Maritime Drug Trafficking in the Western Hemisphere: Strategies and Trends

Drug smuggling is changing.

To understand the trajectory of this evolution, looking to the past is useful. Over time, shifts in drug smuggling strategies occurred principally for reasons of pressure from law enforcement authorities. Politics, cartel power struggles, and competi­tion played important but lesser roles.

What­ever the driving force for past shifts in strategy might have been, drug smugglers have a well-established history of employing game changing technology as a hallmark of evolution

What are some of this game-changing technology and the battle between innovation by the drug lords and by the authorities?

This action-reaction cycle is a key part of the challenge of containing the drug threat.

For a comprehensive look at the trends and approaches see Strategic Insights No. 40.


"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

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