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The Release of Department of Homeland Security Counternarcotics Doctrine

I am honored to announce Secretary Napolitano’s recent signing of Department of Homeland Security Counternarcotics Doctrine - a set of fundamental principles that reflect what experts in the field of counternarcotics have learned from decades of experience combating dangerous drug trafficking organizations. This document will guide the ways in which we develop our policy and plans, structure and employ our forces, and procure our resources -- directly affecting our operations on the ground. 

The experts who worked on DHS Counternarcotics Doctrine – many of whom have extensive front-line counternarcotics experience – were clear that we need to view this issue comprehensively. We cannot just concentrate on one drug, one way of moving that drug, or one geographical area of the world.  Rather, we have to address the whole problem – including demand, production, transport, and consumption.  We also can’t do it alone—we must work closely with our federal, state, local, tribal and international partners in order to maximize our efforts to detect, deter and disrupt the illicit movement of drugs.  DHS Counternarcotics Doctrine reflects all of these concepts.

The Doctrine also reflects the fact that our efforts to counter drug trafficking are most successful when we work to understand – through good intelligence – what drug producers and traffickers are doing, and how they are doing it in order to anticipate their behavior and in turn more effectively target our operations. DHS Counternarcotics Doctrine stresses that our counternarcotics efforts must be guided by results – we must make sure our strategies and operations reflect the methods that have proven to be the most successful for achieving our mission.

I commend the members of the counternarcotics community who contributed to this document, and I hope all of our interagency, federal, state, tribal, local and international partners will use it as a resource. 

Grayling Williams
Director, Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement
Department of Homeland Security 

Last Updated: 09/20/2018
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