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The Real "Long War": The Illicit Drug Trade and the Role of the Military

The Real "Long War": The Illicit Drug Trade and the Role of the Military

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With a shift in focus and priority from likely involvement in large-scale counterinsurgency operations, the limited likelihood of continental traditional warfighting operations, together with the onset of an era of budgetary austerity, the U.S. Army may need to give greater attention to its role in responding to the many nontraditional threats to the peace and security of the United States. Of these, the illicit trade in drugs ranks highly because of its massive effects on human, national, and international security.
With a shift in focus and priority from likely involvement in large-scale counterinsurgency operations, the limited likelihood of continental traditional warfighting operations, together with the onset of an era of budgetary austerity, the U.S. Army may need to give greater attention to its role in responding to the many nontraditional threats to the peace and security of the United States. Of these, the illicit trade in drugs ranks highly because of its massive effects on human, national, and international security.

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02/05/2014

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The United States Army War College
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The United States Army War College educates and develops leaders for serviceat the strategic level while advancing knowledge in the global applicationof Landpower.The purpose of the United States Army War College is to produce graduateswho are skilled critical thinkers and complex problem solvers. Concurrently,it is our duty to the U.S. Army to also act as a “think factory” for commandersand civilian leaders at the strategic level worldwide and routinely engagein discourse and debate concerning the role of ground forces in achievingnational security objectives.
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In the early 18th century, James Letort, an explorerand fur trader, was instrumental in opening up theCumberland Valley to settlement. By 1752, there wasa garrison on Letort Creek at what is today CarlisleBarracks, Pennsylvania. In those days, Carlisle Barrackslay at the western edge of the American colonies. It wasa bastion for the protection of settlers and a departurepoint for further exploration. Today, as was the caseover 2 centuries ago, Carlisle Barracks, as the homeof the U.S. Army War College, is a place of transitionand transformation.In the same spirit of bold curiosity that compelledthe men and women who, like Letort, settled theAmerican west, the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI)and U.S. Army War College (USAWC) Press presentThe Letort Papers. This series allows SSI and USAWCPress to publish papers, retrospectives, speeches, oressays of interest to the defense academic communitywhich may not correspond with our mainstreampolicy-oriented publications.If you think you may have a subject amenable topublication in our Letort Paper series, or if you wishto comment on a particular paper, please contactDr. Steven K. Metz, Director of Research, StrategicStudies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press,U.S. Army War College, 47 Ashburn Drive, Carlisle,PA 17013-5010. His phone number is (717) 245-3822;email address is
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