Defending America
David Hackworth
16 September 1997

DRUGS: LESS TALK AND MORE ACTION

The most serious long term enemy threatening America is the drug epidemic that's destroying our future -- America's youth.

Drugs are infecting our kids in every big and small town in this land. Even my town, tiny Whitefish, Montana, has a drug problem. Sixteen year old kids are hooking 12 year olds and it ain't on Joe Camel.

Tens of billions of our tax dollars have been spent fighting drugs. A Coast Guard Chief says "We've lost the drug war. I've punched enough holes in the ocean off Columbia and other Caribbean nations to know that what we're doing is a big, expensive sham. Drugs on the street are cheaper and more plentiful now then ever."

Meanwhile, our military forces, charged with the mission of defending America, are deployed in one hundred countries around the globe, accomplishing little except protecting the Pentagon's budget -- keeping the pork flowing and the Military Industrial Congressional Complex glowing.

Our military is the one force that can win this battle. They have the leadership and savvy to accomplish the mission. This force, including all the spy agencies, costs the nation almost $300 billion a year to run. Yet little of this money goes to fighting the drug business, which annually nets over $400 billion.

Imagine the results if this massive military machine were unleashed on the drug barons' infra-structures, or if President Clinton informed Mexico, Columbia, and all other narco countries that the U.S.A. had declared war on drugs.

Simultaneously, he could return every airman, marine, soldier and sailor back to the our continent except those forces involved in missions of national security and commit them to attack the source of most of the drugs: Latin America.

Then he could -- and should -- announce Let the leaders of those nations know we are no longer going to fight this war with 'Just don't do it' anti-drug-double-speak but with military power that will go to the source of the drugs and take them out.

Let everyone know that the drug business is threatening our national security, not unlike the Soviet missiles in Cuba did, and we are going to close it down with the same national sense of purpose as we used to remove those missiles: total concentration of military power.

No place will be safe. Our forces will strike and eradicate growing, processing, shipping, command and control modules and every narco leader's lair. Everything of value will be confiscated or razed to the ground. Sherman's march through Georgia will look like an environmental save-the-trees program in contrast to the devastation left in the wake of our drug fighters.

Let all bankers in the world know that if they launder drug dollars, they're out of business. And starting soon, every American bill over twenty bucks will be exchanged for new dollars. Anyone trying to swap a bag of old green he can't justify earning will lose it -- on his way to jail.

We could start by deploying the Army along the 2,000 mile border we share with Mexico, with orders to interdict drug operations and conduct hot pursuit missions into that country.

Our Marines and Special Operations warriors would be the raiding force who would also train and supervise the foreign anti-drug teams.

The Air Force and Navy would control the sky and sea using every existing asset and high tech gadget from satellites to spy planes to win this critical fight.

General Barry McCaffery, the current Drug Czar, who whipped Iraq in just four days, is the right guy for the job. Just put him in charge of the whole shebang, give him the military assets and get out of his way.

Constitutionalists will say my fantasy strategy is breaking the law, others will say we're violating basic rights. And supporters of Ezequiel Hernandez -- an 18 year old goat herder who was accidentally killed by Marines on a drug stakeout along the Texas border last May -- will rightly argue that the military solution will result in more friendly fire incidents.

Despite these valid objections, with drugs now even zapping kids in Montana -- which many of us considered the last safe haven -- America hasn't a chance unless we make the elimination of the source of drugs and its insidious apparatus our primary military objective.

THE END