The United States is in the midst of its most severe drug epidemic since the 1980s. Nonetheless, the country is positioning itself within the international system to fight it, thanks to close cooperation with its international partners, and with mechanisms created over the past decades to fight drug trafficking, said Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, William Brownfield.
He spoke at a press conference to introduce the congressionally-mandated 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, submitted annually by the State Department. The report describes the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade. This year’s report, said Assistant Secretary Brownfield, “is a story of 40 years of building capabilities, intelligence, coordination, specialized units, new laws, and relationships around the world.”
So for example, the United States and Mexico have developed cooperative mechanisms, coordination, joint operations and intelligence sharing that have improved the ability of both countries to address the issue of drug trafficking across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We are better positioned to deal with it today, as this annual report demonstrates, because we have mechanisms, cooperation,” said Assistant Secretary Brownfield.“We have regional groupings; we have equipment and technology; we have specialized units; we have legislation and statutes on the books in more than 100 different countries that allow us to address the issue internationally, multi-nationally, regionally, and bilaterally among governments. It is much better that we are confronting this situation, this historic opioid crisis today, with the architecture that we have in place now than it would have been 20 years ago,” he said.
“I believe we have a good strategy. I believe this international drug report lays out a good global architecture for more than 100 nations of the world to cooperate and work together to address the drug issue.”