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Testimony of Thomas W. O'Connell, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, hearing of the Senate Armed Services Emerging Threats Subcommittee: "Department of Defense Counternarcotics Program in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2005," April 2, 2004






Chairman Roberts, Senator Reed, distinguished members of the Subcommittee, it is my pleasure to appear before you today to discuss the Department of Defense programs and policy that assist nations around the world in their battle against narcoterrorism. I value the work that you do and congratulate you on your continued leadership.

Each year, my office expends a great deal of time, effort, and resources to keep drugs from crossing our borders. This is a complex process that requires coordination and funding from all levels of government agencies, local and state law enforcement, and the foreign countries in which we assist. We recognize that a portion of the profits from drug sales either directly or indirectly support terrorist organizations another reason we are working hard to reduce the supply of drugs around the world.

Illegal drug use exacts a heavy toll on American society every year. They account for billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs including health care, lost revenue due to crime, social welfare costs and lost productivity. While cocaine continues to be the single most serious drug threat, heroin, synthetic drugs, methamphetamines, and marijuana are also serious, and in some cases, increasing problems. Global and regional terrorists threatening United States interests can finance their activities with the proceeds from narcotics trafficking. Terrorist groups such as the FARC in Colombia, Al Qaida in Afghanistan, and groups around the world partially finance key operations with drug money. The Department of Defense, with our counterparts in the Department of State and other government agencies, seeks to systematically dismantle drug trafficking
networks, both to halt the flow of drugs into the United States, and to bolster the broader war on terrorism effort.

Domestically, the Department continues to work through US Northern Command and the National Guard with the Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies to coordinate counternarcotics efforts. The National Guard is an exceptional partner to law enforcement in domestic counternarcotics missions requiring military-unique skills, including air/ground reconnaissance, intelligence analysts, and training for law enforcement agencies. The Department is maintaining our National Guard support to law enforcement along the Southwest Border, and adding linguist centers in California and Washington.

The Counternarcotics Budget

In accordance with statutory authorities, we use counternarcotics resources as effectively and efficiently as possible to achieve national and Department counternarcotics priorities. We focus on programs that fulfill statutory responsibilities and use military-unique resources and capabilities, and continue to advance the national priorities of the National Drug Control Strategy. Our counternarcotics authorities and funding are an effective combination that supports war on terrorism efforts and the implementation of the Department's Security Cooperation Guidance.

The Department's July 31, 2002 counternarcotics policy guidance states that the Department will execute drug detection and monitoring and other programs using military command, control, communications and intelligence resources, as well as
military operational planning capabilities. This year we have issued new Demand Reduction, Domestic Support and International Support counter-narcoterrorism policies have expanded upon this definition. We focus on counternarcotics activities that will contribute to:

o The war on terrorism;

o Security Cooperation Guidance;

o Military readiness; and

o National Security.

In order to best characterize and describe the support DoD provides, the Department defined four missions areas to encompass the scope of the Department's program. These mission areas are:

o Demand Reduction: Drug testing, treatment, and outreach

o Domestic Support: Active duty counternarcotics support, National Guard State Plans, National Guard schools, Aerostat radars

o Intelligence and Technology Support: SIGINT collection and processing, intelligence support and analysis, CN research and development

o International Support: Detection and monitoring, intelligence support and analysis, equipment, training, and infrastructure

The Department provides, through Combatant Commands, the Military Departments, and the Defense Agencies, unique military personnel, systems, and capabilities that support domestic law enforcement agencies and foreign security forces
involved in counternarcotics activities, including efforts to counter activities that aid, benefit from, or are related to narcotics trafficking. This broad-scope support is provided primarily under the authorities contained in 10 U.S. Code §§ 124, 371-374, 379-381, 2576, 2576a, Title 32 U.S. Code, § 112, Section 1004, National Defense Authorization Act for 1991, as amended; and Section 1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 1998, as amended.

With finite funds and resources, multiple missions to address, and numerous requests for assistance, the Department must establish priorities for its support mission. The areas that receive resources must be where Defense capabilities will provide the highest impact on the drug threat while at the same time contributing to the war on terrorism and enhancing national security. DoD's efforts will be continually evaluated based on the changing drug threat and participating nations' needs.

The Department's CTA program request of $852.7 million for FY 2005 for the Central Transfer Account reflects price growth of $11.4 million and a program decrease of $67.3 million over the FY 2004 level of $908.6 million, which primarily reflects the FY 2004 congressional increases to the Department's counter-narcoterrorism program. The Department's FY 2005 counternarcotics budget will continue to fund, within fiscal constraints, an array of unique and effective programs that support the National Drug Control Strategy and Department goals.

Demand Reduction

Illegal drugs are readily available to Department members and their use is incompatible with member's security sensitive and dangerous duties. During the past decade, use of prohibited drugs in the United States civilian community, especially by young citizens, has increased, prompting the President to establish a goal of reducing drug use by 25% over each three year period.

The Department has assimilated the President's goal of a 25% reduction in drug use over three years into its strategic plan. The approach emphasizes prevention of drug use through pre-accession and random drug testing, anti-drug education and treatment Emphasis is placed on deterring drug use through cost effective drug testing with punitive consequences for members who are identified as drug users.

In accordance with the Department of Defense Demand Reduction policy, we plan to increase drug testing for all military members to a minimum average testing rate for each Service, the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard of one test per member per year. This increase will be incrementally phased in though the outyears. We also plan to increase drug testing for civilian employees in testing designated positions to a minimum average testing rate for each Agency or Component of one test per testing designated employee per year.

A total of $19.4 million is for the National Guard State Plans and Service outreach programs, and the Young Marines outreach program, and $102.7 million is for the continued support of the Department of Defense Demand Reduction Programs.

Domestic Support

Since 1989, domestic law enforcement agencies at the State, local and Federal levels have requested military support for their respective counter-narcoterrorism operations. Domestic counter-narcoterrorism operations have historically included support for interdiction of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines coming into the United States; interdiction of illegal drugs transiting the United States; identification of domestic marijuana grows and methamphetamine labs; identification and arrest of drug manufacturers, traffickers and distributors; and the prevention of drug use among America's youth.

We work closely with USNORTHCOM and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense (ASD/HLD) on counternarcotics support to domestic law enforcement. The focus of this support is managed through Joint Task Force Six in El Paso, Texas which provides active duty and reserve missions in areas of engineering support, aerial and ground reconnaissance, transportation and logistics support and intelligence. These counternarcotics missions provide excellent training in real world situations and enhance domestic security.

Additionally, the Department is committed to improving information sharing between DoD and law enforcement agencies in support of counter-narcoterrorism objectives. DoD is installing classified computer systems and networks in High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area intelligence centers, operated by National Guard intelligence analysts; and active duty and Reserve members are playing an integral role in arrival zone detection and monitoring, cross-agency intelligence fusion, and the development of actionable intelligence.

A total of $219.5M supports federal, state and local drug law enforcement agencies (DLEAs) requests for domestic operational and logistical support, and will assist the DLEAs in their efforts to reduce drug-related crime. Of this amount, $151.1 million is for a portion of the total National Guard State Plans that supports domestic law enforcement efforts and the counter-narcoterrorism schools; $20.3 million is for Domestic Operational Support, such as US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) counternarcoterrorism support to DLEAs and Title 10 National Guard translation efforts; $32.3M is for domestic detection and monitoring efforts (Tethered Aerostats); and $15.8 million is for Command, Control, Communication, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) support, such as ADNET.

Intelligence and Technology Support

The basic nature of the smuggling threat mandates the need for explicit intelligence if the Department is to be effective in detection, monitoring and interdiction operations. The Department will continue to provide critical intelligence support to national policies designed to dismantle narcotics trafficking and international terrorist organizations benefiting from drug trafficking. These intelligence support programs make use of unique Defense capabilities, systems, skills, and expertise, and directly support the National Drug Control Strategy.

Use of new technology continues to be instrumental in combating narcoterrorist activities. The Department will continue to test, evaluate, develop and deploy technologies that are used to collect and survey suspect narcoterrorist smuggling
operations in air, land, or sea. Wide area surveillance will be a technology challenge as legacy systems such as ROTHR have surpassed lifecycle expectations and will require major hardware and software replacement to lower the risk of system failure. The program will pursue merging disparate data and sensor feeds into a common operating picture, to provide worldwide counternarcotics elements with counter-narcoterrorism intelligence and operational awareness.

RINGOLD translation support will be expanded to include additional languages critical to the Global War on Terrorism. THROTTLE CAR is a critical data warehousing effort jointly funded by the Department of Defense and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Capabilities will be increased to accommodate capacity increases and ensure readiness.

A total of $103.3M will be used for intelligence programs to collect, process, analyze, and disseminate information required for counter-narcoterrorism operations. Technology programs increase the Department's abilities to target narco-terrorist activity. A total of $58.6 million is for counter-narcoterrorism intelligence support and analysis; $21.1 million is for signal intelligence (SIGINT) collection and processing; $10.0 million is for Service and SOCOM command and control programs; and $13.7 million is for CN Technology efforts.

International Support

Financial, political and operational linkages exist among narcotics trafficking, smuggling, and the global expansion of terrorism. Since 11 September 2001, the
Department has expanded its CNT mission to include targeting those terrorists groups worldwide that use narcotics trafficking to support terrorist activities. In order to support the War on Terrorism, DoD CNT uses its resources in regions where terrorists benefit from illicit drug revenue and know-how, and is working to bolster already well-established CNT efforts in PACOM, particularly in SE Asia where the US and its Asian partners face a challenging combination of terrorism/extremism, drug trafficking, and serious need for increased maritime security.

In the CENTCOM area of operation, terrorists/extremists in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries exploit the abundance of illicit drugs to support their activities. The Department is working to break the links between terrorism and drug trafficking.. In Afghanistan, where drug traffickers have extensive links to terrorists/extremists, the Department will provide substantial counter-narcoterrorism support to the United Kingdom-led counter-narcoterrorism efforts in Afghanistan, as well as developing Afghan border infrastructure and border police capabilities. In other countries in Central Asia and the Middle East, CENTCOM is currently expanding its counter-narcoterrorism efforts to curb the transit of illicit drugs through international smuggling corridors. We thank you, therefore for the $73 million in funding added in this year's emergency supplemental to support our efforts in Afghanistan and neighboring nations. Our FY05 CN budget requests resources to sustain these efforts.

A total of $40.8M will be used for Emerging Threats support efforts in the U.S. Central Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. European Command Area of Responsibilities (AORs) to detect, interdict, disrupt or curtail activities related to Eastern Pacific to the final destination. Over 500 maritime shipments depart Colombia annually, equating to almost two shipments a day. Of the cocaine that enters the United States, 72% passes through the Mexico/Central America corridor. Another 27% moves through the Caribbean and 1% comes directly from South America.

Colombia offers a unique window of opportunity with congressional approval of expanded authority and the aggressive leadership of President Uribe. The Administration continues to support President Uribe in seeking a secure and democratic Colombia, including providing resources in support of Colombia's Plan Patriota.

Supplemental funding ($34M) in FY 2003 was provided by Congress for DoD support to Colombia initiatives. With existing funds and the additional supplemental funding, SOUTHCOM increased support to the Colombian military, adding to their capability through a variety of programs. These programs provided critical support in logistics, mobility, light infantry operations, riverine operations, command, control and communications, at-sea interception, maintenance, security, base operations support, intelligence collection and dissemination. Congress extended expanded authority to support Colombia's counternarcotics and counter-terrorist efforts for FY 2004.

Interagency Principals have planned to increase assistance for the Colombian military during FY 2004 and FY 2005. SOUTHCOM developed a support package to provide needed assistance to the Colombian military. This funding will continue to support and expand upon programs already established during FY 2003 and will focus on increasing the Colombian military's capability in mobility, logistics, operationalizing intelligence, planning assistance, medical evacuation and care, secure communications,
and security. To support these efforts in Colombia, the Department will soon be forwarding to the Congress a request for reprogramming $50 million during this fiscal year. I am pleased to report that the Department will maintain this emphasis on Colombia by increasing our efforts in Colombia in FY05 by $43 million.

A total of $366.9M will support efforts in the SOUTHCOM AOR, including detection and monitoring operations to assist U. S. law enforcement agencies to Counter the flow of drugs in transit into the United States, and supporting nations (such as Colombia) fight narcoterrorism. A total of $173.0 million is for detection and monitoring platforms and assets; $142.5 million is for operational Support; and $51.4 million is for AOR command and control support, including Joint Interagency Task Force South.

The current troop cap limits the U.S. presence in Colombia to 400 military personnel and 400 contractors. SOUTHCOM manages this on a daily basis, often canceling or postponing personnel travel to Colombia. To date, the impact has been small. However, in the coming year as the Colombian military will be conducting full-scale operations across the country, the personnel cap will begin to have a deleterious effect on the mission. While U.S. personnel will not be directly on the front lines, more training and planning assistance will be required for the Colombian military, since they will be directly engaged on a broader front to defeat the narcoterrorists. We should support this effort with manning that reflects the current and future situation on the ground. Consequently, the Administration has requested an increase of the personnel cap to 800 military and 600 contractor personnel.


The Department appreciates Congress' continued support of the counternarcotics program. I thank you, Chairman Roberts, Senator Reed and the Members of the Subcommittee for the tremendous support you have provided. I look, forward to answering your questions.

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