Jonn Kelly is Trump's Homeland Securty nominee
Reason - "Kelly is a big-time drug war zealot," says
Michael Collins, deputy director of the Drug Policy Alliance's national
affairs office. "He is true believer in the drug war, and it's
incredibly worrying that he could now head up Homeland Security."
The Department of Homeland Security includes Customs and Border
Protection, the Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security
Administration, all of which play a direct or indirect role in the war
on drugs. Kelly, a former Marine Corps general with an unrealistic
notion of what can be accomplished by ships, aircraft, and men in
uniform, is well-qualified to oversee these doomed antidrug activities,
which apply military logic to a project that has nothing to do with
foreign aggression or national defense.
As head of the Miami-based U.S. Southern Command for three years,
Kelly witnessed the failure of drug interdiction and concluded that more
interdiction was the answer. Testifying before the Senate Armed
Services Committee in March 2014, he complained
that budget cuts had forced him to dial back drug interdiction in the
Caribbean. "Because of asset shortfalls, we're unable to get after 74
percent of suspected maritime drug smuggling," Kelly said. "I simply sit
and watch it go by." Later that day he told reporters, "Without assets,
certain things will happen. Much larger amounts of drugs will flow up
from Latin America."
Kelly apparently thinks interdiction reduces the total amount of
drugs reaching the United States. But that is not how interdiction
works, to the extent that it works at all. Given all the places where
drugs can be produced and all the ways they can be transported to people
who want them, the most that drug warriors can hope to accomplish is to
impose costs on traffickers that are high enough to raise retail
prices, thereby discouraging consumption.