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Fighting the War on Drugs in the U.S.

May 21, 1988

Your editorial "The Wrong Fix" (May 12) indicates that while The Times approves of the war on drugs in theory, it doesn't approve of scientific methods for waging that war. You object to the amendment of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Coronado) that would allow the military radar equipment now on our borders to be used for locating clandestine air flights into the U.S., and for military planes forcing down those flights, and if necessary, military personnel detaining drug smugglers in those planes.

You acknowledge that we are not winning the war on drugs, yet you suggest that we can't win it, and therefore, we shouldn't try. We already have the radar in place along the border, and the planes to intercept and force down drug smugglers. What better on-the-job training for our military than the identification, tracking, and forcing down of drug smugglers who fly into the United States? If this isn't consistent with the primary mission of our armed forces to defend our borders, please explain why.

The fact that the Hunter amendment was passed almost unanimously by the House tells me that The Times is out of step, not Congress.

WALTER GREENWOOD

La Jolla

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