Drug Wars: Origins & Solutions
Declarations of drug wars in the United States have become ritual incantations. Presidents go on television brandishing bags of drugs, putatively purchased a few blocks from the White House, and warn that narcotics are “the gravest threat facing the nation.” Congress appropriates money. Media specials are broadcast. The public is mobilized. A few dramatic arrests and seizures are made or, if necessary, a country is invaded. And then, just as suddenly as it appeared, the issue fades from view. Yet it is always there, waiting for its button to be pushed.
Alfred McCoy is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of the classic The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. He is the recipient the Association of Asian Studies’ Kahin Prize. He is also the author of Policing America’s Empire, Torture and Impunity and In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power.