In concert with our allies abroad, we seek to stop drug trafficking by reducing cultivation of drug-producing crops, interdicting the flow of drugs at the source and in transit (particularly in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico and Southeast Asia), and stopping drugs from entering our country. The Strategy includes efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and root out corruption in source nations, prosecute major international drug traffickers and destroy trafficking organizations, prevent money laundering and use of commercial air and maritime transportation for drug smuggling, and eradicate illegal drug crops and encourage alternate crop development or alternative employment in source nations. We seek to achieve a counterdrug alliance in this hemisphere, one that could serve as a model for enhanced cooperation in other regions.
The United States is aggressively engaging international organizations, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations in counternarcotics cooperation. At the Birmingham Summit in May 1998, the leaders of the G-8 endorsed the principle of shared responsibility for combating drugs, including cooperative efforts focused on both eradication and demand reduction. They agreed to reinforce cooperation on reducing demand and curbing trafficking in drugs and chemical precursors. They also agreed on the need for a global strategy to eradicate illicit drugs. The United States supports the UN International Drug Control Program’s goal of dramatically reducing coca and opium poppy cultivation by 2008 and the program’s efforts to combat drug production, trafficking and abuse in some of the most remote regions of the world. At the UN General Assembly Special Session on drug trafficking and abuse in June 1998, President Clinton and other world leaders strengthened existing international counterdrug institutions, reconfirmed the global partnership against drug abuse and stressed the need for a coordinated international approach to combating drug trafficking.
Emerging Threats at Home
Due to our military superiority, potential enemies, whether nations or terrorist groups, may be more likely in the future to resort to terrorist acts or other attacks against vulnerable civilian targets in the United States instead of conventional military operations. At the same time, easier access to sophisticated technology means that the destructive power available to terrorists is greater than ever. Adversaries may thus be tempted to use unconventional tools, such as WMD or information attacks, to threaten our citizens, and critical national infrastructures.
Managing the Consequences of WMD Incidents
Presidential Decision Directive 62, signed in May 1998, established an overarching policy and assignment of responsibilities for responding to terrorist acts involving WMD. The Federal Government will respond rapidly and decisively to any terrorist incident in the United States, working with state and local governments to restore order and deliver emergency assistance. The Department of Justice, acting through the FBI, has the overall lead in operational response to a WMD incident. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supports the FBI in preparing for and responding to the consequences of a WMD incident.
The Domestic Terrorism Program is integrating the capabilities and assets of a number of Federal agencies to support the FBI, FEMA and state and local governments in consequence management. The program’s goal is to build a capability in 120 major U.S. cities for first responders to be able to deal with WMD incidents by 2002. In fiscal year 1997, the Defense Department provided training to nearly 1,500 metropolitan emergency responders— firefighters, law enforcement officials and medical personnel—in four cities. In fiscal year 1998, the program will reach 31 cities. Eventually, this training will reach all cities via the Internet, video and CD ROM.
Under the Domestic Terrorism Program, the Defense Department will maintain military units to serve as augmentation forces for weapons of mass destruction consequence management and to help maintain proficiency of local emergency responders through periodic training and exercises. The National Guard, with its mission and long tradition of responding to national emergencies, has an important role to play in this effort. The President announced in May 1998 that the Defense Department will train Army National Guard and reserve elements to assist state and local authorities to manage the consequences of a WMD attack. This training will be given to units in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Missouri, Colorado, California and Washington.
The Domestic Terrorism Program enlists the support of other agencies as well. The Department of Energy plans for and provides emergency responder training for nuclear and radiological incidents. The Environmental Protection Agency plans for and provides emergency responder training for hazardous materials and environmental incidents. The Department of Health and Human Services, through the Public Health Service and with the support of the Department of Veterans Affairs and other Federal agencies, plans and prepares for a national response to medical emergencies arising from the terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction.
The threat of biological weapons is particularly troubling. In his May 1998 commencement speech at Annapolis, the President announced a
comprehensive strategy to protect our civilian population from the scourge of biological weapons. There are four critical areas of focus:
• First, if a hostile nation or terrorists release bacteria or viruses to harm Americans, we must be able to identify the pathogens with speed and certainty. We will upgrade our public health and medical surveillance systems. These improvements will benefit not only our preparedness for a biological weapons attack—they will enhance our ability to respond quickly and effectively to outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases.
• Second, our emergency response personnel must have the training and equipment to do their jobs right. As described above, we will help ensure that federal, state and local authorities have the resources and knowledge they need to deal with a crisis.
• Third, we must have the medicines and vaccines needed to treat those who fall sick or prevent those at risk from falling ill because of a biological weapons attack. The President will propose the creation of a civilian stockpile of medicines and vaccines to counter the pathogens most likely to be in the hands of terrorists or hostile powers.
• Fourth, the revolution in biotechnology offers enormous possibilities for combating biological weapons. We will coordinate research and development efforts to use the advances in genetic engineering and biotechnology to create the next generation of medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tools for use against these weapons. At the same time, we must continue our efforts to prevent biotechnology innovations from being applied to development of ever more difficult to counter biological weapons.