that
there is a need for additional airborne intelligence assets in cocaine-
producing areas and Peru, specifically. Our discussion of DOD intelligence



Page 27                                            GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
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support in the region is based on documents from DOD, Department of
State, and other agencies. We corroborated the information with a wide
range of officials from the U.S. Mission in Peru and the U.S. Southern
Command. Further, we note that in congressional testimony the
Commander of the U.S. Southern Command stated that significant
deficiencies in the availability of intelligence assets impede the command’s
ability to react to the drug threat. Therefore, we believe the report is
accurate and we have made no changes.

The comments provided by DOD are reprinted in appendix IV. DOD
officials also provided technical comments, which we have incorporated in
the report as appropriate.


We are sending copies of this report to the Honorable William S. Cohen, the
Secretary of Defense, and to interested congressional committees. Copies
will also be made available to others upon request.

If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please call
me at (202) 512-4128. Other GAO contacts and staff acknowledgments are
listed in appendix V.




Jess T. Ford
Associate Director,
International Relations and Trade Issues




Page 28                                            GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix I

Framework of Strategies Directs Department                                                                          Appendx
                                                                                                                          ies




of Defense’s Counterdrug Efforts                                                                                     Appendx
                                                                                                                           Ii




              A framework of national; U.S. embassy; Department of Defense (DOD); and
              command-level strategic, operational, and tactical plans and strategies
              exist to guide DOD’s counterdrug activities. Figure 6 provides a schematic
              of the hierarchy of these strategies and plans.



              Figure 6: Major DOD and Interagency Counterdrug Strategies and Plans




              Source: Office of the President, DOD, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Joint Interagency
              Task Force East.




              Page 29                                                             GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                      Appendix I
                      Framework of Strategies Directs Department
                      of Defense’s Counterdrug Efforts




National Strategies   The national security strategy presents the core national security
                      objectives of the United States and includes counterdrug activities as one
                      of a wide range of initiatives. The national military strategy provides
                      direction to the military in its efforts to implement the national security
                      strategy. The strategy treats trafficking in illicit drugs as one of several
                      transnational dangers that threaten U.S. national interests. The 1999
                      National Drug Control Strategy and its classified annex identify 5 strategic
                      goals and 31 objectives as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce drug
                      use (demand), lower drug availability (supply), and reduce the adverse
                      consequences of drug use.1 The five goals are to

                      • educate and enable America’s youth to reject illegal drugs, as well as
                        alcohol and tobacco;
                      • increase the safety of America’s citizens by substantially reducing drug-
                        related crime and violence;
                      • reduce the health and social costs to the public of illegal drug use;
                      • shield America’s air, land, and sea frontiers from the drug threat; and
                      • break foreign and domestic sources of drug supply.

                      The majority of DOD’s counterdrug activities focus on the last two goals.
                      The strategy’s annex presents strategic concepts, specific agency tasks,
                      desired conditions, and impact targets for these two goals. Each of the
                      specific agency tasks is assigned to multiple agencies and describes in
                      broad terms what is to be done to reach the goal’s desired condition. For
                      example, under the fourth goal, one of the tasks is to

                      “Support expanding and enhancing dedicated, vetted, foreign drug law enforcement units in
                      key source and transit countries. Facilitate sharing of intelligence and law enforcement
                      information, and the conduct of cooperative investigations and law enforcement
                      operations.”

                      This task is assigned to six U.S. government organizations, including the
                      Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the
                      Customs Service, the Coast Guard, and the Departments of Defense and
                      State. The specific actions that each agency must take to accomplish the


                      1
                       A National Security Strategy for a New Century (Washington, D.C.: The White House,
                      Oct. 1998); National Military Strategy of the United States of America, Shape, Respond,
                      Prepare Now: A Military Strategy for a New Era (Washington, D.C.: The Joint Chiefs of Staff,
                      1997); and The National Drug Control Strategy (Washington, D.C.: Office of National Drug
                      Control Strategy, Feb. 1999). All of these strategies are broad in scope and do not provide
                      any specifics of how their objectives are to be achieved.




                      Page 30                                                      GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                            Appendix I
                            Framework of Strategies Directs Department
                            of Defense’s Counterdrug Efforts




                            tasks are not articulated in the strategy. Instead, each agency, on its own
                            and in consultation with other agencies, must design and implement
                            activities that will contribute to the accomplishment of the task and the
                            desired objective.


Embassy Counterdrug Plans   To implement the national strategies at the host-nation level, U.S.
                            embassies, located in countries where drug trafficking is a problem,
                            include counterdrug-related sections in their program plans. These
                            counterdrug sections identify the needs of host-nation military and civilian
                            counterdrug organizations and are the basis for the counterdrug assistance
                            DOD provides to host nations.


Department of Defense       DOD has developed a 5-year counterdrug plan, based on the goals of the
Counterdrug Plan            National Drug Control Strategy. The plan broadly describes the military
                            personnel, detection and monitoring assets, intelligence support,
                            communication systems, and training DOD provides to domestic law
                            enforcement agencies and foreign counterdrug military and police forces.
                            According to the plan, DOD will ensure that sufficient forces and resources
                            are allocated to the counterdrug mission to support domestic and foreign
                            counterdrug agencies in achieving “high-impact results.” However, DOD is
                            legally prohibited from actively participating in the apprehension or arrest
                            of drug traffickers or the seizure of their assets. Moreover, DOD’s plan
                            states that personnel will not accompany participating nation forces on
                            field operations.



Southern Command            Southern Command counterdrug strategies include the Southern
                            Command Commander in Chief’s theater strategy and theater engagement
Strategies                  plan. The theater strategy presents Southern Command’s vision, mission,
                            goals, and strategic concepts necessary for developing engagement and
                            counterdrug plans for its geographic area of responsibility. The theater
                            engagement plan identifies all military activities involving other nations
                            and details the command’s concept for achieving national and theater
                            engagement objectives. The plan is organized around three goals. The
                            plan’s second goal directs the command to develop an effective capability
                            and will to respond to theater challenges and support counterdrug
                            operations. This goal is supported by a number of counterdrug-related
                            aims, the most prominent being to “assist in reducing illicit source zone
                            activities and flow of illegal drugs through the transit zone.” This aim is, in



                            Page 31                                              GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                             Appendix I
                             Framework of Strategies Directs Department
                             of Defense’s Counterdrug Efforts




                             turn, supported by three objectives that directly support the last two goals
                             of the National Drug Control Strategy. The three objectives are to provide
                             effective, cooperative support to U.S. and participating nations’ efforts to

                             • interdict shipments of illicit drugs,
                             • reduce the supply of illicit drugs, and
                             • disrupt and dismantle drug-trafficking organizations.


Southern Command             Southern Command’s counterdrug campaign plan is a 10-year plan
Counterdrug Campaign Plan    designed to support interagency efforts that diminish the economic
                             viability of the illicit drug trade through the disruption of growth,
                             production, and movement of illicit drugs, especially the shipment of
                             cocaine into, within, and out of major production areas of the Andean
                             Ridge region of South America. The plan is intended to better focus
                             counterdrug resources and coordinate the command’s efforts with other
                             U.S. counterdrug agencies and participating nations. To that end, the plan
                             defines the drug threat, the objectives to counter the threat, and the
                             resources necessary to achieve the plan’s objectives. In addition to the
                             campaign plan, the command is developing a functional plan and an annual
                             operations order. The functional plan, to be completed in January 2000, will
                             describe the tasks that Southern Command’s subordinate commands, such
                             as U.S. Army South and Joint Interagency Task Force East, will implement
                             to achieve the campaign plan’s goals and objectives. The operations order
                             will identify the time and location of operations and the forces that will
                             execute the operations.


Joint Interagency Task       Joint Interagency Task Force East’s regional counterdrug campaign plan
Force Level Strategies and   defines the task force’s mission and objectives for supporting the Southern
                             Command’s counterdrug campaign plan. The task force is executing its
Plans
                             counterdrug campaign plan through a number of regional, land-based
                             counterdrug campaigns and air- and sea-based, “steady-state” counterdrug
                             operations such as Central Skies and Caper Focus. Each campaign is
                             comprised of a number of sequenced operations designed to achieve the
                             goals of the campaign. For example, the Central Skies’ campaign goal is to
                             develop a “seamless regional counterdrug architecture in Central America.”
                             Joint Interagency Task Force East is attempting to achieve this goal by
                             conducting operations that, among other things, enhance intelligence and
                             information exchange between the United States and countries in the
                             region; establish command, control, communication, computer, and
                             intelligence systems between U.S. embassy country teams and host-nation



                             Page 32                                            GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix I
Framework of Strategies Directs Department
of Defense’s Counterdrug Efforts




law enforcement organizations; support U.S. embassy counterdrug plans;
provide regional planning assistance; and enhance host-nation counterdrug
forces’ capabilities. Each operation is implemented through individual
plans and orders. The operational plans and orders move beyond broad
statements of policy, mission, and objectives and provide details such as
date, location, assets, entities involved, and counterdrug targets. Figure 7
illustrates the geographic areas where the campaigns and “steady state”
operations are being implemented.



Figure 7: Location of DOD-supported Regional Counterdrug Campaigns and
Steady-state Operations
                     Texas                                  Florida



   Mexico


                                                                      Cuba
                                                                                Carib Ceiling




                                           Central Skies                Carib Shield
                                                                                                 Close Corridor




                                              Caper Focus
                                                                                                Guyana
                                                                                                      Suriname
                                                                                                          French Guiana




                                                                                  Inca Gold
            Air- and sea-based steady-state operations

            Land-based campaigns



Source: Joint InteragencyTask Force East.




Page 33                                                                                 GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix II

Key DOD Counterdrug Intelligence, Detection,
and Monitoring Assets                                                                                        Appendx
                                                                                                                   iI




               Through its standing counterdrug order, DOD has committed seven Navy
               P-3 tracker aircraft for maritime patrols, two E-3 Airborne Warning and
               Control System surveillance aircraft, four E-2 Airborne Early Warning
               aircraft, four F-15/16 interceptor aircraft, several naval combatant ships,
               and three radar picket ships to the counterdrug mission. Table 3 provides a
               description of the key assets DOD uses.



               Table 3: Major DOD Airborne and Maritime Assets Used for Counterdrug Operations

               Asset                              Capability
               E-2 Hawkeye aircraft               -Fixed-wing airborne early warning aircraft with air and
                                                  maritime radar detection, search and surveillance
                                                  capabilities.
                                                  -Maximum endurance of 6 hours.
               E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and -Airborne early warning system with command and
               Control Systems aircraft        control capabilities.
                                               -Air and maritime radar surveillance, detection, and
                                               tracking of suspect targets.
                                               -Data link to ground sites, naval vessels, and aircraft.
                                               -Endurance of over 9 hours, which can be extended
                                               with aerial refueling.
               P-3 Counterdrug Upgrade Orion      -Fixed-wing surveillance aircraft with maritime surface
               aircraft                           radar search, electronic surveillance, and
                                                  communications.
                                                  -Maximum endurance of over 11 hours.
               F-15 Eagle aircraft                -Single engine air-to-air search and tracking radar with
                                                  identification of friend or foe capability.
                                                  -Operated by U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard as
                                                  an interceptor aircraft for counternarcotics purposes.
               F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft      -Single engine air-to-air or air-to-ground fighter
                                                  -Equipped with air-to-air search and track radar with
                                                  identification of friend or foe capability.
                                                  -Operated by U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard as
                                                  an interceptor aircraft for counternarcotics purposes.
               S-3 Viking                         -Fixed-wing, twin-turbofan antisubmarine warfare
                                                  aircraft used in a maritime patrol aircraft role.
                                                  -Operated by the U.S. Navy and has surface radar
                                                  search, electronic surveillance, and communications
                                                  capabilities.
               SH-60B Seahawk                     -Twin-engine helicopter used for antisubmarine
                                                  warfare, search and rescue, drug interdiction, antiship
                                                  warfare, cargo lift, and special operations.
                                                  -Operated by the navy as an airborne tracking
                                                  platform based aboard cruisers, destroyers, and
                                                  frigates.




               Page 34                                                      GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
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Key DOD Counterdrug Intelligence,
Detection, and Monitoring Assets




SH2F                                  -Ship-based, medium, and antisurface warfare
                                      helicopter.
Air Reconnaissance Low                -U.S. Army multisensor, fixed-wing surveillance
                                      aircraft.
                                      -Collects image and signals intelligence
Picket ships (cruisers, destroyers, -Used as radar ships for air and maritime search and
and frigates)                       surveillance to support detection, monitoring, and
                                    tracking.
                                    -Capable of supporting a helicopter.
                                    -When law enforcement detachment is embarked,
                                    ships can support maritime intercept and
                                    apprehension.
Modified Tactical-Auxiliary           -Equipped with air search radar capability and
General Ocean Surveillance            deployed in lieu of navy combatants.
ships                                 -Capable of data linking with other platforms and have
                                      extensive communications equipment.
Patrol craft                          -Special operations surface vessel equipped with
                                      surface search radar and communications equipment.
                                      -Used for detection and monitoring and interdiction
                                      when law enforcement detachment is embarked.


Source: DOD.


DOD also operates two Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar sites in the
United States for aircraft detection and various radar sites throughout
South and Central America and the Caribbean.11

A third Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar site, located in Puerto Rico, is
expected to be operational in February 2000. Table 4 provides a description
of the radar assets, figure 8 is a map of the coverage provided by the
Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar system, figure 9 is a map of DOD's
other radar systems, and figure 10 contains pictures of DOD's assets.




11
     The systems, located in Texas and Virginia, provide radar coverage in the Caribbean.




Page 35                                                         GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix II
Key DOD Counterdrug Intelligence,
Detection, and Monitoring Assets




Table 4: DOD Radar Assets Used for Counterdrug Operations

Radar                               Capability
Relocatable Over-the-Horizon        -Provides wide-area detection and surveillance of air
Radar                               targets, with real reporting of targets of interest.
                                    -Lacks capacity to provide data on precise location of
                                    track or to engage in intercept operations.
Ground Mobile Radar                 -Provides primary or augments existing radar
                                    coverage and is capable of long-range searches up to
                                    95,000 feet.
Tethered Aerostat Radar System      -Static, tethered balloons that carry radar sets to an
                                    altitude of 10,000-15,000 feet.
                                    -Covers the major drug-smuggling routes along the
                                    U.S. southern border into the Gulf of Mexico and the
                                    Caribbean.
Counterdrug Surveillance and        -A series of linked U.S. or host-nation-owned radar
Control System                      sites.
                                    -Provides air surveillance information indirectly to the
                                    North American Aerospace Defense Command, and
                                    directly to the U.S. Southern Command, Joint
                                    Interagency Task Force East, and host nations.


Source: DOD.




Page 36                                                       GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix II
Key DOD Counterdrug Intelligence,
Detection, and Monitoring Assets




Figure 8: Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar Coverage

                                                                        ROTHR
                                                                        Virginia
                                                                                        Bermuda


             Mexico         ROTHR
                            Texas                                                               Atlantic Ocean




                                                      Cuba                Dominican
                                                                           Republic

                                        Belize
                                                              Jamaica
                                      Honduras                            Haiti     ROTHR
                      Guatemala
                                                                                  Puerto Rico
                           El Salvador
                                                 Nicaragua
                                                 Costa Rica


                                         Panama                                                          Guyana
                                                                                    Venezuela
                                                              Colombia                                       Suriname
                                                                                                                        French
                                                                                                                        Guiana

     Pacific Ocean
                                                      Ecuador




                                                                                                Brazil
                                                         Peru




               Current coverage
                                                                                     Bolivia
               February 2000 coverage



Legend: ROTHR = Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar Coverage
Source: DOD.




Page 37                                                                                                  GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix II
Key DOD Counterdrug Intelligence,
Detection, and Monitoring Assets




Figure 9: DOD's Radar Network Coverage on the U.S. Southern Border and in the
Caribbean and Central America and South America




                                                                                                          Atlantic Ocean


                       Mexico

                                                                Cuba
                                                                            Haiti
                                                                                              Puerto
                                                      Belize           Jamaica      Dominican Rico
                                                               Honduras             Republic

                                  Guatemala                     Nicaragua
                                        El Salvador

                                              Costa Rica
                                                                                                       Guyana
                Pacific Ocean                                                             Venezuela
                                                           Panama                                         Suriname
                                                                                                                French Guiana

                                                                            Colombia
  Legend:
        Tethered Aerostat                                      Ecuador


        Host-nation Counterdrug Surveillance and Control System


        U.S. Counterdrug Surveillance and Control System                    Peru
                                                                                                                Brazil


        Host-nation Ground Mobil Radar
                                                                                             Bolivia


        U.S. Ground Mobil Radar



Source: DOD.




Page 38                                                                                                GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Page 39   GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                                    Appendix II
                                    Key DOD Counterdrug Intelligence,
                                    Detection, and Monitoring Assets




Figure 10: DOD Counterdrug Assets




                                    Page 40                             GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix II
Key DOD Counterdrug Intelligence,
Detection, and Monitoring Assets




Source: DOD.




Page 41                             GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix III

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                                          Appendx
                                                                                                  Ii




               At the request of the Chairman of the Senate Caucus on International
               Narcotics Control and the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on
               Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, Committee on
               Government Reform, we examined (1) DOD’s plan for supporting U.S.
               counterdrug efforts and how DOD measures its effectiveness, (2) changes
               in the level of DOD support for counterdrug activities from fiscal year 1992
               through fiscal year 1999 and the reasons for the changes, and (3) obstacles
               DOD faces in providing counterdrug assistance to foreign governments.

               Our work focused on the U.S. Southern Command’s counterdrug
               intelligence, detection, and monitoring operations because of the
               Command’s central role in the DOD’s counterdrug activities and the
               importance and cost of these operations. We used fiscal year 1992 through
               1999 DOD counterdrug flight hour and ship day data because earlier data
               was not available.

               To address whether DOD has a plan for supporting U.S. international
               counterdrug efforts, we examined the national security, military, and drug
               control strategies, as well as plans and strategies developed by DOD’s
               Office for Drug Enforcement Policy and Support, U.S. Southern Command,
               and joint interagency task forces. In addition, we reviewed military
               planning guidance and counterdrug-related planning studies published by
               the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.; the Foreign Military Studies
               Office, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and the National Defense University,
               Washington, D.C. We interviewed officials responsible for the development
               and implementation of the strategies and plans at the Office of National
               Drug Control Policy and DOD, Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Southern
               Command, Miami, Florida; the Joint Interagency Task Force East, Key
               West, Florida; the Joint Interagency Task Force West, Alameda, California;
               and the U.S. embassy, Lima, Peru.

               To determine whether DOD has a system for measuring the effectiveness of
               its counterdrug activities, we examined related documents prepared by
               DOD, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, U.S. Southern Command,
               and Joint Interagency Task Forces East and South. We also examined the
               operation of and data generated by the Consolidated Counterdrug Data
               Base used by DOD to compare the relative performance of its detection and
               monitoring assets. In addition, we interviewed officials from DOD’s Office
               for Drug Enforcement Policy and Support and Office of National Drug
               Control Policy, Washington, D.C.; U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Florida;
               Joint Interagency Task Force East, Key West, Florida; Joint Interagency




               Page 42                                            GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix III
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




Task Force South, Howard Air Force Base, Panama; and Joint Interagency
Task Force West, Alameda, California.

To determine the changes in DOD’s counterdrug support levels and the
challenges DOD faces in providing counterdrug assistance to foreign
governments, we analyzed DOD counterdrug budgets and interviewed
officials from agencies involved in counterdrug activities in Washington,
D.C.; Key West, Miami, and Tampa, Florida; Chesapeake and Norfolk,
Virginia; Alameda, California; Lima and Iquitos, Peru; and Panama. In
Washington, D.C., we interviewed officials and reviewed planning, budget,
implementation, and related documents and reports concerning
counterdrug activities at the Offices of National Drug Control Policy, the
U.S. Interdiction Coordinator, and the Departments of State and Defense.
At the Florida locations, we interviewed officials at Southern Command,
Joint Interagency Task Force East, and the Special Operations Command
and reviewed plans and other documents related to counterdrug activities.
In Chesapeake, Virginia, we interviewed officials at the Fleet Surveillance
Support Command and reviewed documents related to the Relocatable
Over-The-Horizon Radar’s role in counterdrug surveillance. In Norfolk, we
interviewed officials at the Atlantic Command to obtain information on the
resources the command provides to support DOD’s counterdrug mission.
In Alameda, we interviewed officials at Joint Interagency Task Force West
and reviewed plans and other documents related to its role in
counterdrugs. In Lima, we interviewed the U.S. Ambassador and Deputy
Chief of Mission and officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration
and the Military Advisory and Assistance Group. We also interviewed
officials from the Peruvian Air Force, the National Police, and the Coast
Guard. In Iquitos, we visited the Ground Mobile Radar site and the Joint
Peruvian Riverine Training Center. In Panama, we interviewed the U.S.
Deputy Chief of Mission and Drug Enforcement Administration officials.
We were also briefed on counterdrug operations at Howard Air Force Base
and Joint Interagency Task Force South and reviewed plans and other
documents related to their counterdrug operations.

We conducted our review from September 1998 through September 1999 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 43                                           GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix IV

Comments From the Department of Defense                  Appendx
                                                               IV
                                                                i




              Page 44          GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix IV
Comments From the Department of Defense




Page 45                                   GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
                Appendix IV
                Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on p. 26.




                Page 46                                   GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
Appendix V

GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                                            Appendx
                                                                                                       V
                                                                                                       i




GAO Contact           Lawrence L. Suda (202) 512-5380



Acknowledgments       In addition to Mr. Suda, Joseph C. Brown, David M. Bruno, and Janice V.
                      Morrison made key contributions to this report.




(711370)      Leter   Page 47                                          GAO/NSIAD-00-9 Drug Control
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