The report concludes that the federal government does too little to pressure other countries into stemming the supply side, while U.S. law enforcement isn't doing its part to discourage the domestic market. Specifically, it asserts that U.S. attorneys don't want to bother pursuing these complex international cases and that federal laws don't punish traffickers strongly enough to discourage the practice. The report was assembled by State Department analyst Amy Richard as a special research project commissioned by the CIA. It found that some 50,000 female slaves are funneled into the U.S. annually, with a recent increase due in large part to normalization of relations with the countries of the former Soviet Union. "The CIA's kind of looking at this report as coming from an outsider, since it wasn't from a staff analyst," notes TIME CIA correspondent Massimo Calabresi. "Nobody in the agency's quite sure what to do about it, but it certainly seems that no action is coming down the pike."
While the issue may have some hope of catching steam at the federal level, it doesn't seem likely to take its place alongside school vouchers and trigger locks as major campaign issues. Both Janet Reno and Madeleine Albright have mentioned it as a growing crisis in recent weeks, but neither looks poised to make it one of their top issues. The Times story quotes one anonymous government official who seemed to sum up the feds' attitude toward the issue: "We have hundreds and hundreds of government analysts looking at drugs, arms, economic issues, but hardly anyone on this."