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War On Drugs Essay

1059 words - 5 pages

In the late 1960’s early 1970’s, amid an unpopular war President Richard Nixon declared that illegal drugs were a “national threat” (Andrews, P.274) and began the War on Drugs. In previous discussions we analyzed if the domestic War on Drugs lead by the United States government and the many agencies was successful or not, however in President Nixon’s campaign against illegal drugs in the United States he pushed a strong “strike at the supply” (Andrews, p.275) foreign drug war as well. Books like Smuggler Nation by Peter Andrews, Blowback: The Mexican Drug Crisis by Paul Gootenburg and films like American Drug War: The Last White Hope by Kevin Booth offer a critical portrayal of the results ...view middle of the document...

275).
In the fall of 1969 first attack on foreign drug traffickers was “Operation Intercept”, a two week operation at the United States - Mexico border (Andrews, p.276) which two thousand agents search vehicles crossing the border into the United States. For some this may have been seen as a successful operation in the deterrent of drugs being smuggled into the United States, however the success was short lived as smugglers found other ways to traffic and to protect their drugs. Seizers of “Acapulco Gold” or Marijuana from Mexico increased from seven thousand pounds in 1964 to sixty-five thousand pounds by 1968, with an estimated cost of twelve thousand dollars and a potential profit of one to two hundred thousand dollars (Andrews, p.273). The two week operation created several negative outcomes: extensive traffic jams, protest from Mexican officials, and a strain on the economy for cities near the border (Andrews, p.276). Despite the low amount of drugs seized during the operation, it was labeled as the “largest peacetime search and seizure” operation (Andrews, p.276). The optimistic view of the low seizure amount is that the force presented by the United States was too much for the smugglers to attempt bring over drugs, whereas others would say that the smugglers assumed that the operation would not last forever and simply either waited it out (Andrews, p. 276) or followed as others and used planes to traffic their drugs into the United States (Andrews, p. 273).
Shortly after Operation Intercept Nixon’s foreign war on drugs focused on Europe and disrupting the dubbed “French Connection”. Using the idea of stopping the growers the Nixon administration pushed for Turkey to substitute other crops for the currently produced opium plants, and in 1972 Turkey agreed to ban the planting of opium in exchange for $35 million to fund the change to other crops (Schneider, p. 182). With no future opium plants being grown the focus shifted to the opium already being produced into heroin in France. Prior to France agreeing to work with the BNDD more closely in shutting down processing...

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