Bush Budget Proposal for DEA
Asa Hutchinson, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, today said that President Bush's budget proposal for FY 2003, would give the DEA "not only the money needed to fight drug abuse and drug trafficking, but would also help break the historic link between drugs, violence and terrorism."
According to the President's proposal, the DEA would receive a total of $1.7 billion for Fiscal Year 2003, representing a six percent increase over its FY 2002 budget.
But over and above the six percent increase, the Administrator said, will be more than $50 million to augment the DEA's contribution to the war on terrorism. The proposed budget for the Attorney General's Counterterrorism Fund contains $35 million to support the Special Operations Division, an interagency group that is spearheaded by the DEA. This additional money will pay for the cost of providing intelligence support to the FBI and other agencies conducting counterterrorism activities.
The Administration budget also includes $17.4 million that was redirected from resources available to the DEA and are being requested to implement an Afghanistan initiative, Operation Containment, which will attack heroin trafficking organizations in Central Asia.
"Historically, armed groups have used illegal drug profits to fund their terrorist activities and to enforce control over the local population," Mr. Hutchinson said. "That's true in Colombia, where the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) raises funds from the drug trade to purchase weapons and finance attacks on the local population; and it's true in the Middle East, where terrorist groups, such as the Palestinian group Hamas and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, are involved in aspects of the drug trade to finance their terrorist activities. Above all, it has been true in Central Asia, where the Taliban, which controlled opium production and directly taxed the drug trade, opened its doors to Osama Bin Laden and the al Qaeda organization. These new monies should give us a big boost in our efforts to sever the link between drug trafficking and terrorism."
Enhancements to the DEA's own FY 2003 budget include the following initiatives, which will cost approximately $53 million:
For further information please call the Office of Public Affairs at 202-307-7977.