"The War on Drugs has been waged for decades with little net effect on the flow of illicit drugs into the United States. High profit potential, poverty, and corruption within source countries coupled with steady US demand and porous borders have created what seems to have become a lasting condition. To-date, the immutable law of supply and demand has proven a more potent factor in governing the flow of illicit drugs than all the instruments of US national power combined. Current US strategy focuses a majority of effort on existential causes and on lower-level actors, expending resources without significantly affecting the drug trade itself. A shift in focus to profit, as the financial center of gravity, and to internal demand may have much greater impact on curtailing the drug trade and better serve long-term US national security interests. What is the nature of this war? What drives national policy? How do second and third order effects impact US interests and the way the United States is perceived? Is there a better alternative? This paper explores these issues in view of the current threat and in consideration of a future environment in which resources may be further constrained."
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