Advantage Narcotraffickers: Mitigating the Threat of the Self-Propelled Semi-Submersible Platform, Joel, 9781288290284

Author: Joel


Drug traffickers in Colombia have taken to a new tactic to transport large amounts of drugs from the west coast of Colombia to Central and North America. Built in factories located in the Colombian jungles, traffickers have constructed self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) vessels that are difficult to detect visually and with radar, have extensive ranges, and can in excess of five tons of cocaine. Senior military leaders, noting the increased use of these vessels, have called for action in deterring and defeating these semi-stealthy platforms. The lesson here is that the creativity and sophistication that drug traffickers show in getting their product to market is continually evolving. The estimated societal cost from drugs in the United States ranges in the billions, according to Admiral Stavridis, and continues to grow at an annual rate of five percent. The thesis of this paper is that drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in the transit zone have evolved to the point where the current level of U.S. effort is inadequate; more robust cooperative measures must be taken to provide a stronger defense in depth, and additional funding from the U.S. plays a great role in that.

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