These are a few highlights from the article;
On Feb. 16, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier, assisted by the coast guards of Trinidad and Tobago, seized 4.2 tons of cocaine with an estimated value of $125 million from a fishing boat off the coast of Suriname.
This is the largest single seizure of cocaine by the Coast Guard in nearly 20 years.
More recently, the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spencer worked with the Costa Rican coast guard to successfully intercept 2,900 pounds of marijuana. Both interdictions were made possible through persistent U.S. Coast Guard presence and broad international cooperation.
…In the last 25 years, the task force’s efforts have led to the arrest of over 4,600 traffickers, the capture of over 1,100 vessels, and deprived drug cartels of hundreds of billions of dollars in profits.
However, the Coast Guard does not currently have the budget to do its job effectively:
Despite the Coast Guard’s increased interdictions in recent years, the size of its fleet and extent of its resources remain insufficient to meet the even higher rate of cocaine shipments.
Commandant of the Coast Guard Paul Zukunft stated that while the Coast Guard has “80 percent awareness” of all illegal operations, “we can only act on about 20 percent of that because of the resource constraints we have. We’re giving 60 percent of what we know, literally, a free pass.”
The Coast Guard, in cooperation with other federal agencies and international partners, plays a critical role in mitigating the flow of illegal drugs from Latin America to the United States.
American leadership in both the White House and Congress should ensure the Coast Guard and other entities receive the resources they need to meet the growing demands of maritime security, while also facilitating strong relationships that mutually benefit the security of the U.S. and its partner nations.
There are many places where Congress can cut wasteful government spending if they are willing. At the same time, Congress needs to increase the money going to the Coast Guard to fight the drug war. Drugs are killing our children and ruining their future. It is in our best interests to do everything we can to stop illegal drugs from coming into America.