The New Drug Route: Undersea

Adm.Jim Stavridis, our man in Miami in charge of blocking the drug trade as head of U.S. Southern Command, arrived in Washington this month with some startling news. He reveals that Colombian drug traffickers are shifting to minisubmarines to move cocaine to the United States. Stavridis says, for example, that 30 "semisubmersibles" have been detected this year, equal to all of 2007. He says they can travel 2,000 miles and carry 10 tons of cocaine. "To put this threat into perspective," he tells Congress, "each load aboard one of these vessels is the rough equivalent of one cocaine hit for each U.S. high school student--all 18 million of them."

By Paul Bedard