Command, Communications, Control and Intelligence: The Role of the Joint Task Force in the War on Drugs [open pdf - 707KB]
The issue of fighting drug abuse has come to the forefront of our list of national security priorities. A major part of this war is an attempt to stop the flow of drugs into the United States from the source countries. As the Federal government focused more attention to and national assets on this effort the need for better coordination among the numerous agencies involved became immediately apparent. A unified Command, Communications, Control and Intelligence (C3I) network was paramount to effectively employing the myriad personnel and equipment dedicated to Drug Surveillance and Interdiction, and hopefully conducting a successful campaign. The goal is to interdict and confiscate inbound shipments of drugs, or prevent their successful transhipment through deterrence. In response to this need for unified C3I, the FY 1989 National Defense Authorization Act designated the Department of Defense as the lead agency for the detection and monitoring program targeted against the aerial and maritime traffic attempting to bring drugs into the United States. Commander Joint Task Force FOUR (CJTF-4) in Key West, FL, Commander, Joint Task Force FIVE in Alameda, CA and Commander, Joint Task Force SIX in El Paso, TX were established to direct the anti-drug surveillance efforts in the Atlantic/ Caribbean, Pacific, and Mexico border areas respectively. The Joint Task Forces have been operating with assigned and supporting assets since October, 1989. After almost nine months of operations, two questions need to be answered: How well are they working? And, how effective have the Joint Task Forces been?