Book Review-‘Red Crew: Fighting the war on drugs with Reagan’s Coast Guard’ by J. Howe

By Richard Harding, published December 2020


In the early 1980s the Reagan administration was faced by a problem of border control on its south-eastern maritime frontier. Drug smuggling was causing serious concern as seizures rose dramatically in the late 1970s, indicating a rising trend in the traffic. People smuggling, particularly from Haiti, was also ringing alarm bells. In 1981 a permanent coast guard presence was ordered in the Windward Passage, but that could only be a small part of a solution. In 1982 a multi-agency South Florida Task Force was established with the objective of disrupting the smuggling operations on land and sea. However, it was clear that the US Coast Guard (USCG), equipped with aging and slow enforcement cutters, was unable to provide a convincing response to the sea-borne menace…

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Filed under: Post WW2
Subjects include: Lifesaving & Coastguard

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