Yesterday, President Obama unveiled the administration's 2010 National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS). The Strategy is a plan, a "blueprint" for reducing illicit drug use and its harmful consequences in America, recognizing that an effective national strategy must incorporate aggressive prevention and recovery programs that stand alongside law enforcement efforts to disrupt and interdict the movement and sale of illicit drugs in our country and across our borders.
The 2010 NDCS is transformative in two important ways. First, although it continues to emphasize the need for strong enforcement efforts, especially along the Southwest Border, it takes a more comprehensive and balanced approach to the drug problem. In doing so, it emphasizes the imperatives of preventing drug use and addiction and making treatment available for those who seek recovery.
Second, this new Strategy was developed through collaboration among 34 federal agencies involved in drug control, as well as policy makers, subject matter experts, and citizens. The outcome of this process is a Strategy that is results-based; it lays out key strategic objectives and details the actions government must take to achieve the desired outcomes:
- Strengthening Efforts to Prevent Drug Use in Communities;
- Seeking Early Intervention Opportunities in Health Care;
- Integrating Treatment for Substance Use Disorders into Health Care, and Expanding Support for Recovery;
- Breaking the Cycle of Drug Use, Crime, Delinquency, and Incarceration;
- Disrupting Domestic Drug Trafficking and Production;
- Strengthening International Partnerships; and
- Improving Information Systems for Analysis, Assessment, and Local Management.
The 2010 National Drug Control Strategy assigns the Department of Homeland Security a major role in the achievement of the Strategy's objectives. In accordance with the Strategy, the Department is the lead agency for improving intelligence exchange and information sharing, conducting southbound interdiction of currency and weapons, coordinating efforts to secure the Northern Border against drug-related threats, denying use of Ports of Entry (POEs) and routes of ingress and egress between POEs, disrupting counter-surveillance operations of drug trafficking organizations, and disrupting illicit drug trafficking in the Transit Zone, a roughly 42 million square-mile area where drugs move from source countries to the United States.
These responsibilities align with our ongoing initiatives in support or the National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy and Implementation Plan, as well as key overarching Department operational goals.
Secretary Napolitano, Deputy Secretary Lute and I look forward to the work ahead on these issues, helping to bring a more robust and focused set of tools and actions to bear in the fight against drugs in this country.
Director of Counternarcotics Enforcement