DEA’s Militarized Commando Teams Honed in Afghanistan, but Born in Latin America

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The recent revelation that the Drug Enforcement Administration is operating several militarized commando squads in Latin America signals an apparent U.S. eagerness to begin using covert counternarcotics strategies honed in Afghanistan over the past decade in the Western Hemisphere. The DEA’s so-called FAST team program — Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Teams — was reportedly created during the Bush administration to investigate Taliban-linked drug traffickers in Afghanistan. While their deployment now to Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Belize signals a new development, in some ways it actually represents a return to the program’s historical roots, which can be traced back to […]

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