Pickering Urges Funding For Drug Interdiction  

Pickering Urges Funding For Drug Interdiction  
Posted by FoM on May 22, 2000 at 19:29:04 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: MSNBC
Undersecretary of State Thomas R. Pickering told a group of students he’s worried about delays in drug interdiction assistance for Colombia.     “The production of drugs expands every day we slow down,” said Pickering, who spoke during an Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence awards ceremony in Tulsa on Saturday.
 He also visited with about 100 students and talked about pursuing careers in foreign policy.   Pickering detailed his work for drug enforcement funding. Congress has debated this month whether to approve aid to help Colombia in the fight against drugs.   In congressional testimony last week, Pickering said delays have hindered U.S. training of Colombian helicopter pilots and spraying operations against illicit plants.   An appropriation stalled in the Senate after being approved in the House.   “We’ve had good success in demand,” Pickering said. “Less American youth are using cocaine as the drug of choice. We need to improve in the supply area.”   He told Oklahoma Academic All-Staters during a keynote address that they should consider careers in foreign policy.   “The pay is terrible but there are other rewards,” Pickering said.   He told the students that 16,000 new jobs were created in the state directly from foreign policy.   The students asked questions and shared their thoughts about Pickering’s job and their futures.   “They had lots of good questions,” he said. “They asked if foreign policy will be a factor in the presidential race. I said I hope not because it often raises more heat than answers.”   Pickering has served as undersecretary for political affairs since 1997. He has also served as U.S. ambassador to Russia, India, Jordan, Israel, El Salvador and Nigeria.   He has also won the Distinguished Presidential Award twice and is a recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Service award.KJRH Tulsa Tulsa Okla. (AP) © 2000 Associated Press. Related Articles:Drug War and Colombia Deny and Escalate Control or Bio Warfare? 
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