Operation Anvil

July 12, 2012


How do you feel about our military getting involved in the War on Drugs?  


CNN reports that Operation Anvil began in April in Honduras involving American and Honduran militants in a different kind of effort to stop drug traffickers.  Military involvement on the front lines has been key in deterring the drug cartel.  The mission is explained as that similar to the counterinsurgency tactics used in Afghanistan and Iraq by the United States military.  


Despite the fact that there have been six deaths, four of those being possible innocent civilians, officials for both the US and Honduras are pleased with the alliance and are calling Operation Anvil a success.  To date, authorities have intercepted five planes, seized 2,300 kilos of cocaine, confiscated firearms and have made numerous arrests.  


"The amount of drugs seized and the disruption of narcotrafficking routes speak for themselves," said Jorge Ramon Hernandez Alcerro, the Honduran ambassador to the United States.


Critics are speaking out at Americans for killing people on Honduran soil during peacetime after DEA agents shot and killed two suspected traffickers.  The two separate incidents followed an incident wherein Honduran agents opened fire on a civilian boat by mistake, killing four on board, including two pregnant women.  


Anvil's major innovation is the use of military outposts closer to the drug trafficking routes, known as forward operating locations, for quicker deployment by Honduran police and their DEA advisers.


About 600 American troops are located in Honduras, mostly at Soto Cano Air Base. Officials say they have seen a decreased role in Operation Anvil as the DEA team has stepped up, but a limited number of U.S. troops remain at the forward operating locations.


Joint Task Force Bravo, as the U.S. contingent is called, serves "purely as a support element, providing re-fueling capability, communications infrastructure and medical evacuation capability" at the forward bases, said Lt. Christopher Diaz, the spokesman for the group.


The US embassy believes that Operation Anvil has proven successful at disrupting criminal organizations.