Department of Defense Counterdrug Mission: Can the Effectiveness Be Measured?   [open pdf - 1013KB]

From the Thesis Abstract: "For the last 30 years, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been asked in various ways to measure the effectiveness of the DoD counterdrug mission. In this thesis, I advance the idea of using the drug purity data as the best and only stand-alone metric to determine if drug interdiction efforts are reducing the amount of illicit drugs available in the United States. I also present a cost-benefit equation the DoD can utilize to determine the cost effectiveness of the counterdrug mission. The intangible benefits and unintended consequences of the DoD counterdrug mission are relayed and include developing partner nation relations and building partner capacity, positive and negative impacts on military readiness, and promoting the incorrect idea that the military can and should be used to solve any national problem. I conclude that the DoD cannot measure the outcomes of the counterdrug mission; however, it can combine counterdrug mission data already collected with key performance indicators inside of a pattern and trend methodology to better correlate the DoD counterdrug mission and supply-side outcome goals."

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Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/
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