Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
by Dana Gabriel, BeYourOwnLeader
February 21, 2012
In a move that went largely unnoticed, the U.S. government unveiled a new counter-narcotics strategy for the northern border which will work towards closer cooperation with Canada in the war on drugs. This includes both countries strengthening integrated cross-border intelligence sharing and law enforcement operations. Canada has also released a comprehensive counter-terrorism plan aimed at combating the threats of domestic and international violent extremism. The separate U.S.-Canada undertakings are both tied to the Beyond the Border deal and efforts to establish a North American security perimeter.
In January, the Obama administration announced the National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy. A press release by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) described how the plan seeks, “to reduce the two-way flow of illicit drugs between the United States and Canada by increasing coordination among Federal, state, local, and tribal enforcement authorities, enhancing intelligence sharing between counterdrug agencies, and strengthening ongoing counterdrug partnerships and initiatives with the Government of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).” Senator Charles Schumer proclaimed, “I pushed so hard for this strategy to be finalized because we have to immediately stop the flow of drugs from Canada into New York, and it’s going to take an inter-agency and international effort.” He added, “I’m pleased that this agreement lays the groundwork for Canadian and American law enforcement to work hand-in-glove to fight the drug trade.” Schumer has also endorsed the new cross-border action plan. In addition, he is pushing to establish a Northern Border Intelligence Center in Franklin County, NY to better coordinate efforts to fight drug smuggling and other cross-border criminal activities.