Senator David Perdue Encourages Support For U.S. Military Efforts To Combat Drug Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to encourage support for U.S. military efforts to combat drug trafficking at our southern border and throughout the Western Hemisphere. 

“Our military plays a critical role in stopping the flow of illegal drugs throughout the Western Hemisphere and we need to support this vital mission,” said Senator Perdue. “In recent years, we have seen criminals use drug routes for other illicit behavior—weapons trafficking, human trafficking, and illegal immigration. SOUTHCOM and NORTHCOM coordinate with law enforcement to combat drug trafficking and often rely on critical military surveillance tools like JSTARS. We need to identify critical gaps in this mission and how to fill them.”

“Powerful and well-resourced, these groups traffic in drugs—including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and methamphetamine—small arms and explosives, precursor chemicals, illegally mined gold, counterfeit goods, people, and other contraband,” said General John Kelly, former SOUTHCOM Commander. “They engage in money laundering, bribery, intimidation, and assassinations. They threaten the very underpinnings of democracy itself: citizen safety, rule of law, and economic prosperity. And they pose a direct threat to the stability of our partners and an insidious risk to the security of our nation.”

Due to resource restraints, our military’s capability to disrupt drug trafficking in the Western Hemisphere is limited. Senator Perdue’s amendment requires the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Commanders of U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Northern Command, to produce a report on U.S. military efforts to detect and monitor trafficking of illegal drugs in the Western Hemisphere. This report will call attention to this critical issue and hopefully lead to the allocation of more military resources to secure our southern border.