American DEA Sends Commando Squads To Wage Drug War Abroad

The US Drug Enforcement Agency has five commando-style squads it has been quietly deploying for the past several years to various countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean, the New York Times reported Monday.

The countries where the commando teams have been deployed include Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Belize, all countries struggling to combat drug trafficking, the daily wrote.

The DEA confirmed the existence of the Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Teams (FAST) and said they “provide key support and mentoring to host nation law enforcement agencies.”

“All United States law enforcement activities are conducted in close coordination with host governments and the United States embassy. Moreover, they comply with US and host country laws,” the agency said in a statement.

The program dates back to the George W. Bush administration, and was created originally to investigate Taliban-linked drug traffickers in Afghanistan.

But US President Barack Obama beginning in 2008 broadened its mandate beyond the Afghan war zone, according to the Times.

The newspaper reported that the program reflects Washington’s growing reach in combating drug cartels, amid concerns by some policy makers that the line between law enforcement and military activities is becoming increasingly blurred.

But Michael Braun, a former head of operations for the drug agency who helped design the program, told the Times that the military-trained commandos are exactly what is needed for often dangerous drug interdiction activities.

“You have got to have special skills and equipment to be able to operate effectively and safely in environments like this,” he told the newspaper.

“The DEA is working shoulder-to-shoulder in harm’s way with host-nation counterparts,” he said.

Bruce Bagley, a University of Miami professor who specializes in Latin America and counternarcotics, said the US commando teams could help arrest kingpins, seize drug stockpiles, disrupt smuggling routes and help train security forces in small drug-trafficking plagued countries.

But he said such operations on foreign soil are inherently sensitive, and risk a possible backlash if operations go awry.
“It could lead to a nationalist backlash in the countries involved,” he told the Times.

“If an American is killed, the administration and the DEA could get mired in congressional oversight hearings,” he said.
“Taking out kingpins could fragment the organization and lead to more violence. And it won’t permanently stop trafficking unless a country also has capable institutions, which often don?t exist in Central America.”

– Article from AFP.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. Ozlanthos on

    The BATFE and the DOJ have allowed guns to “walk” (ie be sold to a known drug-cartel intermediaries)for OVER 2 DECADES! They have been doing it since the crack epidemic, and they are going to continue to do it until they can either A) convince Americans that we shouldn’t be able to own firearms, or B) WE CHOOSE TO END THE FEDERAL WAR ON DRUGS!!! Gun manufactures don’t sell cartels weapons because they know the fed will clamp down on them. It is against their financial interests to say yes. When a “straw-buyer” comes in and asks a gun dealer for 10 AR-15s or AK-47s he tells them to FUCK OFF because he knows they aren’t buying them for themselves. However, if the FBI, DOJ, or BATFE tell the gun dealer to allow the sale, they will. The whole plan for fast and furious was actually intended to create a spike in illegal gun sales so that the fed could justify taking away the ability of the public to sell firearms, and next was to prohibit Americans from buying firearms. The only people buying anyone off is the government and that is because THEY ARE THE CARTELS!!!

    -Oz

  2. The Ballyhoo on

    What the fuck r u talking about? ”Where do you think the Majority of American Military armaments come from.””

    The DEA does go after the Mexican cartels. The cartels have more firepower and weapons then the DEA. The cartels buy their weapons straight from the American gun manufacturers. The cartels buy EVERYONE off.

  3. Samson on

    Yet, utterly embarrassed to know my U.S. tax dollars are helping fund this kinda crappola. Which I do NOT believe in…..it’s aright, tho'( I’m sure my state “representative” voted for it anyway). O’ well,…that’s chains you can believe in.

  4. Al1957 on

    I notice they don’t have the balls to go after the Mexican Mafia in Mexico.Why?
    Because the DEA support them.Where do you think the Majority of American Military armaments come from.

  5. Bhonze on

    Your right! It’s time to Legalize and quit letting the American govt. control the drug trade and using the money for there unconstitutional activities funded in other countries. Our govt. is sooooo corrupt. Obama can’t even talk about weed with a straight face because he knows weed should be legalized but after he was elected he found that the govt. needed the drug money to support illegal activities that the american people could not know about; so he changed his views.

  6. Anonymous on

    It just doesn’t work. Here, in Brazil, a kingpin is killed per month. Usually a 14 yo boy. Next week, a new kingpin is in the command.

    That just brings more violence. Legalize the drug market!!