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Our Mission

INL works to keep Americans safe by countering crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad.

The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) marks its 40th anniversary in 2018.

The Latest

Key Topics

Addressing Illicit Drug Challenges

Almost all of the illicit drugs causing the unprecedented rise in American deaths from drug overdoses are produced outside the United States. In order to achieve sustainable long-term solutions to the security challenges present by the illicit drug trade, INL programs build partner capacity to identify and exploit vulnerabilities at each level of the international supply chain. INL prioritizes efforts to reduce the supply of illicit drugs that are responsible for the greatest number of American overdose deaths, such as opioids (including synthetic opioids) and cocaine. Reducing illicit drug supply is an important component of a multifaceted interagency effort to save American lives.

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Combating Transnational Crime and Corruption

Transnational crime directly affects American citizens, communities, and businesses and weakens our foreign partners by corrupting and undermining their institutions. INL combats crime by helping foreign governments build effective law enforcement institutions that counter transnational crime—everything from money laundering, cybercrime, and intellectual property theft to trafficking in goods, people, weapons, drugs, or endangered wildlife. INL combats corruption by helping governments and civil society build transparent and accountable public institutions—a cornerstone of strong, stable, and fair societies that offer a level playing field for U.S. businesses abroad.

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Strengthening Criminal Justice Institutions

As one of the most visible apparatuses of state power, effective and accountable law enforcement and criminal justice services are an essential to stability. Weak rule of law facilitates corruption and promotes a lack of confidence in institutions, opening the door for foreign malign influence. INL’s work with partner nations is designed to help reduce crime, promote public safety, and ensure that citizens of those countries have access to a functioning and fair justice system. This requires engaging across the entire spectrum of criminal justice, including with law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and correctional institutions, to build a fair, transparent, and accountable criminal justice system. A public that has confidence in law enforcement, its prisons, and courts strengthens the stability and resiliency of a nation, which benefits the security of Americans.

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INL Partnerships

The global challenges our country faces are increasingly complex, and solving them requires partnerships, both foreign and domestic, to ensure that we are using the very best tools and expertise available to successfully address these issues. INL works closely with international organizations, non-governmental organizations, other U.S. federal agencies, and U.S. state and local criminal justice entities to develop policies and drug control standards, share best practices, and engage with foreign counterparts to build capacity, improve efficiencies, and deliver effective criminal justice services.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future