[Presidential Decision Directives - PDD]

PDD 44
Heroin Control Policy
November 1995
[no text available]

Efforts against production and trafficking of heroin are guided by the President's heroin control policy of November 1995 (PDD-44). The United States is working through diplomatic and public channels to promote international awareness of the heroin threat, help strengthen law enforcement efforts in heroin source and transit countries, bring cooperative law enforcement to bear against processing and trafficking, act against illegal financial systems that bankroll heroin trafficking activities, and promote the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and other multilateral and regional engagement in opium poppy and heroin control programs in source countries where U.S. bilateral influence is limited by political and security constraints. America will support continuing programs by Colombia and Mexico to eradicate opium poppy and will move promptly against any other illicit opium poppy cultivation encountered in the Western hemisphere.

A variety of multifaceted programs have emerged out of this and related Presidential Decision Directives. The International Emergency Economics Powers Act (IEEPA), for example, allows the President to impose sanctions directly on persons and businesses connected with or involved in drug trafficking in cases of national emergency. IEEPA has been invoked with respect to the Colombian cartels based on findings of a national emergency posing an unusual and extraordinary threat to the U.S.

According to answers to questions for the record from the September 12, 1996 joint hearing on interdiction before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control:

      PDD #44 embodies our international heroin strategy and was released
      in November, 1995. Major tenants include:

           Boost international awareness and strengthen international
           cooperation against heroin traffickers. Use diplomatic and public
           channels to focus international awareness on the growing heroin
           threat and pursue closer cooperative relationships on a regional
           and bilateral basis with key heroin source and transit countries. 

           Confront Burma and Afghanistan, the sources of most of the
           world heroin supply. Progress in international heroin control is
           dependant upon these two countries reducing opium production.
           Working through other countries and groups will be needed to
           address opium cultivation and production in Burma without
           undermining U.S. interests in advancing democracy and human
           rights. We must continue to support the efforts of Mexican and
           Colombian law enforcement and counterdrug military forces to
           eradicate opium poppy and to control heroin trafficking. 

           Implement coordinated international law enforcement efforts
           aimed at disrupting and destroying heroin trafficking
           organizations. Increase efforts to bring international law
           enforcement to bear against principal heroin trafficking
           organizations through coordinated regional initiatives in East
           Asia, Southwest Asia, and Latin America, like the work being
           done through existing interagency groups. 

           Aggressively use the certification process to promote effective
           host-nation anti-drug activities. We have a long way to go. Major
           heroin producing and trafficking nations like Burma, Afghanistan,
           Colombia, Nigeria, Syria and Iran have been decertified by
           President Clinton. We will continue to use every available forum
           to send a clear, unambiguous message to other countries that fail
           to cooperate with international heroin control efforts that we are
           serious about the heroin problem. 

           Focus on those countries and regions that pose the most direct
           heroin threat to the U.S. We should focus primarily on regions,
           countries, routes and organizations that are linked to the U.S.
           market. We should continue to cooperate closely with European
           and other law enforcement and intelligence organizations in a
           cooperative international effort. 

           Assist source and transit nations in developing comprehensive
           narcotics policies. 

      Our primary strategy (as described above) is to engage and promote
      international cooperation that will unify threatened nations around the
      globe against heroin traffickers. Over the long-term, we must work
      with major producing countries, whenever possible without undermining
      other important U.S. interests of advancing democracy and human
      rights, to limit cultivation and production while continuing to attack
      criminal organizations involved in bringing this drug to the U.S. We
      must aggressively use the certification process to promote cooperation
      and focus on those countries that pose a direct threat to the U.S. Our
      heroin strategy relies largely on international cooperation and
      coordinated domestic law-enforcement efforts, drug treatment for
      chronic drug users, and prevention efforts aimed at new users.

The Clinton Administration's assessment of national security threats in the post-Cold War world determined that international organized crime--including narcotics--is one of the most serious challenges. Some foreign policy issues are a threat to US internal interests, others to external interests. No issue, however, simultaneously threatens internal and external interests so severely and persistently as narcotics. Narcotics trafficking undermines democracy, rule-of-law, and free-market economies abroad, endangering basic US foreign policy interests. If left unchecked, drug-related corruption can reach the highest levels of government. Bolivia and Panama were examples, Nigeria and Colombia are examples. Traffickers weaken democracies through their deliberate and effective penetration of legislatures, judiciaries, security forces, even the media. And this destroys trust between citizens and their government. Drug money distorts economies and incomes, undermining legitimate businesses and imperiling free-market economies.

According to Jane E. Becker, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, as the basis for developing a comprehensive heroin strategy PDD-44 [the "heroin PDD"] states that:
     ... international heroincontrol is a major foreign policy objective
     and that we are to develop programs that complement domestic efforts and
     blunt the potential impact of the international trade on our interests. 

     For starters, it directs us to: 

     1) Work through diplomatic and public channels to boost international awareness
     of the growing heroin threat; 

     2) Promote the United Nations Drug Control Program and regional financial
     institution involvement; 

     3) Bring law enforcement efforts to bear against the principal organizations
     that are involved in heroin production, processing, distribution, and transit; and 

     4) Address the underground banking systems that finance trafficker operations. 

     In addition, it mandates more aggressive use of the certification process. 

  • Questions for the record from the September 12, 1996 joint hearing on interdiction before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.
  • Southeast Asia Regional Strategy Against Heroin Threat Jane E. Becker, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Address in Bankok, Thailand, November 6, 1995.
  • Mexican and American Responses to the International Narcotics Threat Robert S. Gelbard, Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Testimony before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, Narcotics, and Terrorism of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC, March 12, 1997