last updated:9/2/03
Office of National Drug Control Policy

Description | Other sites


The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), part of the Executive Office of the President (the White House), is responsible for coordinating the budgets and activities of the various departments, agencies, bureaus and programs with anti-drug responsibilities. The office's strategic focus is both international and domestic.1 The director of the ONDCP, popularly known as the "Drug Czar," advises the President on national and international drug policies and strategies. The current "drug czar," Barry McCaffrey, is a retired general and former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Southern Command.

Every year by February 1, ONDCP submits to Congress the National Drug Control Strategy, which evaluates the past year's anti-drug efforts and outlines future plans. The National Drug Control Strategy provides a "big picture" look at the government's overall objectives and the roles that dozens of agencies play in fulfilling them.

ONDCP divides its drug-fighting objectives among five goals. Of these, two are most relevant to the U.S. relationship with Latin America:

  • Goal 4: Shield America's air, land, and sea frontiers from the drug threat; and
  • Goal 5: Break foreign and domestic drug sources of supply.

Policy regarding these goals is devised by ONDCP's Office of Supply Reduction. The Office is responsible for advising the director on policies and programs to reduce the supply of drugs. It is also responsible for ensuring that supply reduction programs are implemented in accordance with the goals and objectives of the National Drug Control Strategy.

ONDCP's 1998 budget is $49.216 million (FY 1998). The FY 1999 request is for $36.442 million. The drop is actually a return to normal levels; ONDCP's 1998 budget is unusually large due to a one-time layout for a technology transfer program. The office's staff has grown from 38 civilian personnel in 1995 to 124 civilians and 30 military detailees in 1998.2

ONDCP receives "discretionary funding," money that is not directed for a specific purpose, through its Special Forfeiture Fund. This fund gets its resources from the Justice and Treasury Departments, which maintain Assets Forfeiture Funds from the seized assets of convicted drug offenders. The Special Forfeiture Fund may also receive resources through a specific Congressional appropriation. The vast majority of funding through this source goes to domestic anti-drug programs. In 1997, however, ONDCP made a one-time transfer of $9.8 million from this fund to help the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) provide counternarcotics support to Peru.

Other sites:


1 United States, General Accounting Office, Drug Control: U.S. Counternarcotics Efforts in Colombia Face Continuing Challenges, document number GAO/NSIAD-98-60 (Washington: GAO, February 1998): 8-9, 33-4 <> Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format <>.

United States, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Department of State, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Washington, March 1998, March 2, 1998 <>.

2 United States, Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy, The National Drug Control Strategy: Budget Summary, Washington, February 1998: 145-50 <>.

Office of National Drug Control Policy


Search WWW Search

News and Analysis
Bases and Military Facilities

A project of the Latin America Working Group Education Fund in cooperation with the Center for International Policy and the Washington Office on Latin America

 Project Staff  Adam Isacson (Senior Associate CIP    Lisa Haugaard (LAWGEF Executive Director
  Joy Olson (WOLA Executive Director

back to top