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Military: 80 percent of Colombian drugs gets to US

March 13, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military commander for Latin America says he does not have the ships and surveillance capabilities to go after illegal drugs flowing into the U.S. and is forced to “sit and watch it go by.”

Gen. John Kelly says he is able to get about 20 percent of the drugs leaving Colombia for the U.S., but the rest gets through.

Kelly was testifying Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He says he could interdict more drugs if he had 16 ships that could hold helicopters to quickly go after traffickers in the water. He currently has three U.S. ships he can use.

Kelly says severe budget cuts will reverse any progress being made.

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