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Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

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Mission Statement

While narcotics control has been an important U.S. foreign policy issue for many years, the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics Matters (INM) was created in 1978. To deal more effectively with international aspects of the growing drug problem, the Department merged the Agency for International Development's (USAID) operational and fiscal mandate related to narcotics under its Public Safety Program with the drug policy formulation function already resident in the Department of State. Section 115 of the FY 1979 Foreign Relations Authorization Act established the Assistant Secretary position and Secretary Vance approved delegation of authority for the new bureau on October 12, 1978.

In July 1994, the mission of the bureau expanded to include responsibility for all international crime issues that threaten United States national security. Subsequently, the name of the bureau was changed to the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Presidential Decision Directive-42 (PDD-42), International Organized Crime, directs an enhanced and integrated Federal Government response to international crime as a matter of great priority.

The INL narcotics control program has two primary goals:

  1. to use the full range of U.S. diplomacy to convince foreign governments of the importance and relevance of narcotics control to bilateral and multilateral relations and to promote cooperation with the U.S.; and
  2. to employ the Bureau's various programs to help stop the flow of illegal drugs to American soil. The program is implemented through bilateral agreements with foreign governments (numbering approximately 86).

The international crime program has three major goals:

  1. to combat the growing threat to our national security posed by international organized crime;
  2. to help emerging democracies strengthen their national law enforcement institutions;
  3. to strengthen efforts by the United Nations and other international organizations to assist member states in combating international criminal activity.

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