Remarks by Under Secretary Charles Allen at AFCEA-SOUTHCOM 'South 2008' Conference Panel: 'Narco-Trafficking: What is the Nexus with the War on Terror?'   [open pdf - 44KB]

Under Secretary for Homeland Security Charles Allen delivered these remarks before a conference that focused on the implications that narco-trafficking has on how DHS fights the war on terror and provides border security. "As a nation, when we think about drugs and terrorism, we often think of the highly visible global struggle against radical extremism and the opium fields of Afghanistan. Yet a reported 90 percent of the cocaine entering the United States originates in the southern region of the Western Hemisphere -- from Colombia -- and more is being produced in Peru and Bolivia. We also tend to think of this region as nuclear free, devoid of large conventional forces and an area from which no terrorist attacks have been launched against the United States; in other words, a relative peaceful and low priority region in the context of defense. Yet many of the threats to the homeland (drug trafficking, gangs, money laundering and all categories of migrant smuggling) enter the United States through our southern land and maritime borders after originating from or transiting the region. […] Mexico's strategic location on our southwest border demands notice as we discuss the drug-terror connection. At the Department of Homeland Security, we focus on the possibility that terrorist groups might seek to smuggle operatives or weapons of mass destruction across the U.S.-Mexican border -- even though those scenarios may have a low probability."

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Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov
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AFCEA-SOUTHCOM 'South 2008' Conference Panel: 'Narco-Trafficking: What is the Nexus with the War on Terror?', Miami, FL, October 8, 2008
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