The United States, since famously waging its “war on drugs” during the Nixon administration, has only seen an enormous boom in drug trafficking around the world. The profits from this black market have gone to fuel oppressive regimes and agencies, often funneled through legitimate American businesses, including large banks like Wachovia.
As David Williams of The Daily Mail reports, the drug war in Afghanistan has fared no differently than the drug wars in Central and South America, as it has generated enormous funding for the Taliban, with whom the U.S. recently has been reported to be negotiating:
The West is losing the heroin war in Afghanistan – ten years after Tony Blair pledged that wiping out the drug was one of the main reasons for invading the country.
Despite spending £18billion and a conflict which has so far cost the lives of almost 400 British troops, production of the class-A drug by Afghan farmers rose between 2001 and 2011 from just 185 tons to a staggering 5,800 tons.
It increased by 61 per cent last year alone.
Such has been the failure to combat the problem that more than 90 per cent of the heroin sold on Britain’s streets is still made using opium from Afghanistan.
Read the full article here.
For those of us who aren’t familiar with Afghanistan’s narcotics history, there is an extremely thorough coverage found at Truth Booth Online. The blog gives a detail of recent history, current to 2007:
The United Nations says Afghanistan’s latest opium harvest is the biggest ever. The harvest was 6,100 metric tons (enough for 610 tons of heroin), an increase of nearly 50 percent from the year before. This is 92 percent of the world total and 30 percent more than global consumption. Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN’s drug office, says, “It is indeed very bad, you can say it is out of control.” He says the Taliban have profited from the drug trade, and they promise protection to growers who expand their operations. 400,000 acres were planted with poppies in 2006; about ten percent of these poppy fields were destroyed by the Afghan government’s eradication program. About five percent was destroyed in the previous year.