Some Thoughts on Heroin and Afghanistan

Afghanistan as a whole supplies 92% of the world’s opiates. The Head of the Taliban’s Supreme Council, Mullah Mohammed Omar, declared it “un-Islamic” to process heroin in July 2001 and production for that year fell by 91%. Two months later, the 9/11 attacks happened in the United States and were immediately blamed on Al Qaeda operating out of Afghanistan. The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001. NATO forces, lead by the U.S.A., removed the Taliban’s control of Afghanistan. Since then, opium production in Afghanistan has reached all-time historical highs. Recent estimates by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimate that 52% of the nation’s GDP, amounting to $2.7 billion annually, is generated by the drug trade and some 3.3 million Afghans are involved in producing opium. There are currently around 437,000 troops making up the NATO / Afghan / USA non-NATO force in Afghanistan. As the CIA has a history of dealing with drug traffickers (i.e. the Contras), we have to wonder what’s going on in Afghanistan. How is the product leaving the country when it has 430,000 foreign troops spread out all over it? One argument is that opium is such a huge part of the Afghan economy, that NATO troops can’t destroy it without creating huge financial burdens on the farmers. Yet the $2.5 Billion that opium production provides the Afghan economy each year is a pittance compared to the cost of the war, which is already well over $369 Billion for the USA alone. Another $2.5 Billion to destroy 90% of the world’s opium seems like a easy decision. Why hasn’t it been made yet? Is it possible that the NATO forces are supporting the world’s heroin trade?

References:

World Bank website – Afghanistan Opium Report

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website – World Drug Report

Wikipedia “War In Afghanistan”

Nautilus Institute: Opium And Heroin Production

Wikipedia: “Mohammed Omar”

Wikipedia: “US involvement in Contras”

Cost Of War

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2 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Heroin and Afghanistan

  1. bigup says:

    so, ever used?

  2. Cameron Reilly says:

    nope

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