Home > Publications > New Tactics, Old Strategy: Remote Warfare and the War on Drugs

In the long-running War on Terror, remote warfare is the growing and dominant method of choice. But it is not the only “war” in which these methods are being used. Drones, special forces, private military and security companies (PMSCs) and mass surveillance techniques are also emerging trends found in the US’s other long standing war, the War on Drugs.

This briefing paper, from the Remote Control project, looks at the impact of the increasing reliance on private military and security companies (PMSCs) and advanced technologies, including drones, on theatres across Latin America where the War on Drugs is playing out. The weakening of the rule of law and legitimacy of the state in areas where these methods have been used shows how, rather than a break from the past, these new tactics are merely perpetuating long-standing strategic shortfalls of a militarised drugs policy.