Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

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In This Issue:


Addressing Drug Addiction in Afghanistan

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Date: 01/24/2009 Description: Sanga Amajs adolescent treatment wing includes children of female clients and drug-addicted street children.  INL Photo
Sanga Amaj’s adolescent treatment wing includes children of female clients and drug-addicted street children, Jan. 24, 2009. [INL photo]

Drug addiction has become a serious social and medical problem in Afghanistan. Indicators suggest that drug addiction continues to increase and Afghans are more vulnerable to becoming drug addicts due to 25 years of war, conflict, and social disruption and the resultant chronic mental health problems that have engulfed the nation. In addition, HIV/AIDS is a serious and growing problem in Afghanistan, especially in those regions where intravenous drug use (IDU) is the primary method of drug use. Compounding Afghanistan’s addiction problem is the lack of treatment centers to provide counseling and rehabilitation services, especially for women and other vulnerable populations such as adolescents, including opium addiction problems among children as young as 2 to 4 years old. Herat Province alone estimates 5,000 drug addicts aged 6 to 16 years.

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Date: 01/24/2009 Description: Sanga Amaj staff, Colombo Plan resource team, and INL staff pose in front of the Sanga Amaj womens drug treatment center in Kabul.  INL Photo
Sanga Amaj staff, Colombo Plan resource team, and INL staff pose in front of the Sanga Amaj women’s drug treatment center in Kabul, Jan. 24, 2009. [INL photo]
In response to this problem, INL has funded several residential drug treatment programs for women and their children, the first of their kind in Afghanistan. The INL-funded Sanga Amaj Center in Kabul is the first women’s drug treatment center in Afghanistan and has achieved a large measure of success since it first opened its doors in 2007. Last year, approximately 100 women in recovery received vocational skills training and 240 dependent children received educational, social, substance abuse (where necessary), and recreational services. The facility is serving 30 women and 15 children this month. By providing these services, the Sanga Amaj center encourages this special population to seek out the treatment they so greatly need.

In early November, INL opened its second women and children’s facility in Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh Province. This facility currently provides services for 15 women and 12 children. A third facility for women and children will be opened shortly in Herat Province.


International Police Advisor Awarded Defense of Freedom Medal

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Date: 02/10/2009 Description: INL Assistant Secretary David T. Johnson with Ron Little, right, accompanied by his wife Brenda Little, center.  INL Photo
INL Assistant Secretary David T. Johnson with Ron Little, right, accompanied by his wife Brenda Little, center, Feb. 10, 2009. [INL Photo]

On February 10, 2009, the Department of Defense “Defense of Freedom” medal was awarded for the first time to an International Police Advisor severely wounded three years earlier in Iraq. William “Ron” Little, still recovering from his injuries, accepted the medal at a ceremony attended by INL’s Assistant Secretary David T. Johnson and representatives of INL’s CIVPOL and Iraq Programs. In offering thanks for the Defense of Freedom medal, Little said he was truly honored, and accepts the recognition not only for his own service, but also in the name of the many international police advisors who have made even greater sacrifices, including their lives, to extend freedom, peace and security.

The Defense of Freedom medal was created after September 11, 2001, and is the civilian equivalent of the military’s Purple Heart. This presentation of the award marks the first time an international civilian police advisor has received the Defense of Freedom medal for actions and injuries sustained while on a CIVPOL mission and was presented by Major General Robert B. Rosenkranz, USA (Ret) on behalf of Secretary of the Army Peter Geren.

Ambassador David T. Johnson provided a keynote address for the awards ceremony and spoke of the courage and sacrifice made by many CIVPOL Police Officers who are assisting post-conflict societies to develop and operate effective and democratically-oriented criminal justice and police systems.

Ron Little, a native of Jacksonville, FL, was an international civilian police advisor in Kosovo and Iraq. In Iraq he was part of a Police Training Team mentoring Iraqi police officers in professional police techniques, part of the Coalition effort to support the establishment of a democratically-oriented police force in Iraq. He was injured by an explosive-formed projectile (EFP) which hit his vehicle in an insurgent attack on December 20, 2006. Two U.S. Army members of the Police Training Team were also injured in the attack.


Government of Jordan Praises INL’s Palestinian Training Program

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Date: 02/17/2009 Description: INL Deputy Senior Advisor David S. Butzer, front row, third from right in hat, with the Mobile Training Team at the Jordan International Police Training Center. INL contracts with DynCorp International to oversee training at JIPTC.  INL Photo
INL Deputy Senior Advisor David S. Butzer, front row, third from right in hat, with the Mobile Training Team at the Jordan International Police Training Center. INL contracts with DynCorp International to oversee training at JIPTC, Feb. 17, 2009. [INL Photo]
The Jordanian Public Security Directorate (PSD) used the January 28 graduation of the 3rd Special Battalion of the Palestinian Authority’s National Security Forces (NSF) from their rigorous five-month training program at the Jordanian International Police Training Center (JIPTC) to praise INL and its “team for their outstanding training effort.” This course is part of a vital INL program of support to the efforts of U.S. Security Coordinator LTG Keith Dayton's efforts to help create professional and competent Palestinian security forces in the West Bank that can maintain law and order and combat terrorism as part of the broad effort to achieve Middle East peace.

The PSD supplies the trainers at JIPTC, but a cadre of seasoned and internationally-respected INL contractors with extensive civilian and military law enforcement experience are constantly on-site to develop the curriculum and provide guidance, advice, and mentoring to the PSD. With each passing class – this was the second; the third is now underway – the relationship among INL, its contractors, the Jordanian JIPTC team, and the Palestinian Authority is growing stronger.

The Palestinians themselves have praised this training, and they have put it to good use. These INL-trained officers and men have already made their mark in the West Bank and earned the praise of their citizens, the Government of Israel, and foreign statesmen alike for helping sweep criminal elements of the streets of several West Bank cities and keeping recent demonstrations peaceful.


International Police Advisors in Iraq

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Date: 01/30/2009 Description: Iraq Police Service policemen being mentored on a community policing patrol by a Provincial Transition Team comprised of U.S. Air Force Security Police and International Police Advisors. Photo by Anthony Lachica
Iraq Police Service policemen being mentored on a community policing patrol by a Provincial Transition Team comprised of U.S. Air Force Security Police and International Police Advisors, Jan. 30, 2009. [Photo by Anthony Lachica]

To make the streets of Baghdad a safer place to be INL’s International Police Advisors (IPAs) are mentoring Iraqi Police as they patrol. Whether it is monitoring the Iraqi police while they check on suspected IEDs or search for weapons, the advisors of a Forward Operating Base in Baghdad continue to work with their Iraqi police counterparts to make the lives more secure for people living there.

These advisors work closely with their U.S. Air Force Security Police partners on a Police Transition Team. Together, they assist the Iraqi Police in learning practical policing methods from U.S. law enforcement officers working in the INL Iraq Civilian Police Mission. These experienced police officers have become a valuable resource in the transformation of the Iraq Police Service into a modern, effective police force.

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Date: 01/30/2009 Description: International Police Advisor Anthony Lachica, Spartanburg, NC, flashing a peace sign while on patrol.  Photo by Anthony Lachica
International Police Advisor Anthony Lachica, Spartanburg, NC, flashing a peace sign while on patrol, Jan. 30, 2009. [Photo by Anthony Lachica]
While helping the Iraqi Police as they patrol is an important part of the job, winning the confidence and support of the Iraqi people is also very important to the success of our mission. Known as community policing, Iraqi police officers and IPA team members are interacting positively with the public. Recently, the IPA team assisted Iraqi police officers in distributing candy, toothbrushes, toothpaste, pens, paper, and other items donated by friends in the United States to children in the neighborhood. Excited children quickly overran the Iraqi police officers, who must have been surprised by this new approach to law enforcement. One little boy who received a pen, quickly opened his hand and wrote his name in English on his palm, and ran up to an advisor and proudly showed it to him. When the advisor introduced himself, the boy repeated his name, smiled, and walked away.

It is a way to win hearts one at a time.


INL Establishes Counternarcotics Aviation Capabilities in Guatemala

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Date: 03/05/2009 Description: Guatemalan drug police officers exit an INL Huey-II helicopter while practicing aircraft takedown operations.  Photo by Douglas Neese
Guatemalan drug police officers exit an INL Huey-II helicopter while practicing aircraft takedown operations, Mar. 5, 2009. [Photo by Douglas Neese]
Guatemala is a major transshipment point for South American cocaine and heroin destined for the United States. In addition, Guatemala’s poppy cultivation, while still just somewhere around 1,000 hectares, has increased in recent years. In response, INL’s Air Wing initiated a project in March 2008 to establish an aviation support element for bilateral counternarcotics efforts in Guatemala using four Huey-II helicopters.

This aviation support element, operated under the auspices of the Ministry of Government and referred to as the NAS Aviation Support Project (ASP), is staffed by Guatemalan Air Force aviators and technical personnel and supported by INL Air Wing technical advisors. The mission of the ASP is to provide dedicated air support for law enforcement operations, including “take-downs” on suspected trafficker aircraft, raids on transshipment points or clandestine runways, serving warrants, supporting ground interdiction operations, and providing support to ground eradication operations.

The INL Air Wing’s technical advisors assigned to Guatemala provide support in logistics, maintenance, quality control, and pilot and mechanic training. One of the biggest challenges for any aviation nationalization program is maintenance training because of the years it takes to train, certify, and mature a qualified mechanic. Maintenance training commenced in April, 2008 and has moved forward steadily. The first four of thirteen mechanics are expected to be certified within the next few months. Flight training, in progress since June 2008, has resulted in four of the six aviators assigned to the ASP becoming fully mission-qualified night vision goggle pilots, with the other two just weeks away from being fully qualified. This training has been completed while also flying operational counternarcotics missions. More pilot training lies ahead as INL conducts Pilot-in-Command training and qualifies additional pilots coming into the program.

The Aviation Support Project has to date reinforced many counternarcotics missions including: training of ground forces; roadblock operations; humanitarian support; aerial reconnaissance for illicit crops and suspected targets for future ground operations; and high-profile prisoner and evidence transfers. The ASP recently completed its first two-week deployment to the Peten in support of JIATF-South’s Operation Central Skies II. During this operation, the ASP is on standby to fly a team that provides the end game for intercepted drug planes after they land. INL looks forward to reaping many benefits from these air assets in successful drug interdiction operations as this program matures.


INL Assistance to Indonesian Special Boat Units Proving Worth the Investment

In late 2007 and early 2008, INL supplied fifteen boats to the Indonesian National Police (INP) Marine Police Special Boat Unit (SBUs) and provided specialized training in boarding techniques, search and seizure, navigation, boat maintenance, and train-the-trainer skills. Upon delivery and completion of training, the boats were immediately deployed to five critical areas of Indonesia that had heretofore suffered from virtually unimpeded smuggling and other transnational criminal activities. Within the first year of operations, the SBUs have seized over $10 million in smuggled cargo, illegal laborers, fuel and illegal logging and fishing caches, and have also thwarted a piracy attempt. Although sometimes hampered by fuel costs and availability, vast open seaways and the huge number of smuggling routes, the SBUs continue to succeed beyond expectations and all fifteen boats remain fully operational and well-maintained.

As a result of the SBUs’ successes, the Indonesian National Police has seen greater cooperation within the Indonesian government, and with their international partners. Recently, after identifying new smuggling routes into Batam province, the Batam SBU intercepted and seized a quarter million dollars worth of smuggled electronics from Malaysia. Two Batam SBU officers have been deployed to nearby islands to participate in a multi-agency anti-smuggling task force as a result of the seizure. In addition, INP SBUs are experiencing unprecedented regional cooperation, with the Singapore Coast Guard now engaging the Batam Marine Police to discuss joint operations.

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Date: 03/07/2009 Description: An INL-donated fast boat practices maneuvers in the Malacca Strait.  INL Photo
An INL-donated fast boat practices maneuvers in the Malacca Strait, Mar. 7, 2009.

Date: 03/07/2009 Description: The Indonesian Maritime Police Special Boat Unit in Batam, Indonesia.  INL Photo
The Indonesian Maritime Police Special Boat Unit in Batam, Indonesia, Mar. 7, 2009.
[INL photos]

[This is a mobile copy of Newsletter: The INL Beat, April 2009]