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Is the Drug War in Latin America Just An Excuse to Provide Contracts for U.S. Companies?


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: War on drugs, Central America, weapen industry, cover-up, CARS )

Angelika
- 539 days ago - allgov.com
A Government Accountability Office report released last week provides support for the proposition that the drug war in Latin America is little more than an excuse to provide lucrative contracts to U.S. companies in the weapons and military supply i



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Angelika R. (146)
Monday February 4, 2013, 8:37 pm
Just as the drug war in the U.S. has been linked to the profitability of the private prison and weapons industries, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last week provides support for the proposition that the drug war in Latin America is little more than an excuse to provide lucrative contracts to U.S. companies in the weapons and military supply industries. According to the report, between 2008 and 2011 the government spent $97 million on the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), the official name for the U.S. drug war being waged in Central America.



This year’s budget for CARSI is $26.2 million, with another $47.5 million going to Cairbbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).



Most of the drug war money is spent on equipment made by U.S. companies, including aircraft, patrol boats, night-vision goggles, body armor, radios, weapons, and X-ray equipment for scanning cargo containers. CARSI also funds counter-drug units comprised of FBI and DEA agents working with local police. More exotic projects have included development of “fingerprint and biometric capabilities” in Central America, implementation of a gun-tracing system called eTrace, and building wiretapping facilities for use against Central America’s citizens.



What have the American people gotten for their $97 million expenditure on the Central American drug war, the purpose of which is to stem the flow of drugs into the U.S.? Judging by the current state of drug use in the U.S., nothing.



About 60 percent of the cocaine that enters the U.S. does so via Central America, traveling two main coastal routes on the Caribbean and Pacific sides of the region. As Rear Adm. Charles D. Michel, commander of U.S. anti-drug task forces in Central America recently told InfoSurHoy, U.S. efforts have succeeded only in forcing traffickers to switch routes, and “We have not achieved [interdiction] on both sides of the isthmus.”

Perhaps more damning is the fact that the flow of drugs has not slowed, the rate at which Americans use drugs has not declined, and the price of drugs has not fallen. If interdiction efforts like CARSI were having an appreciable effect, economics tells us that it would be apparent in the rising price of narcotics: restricting supply should raise price, but that has not happened. In fact, most illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine and marijuana, have fallen in price over the long term, indicating that supply is keeping up with demand.
 

Michael M. (58)
Monday February 4, 2013, 8:53 pm
Thank you Angelika!

Yes, US military and policing funding is deeply related in the making of a war culture in the USA, a culture where problems are solved with violence and killing.
It also creates violent children, and more gunfire everywhere, whether "practice" in the public lands where huge poaching goes on under the radar of the public lands management, as well as helps create cheap used and stolen gun supplies which get back to violent-criminally-minded persons.
 

JL A. (272)
Monday February 4, 2013, 8:55 pm
Once again, follow the money provides the answers
 

mag.w.d. Aichberger (34)
Monday February 4, 2013, 10:10 pm
> .... ?
I'd suggest: probably YES. What it is certainly NOT, is a 'war against (even only some, and the wrong ones at that) drugs' (that would deserve that name, short of newspeak-raping of the mother-tongue)
 

Angelika R. (146)
Monday February 4, 2013, 10:15 pm
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