Think about that: With all the increased presence on the border, the billions spent boosting the border patrol, the National Guard and overtime for local departments to curb smuggling, cocaine interdiction declined?! The reasons, as reported by AP, are frustratingly predictable; smugglers can change tactics faster than the government can:
"In any given contest of offense and defense you've got to adjust your tactics," [Navy Adm. Jim] Stavridis said, alluding to a conclusion reached by [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike] Mullen and others that the drug cartels are nimbler than the U.S. government. They are finding new ways of eluding detection at sea, such as shipping drugs in semi-submersible vessels, and are flying drug routes from sites in western Venezuela that are harder to stop, officials said.So that's why all these politicized border security programs, apparently, have done less than nothing to stop the flow of cocaine into the country; in fact, this massive increased spending coincided with a reduction in overall seizures. (Pete at Drug War Rant rightly wonders how Walters will explain himself?)
It's not like US security officials don't understand the real problems. Last year the deputy assistant secretary of defense for counternarcotics declared that "'The No. 1 narcotics problem we face is demand in the United States.” And yet most all the focus - certainly the bulk of drug war spending by the government - goes toward supply-side interdiction and incarceration, not treatment or other demand reduction.
Words fail me, other than to ask, how do you define success? Does this look like it? Ugh.