The Obama administration's new strategy to fight Mexican drug cartels is starting without presidential picks to run the agencies in charge of battling drugs, border smuggling, and illegal guns, says the Associated Press. The White House hasn't nominated anyone to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Protection, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Asa Hutchinson, who led the DEA and border security under the Bush administration, said, “Just as you would not want to go without a high-level Defense Department official during a time of war, you would not want to go without the lead DEA official being confirmed for the fight we have with the cartels.”
On Friday, the administration laid out a long-term strategy for fighting the drug trade, centered around new, undeveloped technology and bolstered border inspections. The strategy calls for building visual shields near border-crossing to stymie spotters, improving nonlethal technology to stop suspects, and using more intelligence analysts. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the plan puts renewed emphasis on reducing the demand for drugs in the U.S.