Naval War College Review


The United States is losing the "War on Drugs." Despite a concerted effort on the part of several government agencies and also the United States military to stem the flow of cocaine, the drug has saturated the American market. Cocaine is more available, less expensive, and higher in quality than ever before. In fact, the present use of force serves to strengthen, not weaken, the cocaine trade, and military coercion is having a negative political, economic, and social impact in Latin America. One lesson of the Vietnam War was that force improperly applied can be worse than no force at all. This is true today in the drug war.