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Crime File: Drugs - Military Interdiction

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Following a segment that describes the National Guard's role in interdicting drugs at the border in El Paso, Tex., this video presents a panel discussion of the nature and effectiveness of the military's role in drug law enforcement.
Michael Wermuth, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Drug Policy, outlines the congressionally mandated role of the military in drug law enforcement. This encompasses aerial and maritime interdiction, the integration of law enforcement communications, and enhancement of the role of the National Guard in assisting law enforcement agencies. He emphasizes that the military complies with the Posse Comitatus Act in not performing domestic law enforcement tasks, such as arrests and the execution of search warrants. Wermuth discusses some of the interdiction techniques used by the military. Peter Reuter, senior economist at the Rand Corporation, does not believe interdiction efforts, particularly regarding cocaine, will have much effect on raising cocaine's street price and thus limiting demand for it, even should interdiction efforts double. The U.S. military's role in drug law enforcement in drug source countries is also discussed.

Date Published: January 1, 1990