The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, which is under the Department of State, has an important role in protecting the United States from transnational crime. The bureau’s geographic jurisdiction goes beyond the United States. It operates in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. Its mandate is to fight transnational crime, especially the problems of drug trafficking, money laundering, cybercrime, trafficking people, abuse of intellectual property, sale of illegal weapons, and activities that endanger wildlife.
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According to Straussner (2003), in the modern globalized society where the movement of people, goods, and information is simplified, the United States is directly affected by events happening in other nations around the world. The political instability in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq are having a direct impact on the country. Illegal drugs manufactured in Colombia are finding their way into the country. It is a clear demonstration that this country cannot be safe if there is another country where criminals can freely operate without being subjected to justice. That is why this agency has considered it necessary to spread its operations to other parts of the world as a way of protecting the borders of the United States.
The role played by this bureau in addressing crimes named above requires central coordination (Paoli, Greenfield, & Reuter, 2009). It is necessary for the Department of State to create a center, along the lines of what NCTC is for terrorism, to address issues that this agency seeks to address. Through this center, the activities of various agents located in different parts of the world can easily be coordinated. Data sharing can be made simpler and the bureau can improve its service delivery. Contraband goods can be easily identified based on their country of origin, their destination, and the people involved (Patrick, 2011). Those focusing on money laundering can work with those fighting drugs to help identify drug lords who are facilitating trade in contraband goods.
A time has come when this agency will need to take a more aggressive role in law enforcement. For a long time, its focus has majorly been on intelligence gathering and coordinating with other law enforcement agencies to arrest the criminals involved and to restore law and order (Siegel, Bunt, & Zaitch, 2003). However, trafficking of people and illegal goods and money laundering are becoming major concerns in modern American society. The agency will continue focusing on intelligence gathering as it used to do in the past. However, there will be a serious focus on the issue of law enforcement. The officers should make an arrest when they have positively identified a suspect instead of waiting for other law enforcement agencies to do so.
Shanty (2011) says that those who engage in illegal trade have connections within the government and time is of the essence when it comes to arresting them. When time is wasted by consulting other agencies, these criminals get to be warned, and by the time law enforcement agencies come to make the arrest, they would have disappeared. It is always very frustrating for such criminals to disappear after a lot of time and resources have been spent in tracing them (Kratcoski & Das, 2007). The officers of this bureau should be more aggressive in law enforcement not only in making arrests but also in confiscating illegal goods. This is so because these criminals have means of making their cargo disappear if they are given time to execute their plan
Kratcoski, P. C., & Das, D. K. (2007). Police education and training in a global society. Lanham, MA: Lexington Books.
Paoli, L., Greenfield, V. A., & Reuter, P. (2009). The world heroin market: Can supply be cut?. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Patrick, S. (2011). Weak links: Fragile states, global threats, and international security. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Shanty, F. (2011). The nexus: International terrorism and drug trafficking from Afghanistan. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International.
Siegel, D., Bunt, H., & Zaitch, D. (2003). Global Organized Crime: Trends and Developments. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Netherlands.
Straussner, S. L. A. (2003). Ethnocultural factors in substance abuse treatment. New York, NY: Guilford Press.