An excerpt from the report follows below.
The illegal drug trade directly threatens the security interests of the United States, as well as those of the broader international community and the health and safety of our citizens.
No other criminal activity can match the profits generated from illegal narcotics trafficking. This translates into an unrivaled ability for drug criminals to corrupt public officials, undermine democratic governments, and sabotage sustainable economic development. For these reasons, the United States works closely with our international partners to encourage steps to prevent the production and trafficking of illegal drugs.
To implement this objective, the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) provides technical assistance to countries most affected by the illegal drug trade. This assistance helps these countries develop their own law enforcement and criminal justice capacities to uphold their international commitments against illegal drugs. Our long-term goal is to promote the expansion of partner country counternarcotics capabilities to the point where they can sustain future development and where cooperation between countries becomes the norm. As Secretary Clinton has described, a key component of this cooperation is to reduce demand for illegal drugs in the United States.
As is the case every year, progress was far from uniform in 2009. The annual INCSR review is a snapshot of events covering a narrow timeframe, and it is important to distinguish long-term progress from short- term gains and losses. Numerical data—such as interdiction statistics or arrests of traffickers—do not fully measure the success of some countries and regions in reforming and strengthening state institutions or changing ingrained cultural habits. There are no uniform solutions to all national and regional circumstances, and the United States cannot do more to assist countries than those countries believe is in their own self-interest. One of the least tangible but most important gains that we have seen over the past decade is that virtually every government recognizes the serious threats posed by the drug trade. This international consensus is rare in the realm of foreign policy and a great advantage as we move forward into 2010 and beyond. The United States is committed to helping countries help themselves to develop the capacities necessary to enforce their laws and protect their sovereignty.
What are your thoughts?
Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.
We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.