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This Note presents a simulation model — SOAR (Simulation of Adaptive Response) — of the effect of interdiction on drug smugglers. The model attempts to take into account smugglers' adaptations to the strategies of interdiction agencies. It traces how this adaptation affects increased interdiction efforts to reduce U.S. drug consumption. The results suggest that increasing interdiction rates on a few routes would have little effect — a very large share of all routes have to be subjected to increased interdiction before there is much effect. The random allocation of additional interdiction resources, however, can substantially increase the effect of those resources, because smugglers can adapt efficiently only when they can form good estimates of the interdiction rates on particular routes.

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