Giuliani's Drug War Strategy

tshoop@govexec.com

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Monday he wants to build on the city's success in reducing crime in a new effort attacking the drug trade. But it won't work without the help of federal agencies, Giuliani said.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, Giuliani said cities need to play the leading role in anti-drug efforts by stepping up enforcement of drug laws, increasing the emphasis on treatment as an alternative to jail sentences, and developing effective new public service advertising campaigns.

"The way in which you lead in government is to do what you're capable of doing," said Giuliani, "rather than telling other levels of government what to do."

Nevertheless, Giuliani had some strong words of advice--and praise--for federal officials.

"The federal government is doing a lot in the area of border control," said Giuliani, especially with recently beefed up interdiction efforts. But "not nearly enough has been done" by foreign affairs agencies, he said, to make the fight against drugs a major element of U.S. foreign policy.

The State Department, said Giuliani, must make the elimination of crops that become heroin, cocaine and other drugs a major part of its agenda in dealing with countries in which such crops are raised.

"This is ultimately about protecting our interests in an international world," he said. "These countries are taking advantage of us, assaulting us. This should be at the core of our foreign policy."

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