Jonathan Schancer at the New York Post offers a piece on how President Trump can repair the damage the Obama administration caused by derailing a major DEA operation so they could have their Iran nuclear deal.
The Obama White House systematically dismantled a top-secret government initiative called Project Cassandra, which was designed to target Hezbollah’s $1 billion in annual drug proceeds. The gripping story, by Politico’s Josh Meyer, lays bare the details of the Lebanese terrorist group’s cocaine and crime schemes, and suggests Obama allowed the activities to continue so as to not upset Iran, Hezbollah’s patron, amidst nuclear negotiations.
Put aside for a moment that Obama may have provided a glide path to a terror group’s drug activities so he could pursue a deeply flawed nuclear deal that only paused Iran’s march to the bomb, yet yielded this state sponsor of terrorism some $150 billion. We’re now faced with the urgent challenge of trying to rebuild a government bureaucracy that was gutted.
Here’s what needs to happen.
First, President Trump has yet to choose a new chief for the Drug Enforcement Administration. This is an urgent need. And as my colleague Emanuele Ottolenghi noted last month in The Hill, the new pick must appreciate “the growing convergence between transnational organized crime and terrorist groups like Hezbollah.”
Once the right person is in place, we need to revitalize the agency. Yes, that means more money and jumpstarting the interagency task force that fights narco-terrorism abroad.
But perhaps more important, we need to clarify the DEA’s mission. This crucial component of the bureaucracy needs to focus less on domestic gangs (let law enforcement do that) and get back to the business of fighting our drug wars abroad — where they can actually be won.
From there, the Treasury Department needs to swing into action. Hezbollah is already sanctioned under our terrorism program. But it must be named as a Transnational Criminal Organization and slapped with a Kingpin Act designation. This will give our economic-warfare fighters additional tools to target the group for its drug and other criminal enterprises.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine piece on the DEA’s fight against narco terrorists, drug lords and death merchants via the below link: