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Military as Drug Police: Exercising the Ideology of War (From Drugs, Crime, and Justice: Contemporary Perspectives, P 297-320, 1997, Larry K Gaines and Peter B Kraska, eds. -- See NCJ-165819)

NCJ Number
P B Kraska
Date Published
24 pages
This paper looks at the role of the military in drug law enforcement, historical aspects of that role, construction and legitimation strategies used to justify that role, and the military's effectiveness in drug control.
The military began its involvement in drug control efforts in the late 1970's. The "drug war fever" in 1985-1986 led to a recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the military take on the task of eradicating the production and distribution of cocaine and marijuana in Latin America. In 1988, Congress held hearings on the military role in drug interdiction, even though some military officials were reluctant to become involved. In 1989, the Department of Justice ruled that Posse Comitatus revisions allowed military personnel to legally arrest drug traffickers within their own countries, one impetus for the invasion of Panama. Recent developments demonstrate an unprecedented use of the military in drug law enforcement, and the author notes that the definition of natural security has been broadened to include policing of the drug problem. 105 references