Disrupting cocaine trafficking networks: interdicting a combined social-functional network model
Santos, Christopher P.
Carlyle, W. Matthew
Ewing, P. Lee
Atkinson, Michael P.
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The U.S. military has supported U.S. law enforcement in counter drug-trafficking efforts since the 1980s; the interagency counterdrug approach developed during that period—and still used today—focuses primarily on interdiction of cocaine conveyances in transit from South America to Central America. Increasing violence in the countries through which the cocaine transits is evidence that this approach is not working. Furthermore, the U.S. rebalance toward Asia and a worsening shortfall of interdiction assets signal a new strategic and operational environment that requires a counter threat network (CTN) approach. Instead of simply attacking a functional trafficking network, as does an interdiction-focused strategy, we combine traditional Operations Research (OR) maximum flow and attacker-defender problems with social network analysis to directly interdict the traffickers’ social-management network (and the resources it provides) in order to obtain indirect—yet potentially more effective—disruptions of the functional network. The Drug Trafficking Organization Social-Functional Network Interdiction (DTOSFNI) model described herein can be used to provide insight in order to combat the numerous trafficking organizations in a coherent manner—rather than relying upon independent, often isolated, investigations—and inform development of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) list and its associated investigations.
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