World
Nikolai Malishevski
April 10, 2013
© Photo: Public domain

Victor Ivanov, Director of the Federal Service for Drug Control, has said the heroin production in Afghanistan has increased forty times since the NATO-led operation started. The drugs produced since the Enduring Freedom was launched have resulted in the death of over one million people. «Afghan heroin has killed more than 1 million people worldwide since the ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ began and over a trillion dollars has been invested into transnational organized crime from drug sales», Viktor Ivanov said a few days ago at the conference on the drug situation in Afghanistan. He noted that in reality the figure may be much higher. Robert Pszczel, head of the NATO Information Office in Moscow, said, «NATO is not responsible for the drug problem in Afghanistan». According to him, the organization has no relation to the drug trafficking in Russia, Afghanistan or Iran; it has no relation to the problem of drug flows crossing the borders of the Russian Federation. It should be noted, the proposals on cooperation with NATO on fighting drugs trafficking have been put forward by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). They are still in force. Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, constantly emphasizes this fact at the Security Council sessions while the alliance continues to ignore the initiatives. 

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the revenue from opium production in Afghanistan soared by 133 percent in 2011 to about $1.4 billion, or about one-tenth of the country's GDP. It doubles annually for a number of years. The UN data says the annual world drug trafficking accounts for over $500-600 billion, the profit generated by Afghanistan-produced opium trade is second only to the income received from oil and arms sales.

As some Western experts say, US special services are a major driving force behind this illegal business, while the major source of drugs remains to be Afghanistan – the country occupied by US-led forces. According to Alfred McCoy, professor of Southeast and Asian History at the University of Wisconsin and author of The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, «Once the heroin left these labs in Pakistan's northwest frontier, the Sicilian Mafia imported the drugs into the US, where they soon captured 60% of the US heroin market». He points out that by 1981, 30 year ago and two years after the CIA launched an operation in the country, Afghanistan — via Pakistan — had become the world's largest supplier of heroin. According to McCoy, the US turned a blind eye on their Afghan allies activities because it was focused on the mission of countering the Soviet Union, «If their local allies were involved in narcotics trafficking, it didn’t trouble [the] CIA. They were willing to keep working with people who were heavily involved in narcotics». In 1995 the former CIA Director of this Afghan operation, Mr. Charles Cogan, admitted sacrificing the drug war to fight the Cold War». Our main mission was to do as much damage to the Soviets. We didn't really have the resources or the time to devote to an investigation of the drug trade, he told Australian television. «I don't think that we need to apologize for this. Every situation has its fallout. There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes, but the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan».

Today the Western media writes about exponential expansion of poppy fields during the Taliban rule. In reality the rapid poppy growth started only after Afghanistan was occupied by Americans… Here is the data on opium production for the period since the Western coalition intervened in Afghanistan (in metric tons):

2001 – 0.185 (the Taliban was still in power)

2002 – 2.700 

2003 – 3.400 

2004– 4.200 

2005 – 4.100 

2007 – 8.200 

2008 – 7.700 

2009– 6.900 

2010 –3.600 

2011– 5.800 …

It’s quite possible the data is underreported (perhaps by 2-3 times), because the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report says the poppy production reached its peak in 2007 having grown 100 times. The total size of land used for opium poppy in Afghanistan today exceeds the size of land used for coca growth in Columbia, Peru and Bolivia together. The one hectare net profit is over $10.700. It gives impetus to increasing the cultivation. As the United Nations says, Afghanistan accounts for over 93% of world opium trade. 

Not a single heroin producing laboratory has been eliminated since the anti-terrorist operation was launched 12 years ago. To the contrary, new opium processing plants have appeared in the provinces of Nangarhar, Khost, Helmand, Kunar, Balkh and Kunduz to produce morphine and heroin. A net of banks has been created to provide services to opium producers while mineral fertilizers and precursors (ingredients to produce heroin) have been imported from chemical plants in Pakistan. 

Major General Naushad Ahmed Kayani, head of the Directorate-General for the Military Intelligence, has said when the Taliban came to power the opium production first grew to 4600 metric tons a year to fall to 185 tons during the final days of its rule. Back then it was mainly produced in the province of Badakhshan under the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. The Taliban took some unpopular steps to stop the production. Then the international forces intervened and the opium poppy fields expanded to 76000 hectares. Then, according to Pakistani military intelligence data, the fields extended to occupy 131000 hectares. 

Today millions of Afghans are involved in drugs cultivation, processing and delivery of heroin to distributors. The trade turnover is a sky high index for the backward country. The British controlled area is of special attraction to drug dealers, the UK has rich historic experience of being involved in opium wars for centuries… 

The spread of opium based narcotics, mainly heroin, in the countries of Europe and Asia results in death toll comparable to the world wars. The specific feature of these substances is rapid physical and psychological addiction. Opium, morphine and heroin are the strongest among substances affecting humans. The addiction leads to irreversible alterations and, practically, cannot be cured. 

Then NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer used to say the elimination of poppy fields was not a mission for NATO. Now the drugs coming from Afghanistan make up for over 35% of United States drug market. The figure is 80% for the United Kingdom. At that, Washington has officially deleted the «pacified» Afghanistan from the black list of drug producers. The US President has said it meets the national interests. 

The Afghan drug dealers used Western help in creating a satellite communications network providing for top secrecy while preparing drugs transportation to the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. According to United Nations, there are large-scale storages built in Eastern Europe, which serve as springboards for spreading heroin across the whole continent. It is done in conformity with the best traditions of free market under the close scrutiny of democracy champions from the United States and NATO. 

The invisible drugs war is not limited by Central Asia. The Belarus Health Ministry says there are around 55 thousand drug addicts in the country. The number keeps on growing from year to year, the affected become younger. The official December 2012 data says 60-70% of 15-35 year old Russian people die being victims of drug addiction. The Afghan «dushman» and their Western protectors continue to wage wars against the nations of former Soviet Union. It’s only change of ways and methods that we witness, but the nefarious activities never stop.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
Heroin Peacekeeping

Victor Ivanov, Director of the Federal Service for Drug Control, has said the heroin production in Afghanistan has increased forty times since the NATO-led operation started. The drugs produced since the Enduring Freedom was launched have resulted in the death of over one million people. «Afghan heroin has killed more than 1 million people worldwide since the ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ began and over a trillion dollars has been invested into transnational organized crime from drug sales», Viktor Ivanov said a few days ago at the conference on the drug situation in Afghanistan. He noted that in reality the figure may be much higher. Robert Pszczel, head of the NATO Information Office in Moscow, said, «NATO is not responsible for the drug problem in Afghanistan». According to him, the organization has no relation to the drug trafficking in Russia, Afghanistan or Iran; it has no relation to the problem of drug flows crossing the borders of the Russian Federation. It should be noted, the proposals on cooperation with NATO on fighting drugs trafficking have been put forward by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). They are still in force. Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, constantly emphasizes this fact at the Security Council sessions while the alliance continues to ignore the initiatives. 

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the revenue from opium production in Afghanistan soared by 133 percent in 2011 to about $1.4 billion, or about one-tenth of the country's GDP. It doubles annually for a number of years. The UN data says the annual world drug trafficking accounts for over $500-600 billion, the profit generated by Afghanistan-produced opium trade is second only to the income received from oil and arms sales.

As some Western experts say, US special services are a major driving force behind this illegal business, while the major source of drugs remains to be Afghanistan – the country occupied by US-led forces. According to Alfred McCoy, professor of Southeast and Asian History at the University of Wisconsin and author of The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, «Once the heroin left these labs in Pakistan's northwest frontier, the Sicilian Mafia imported the drugs into the US, where they soon captured 60% of the US heroin market». He points out that by 1981, 30 year ago and two years after the CIA launched an operation in the country, Afghanistan — via Pakistan — had become the world's largest supplier of heroin. According to McCoy, the US turned a blind eye on their Afghan allies activities because it was focused on the mission of countering the Soviet Union, «If their local allies were involved in narcotics trafficking, it didn’t trouble [the] CIA. They were willing to keep working with people who were heavily involved in narcotics». In 1995 the former CIA Director of this Afghan operation, Mr. Charles Cogan, admitted sacrificing the drug war to fight the Cold War». Our main mission was to do as much damage to the Soviets. We didn't really have the resources or the time to devote to an investigation of the drug trade, he told Australian television. «I don't think that we need to apologize for this. Every situation has its fallout. There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes, but the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan».

Today the Western media writes about exponential expansion of poppy fields during the Taliban rule. In reality the rapid poppy growth started only after Afghanistan was occupied by Americans… Here is the data on opium production for the period since the Western coalition intervened in Afghanistan (in metric tons):

2001 – 0.185 (the Taliban was still in power)

2002 – 2.700 

2003 – 3.400 

2004– 4.200 

2005 – 4.100 

2007 – 8.200 

2008 – 7.700 

2009– 6.900 

2010 –3.600 

2011– 5.800 …

It’s quite possible the data is underreported (perhaps by 2-3 times), because the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report says the poppy production reached its peak in 2007 having grown 100 times. The total size of land used for opium poppy in Afghanistan today exceeds the size of land used for coca growth in Columbia, Peru and Bolivia together. The one hectare net profit is over $10.700. It gives impetus to increasing the cultivation. As the United Nations says, Afghanistan accounts for over 93% of world opium trade. 

Not a single heroin producing laboratory has been eliminated since the anti-terrorist operation was launched 12 years ago. To the contrary, new opium processing plants have appeared in the provinces of Nangarhar, Khost, Helmand, Kunar, Balkh and Kunduz to produce morphine and heroin. A net of banks has been created to provide services to opium producers while mineral fertilizers and precursors (ingredients to produce heroin) have been imported from chemical plants in Pakistan. 

Major General Naushad Ahmed Kayani, head of the Directorate-General for the Military Intelligence, has said when the Taliban came to power the opium production first grew to 4600 metric tons a year to fall to 185 tons during the final days of its rule. Back then it was mainly produced in the province of Badakhshan under the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. The Taliban took some unpopular steps to stop the production. Then the international forces intervened and the opium poppy fields expanded to 76000 hectares. Then, according to Pakistani military intelligence data, the fields extended to occupy 131000 hectares. 

Today millions of Afghans are involved in drugs cultivation, processing and delivery of heroin to distributors. The trade turnover is a sky high index for the backward country. The British controlled area is of special attraction to drug dealers, the UK has rich historic experience of being involved in opium wars for centuries… 

The spread of opium based narcotics, mainly heroin, in the countries of Europe and Asia results in death toll comparable to the world wars. The specific feature of these substances is rapid physical and psychological addiction. Opium, morphine and heroin are the strongest among substances affecting humans. The addiction leads to irreversible alterations and, practically, cannot be cured. 

Then NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer used to say the elimination of poppy fields was not a mission for NATO. Now the drugs coming from Afghanistan make up for over 35% of United States drug market. The figure is 80% for the United Kingdom. At that, Washington has officially deleted the «pacified» Afghanistan from the black list of drug producers. The US President has said it meets the national interests. 

The Afghan drug dealers used Western help in creating a satellite communications network providing for top secrecy while preparing drugs transportation to the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. According to United Nations, there are large-scale storages built in Eastern Europe, which serve as springboards for spreading heroin across the whole continent. It is done in conformity with the best traditions of free market under the close scrutiny of democracy champions from the United States and NATO. 

The invisible drugs war is not limited by Central Asia. The Belarus Health Ministry says there are around 55 thousand drug addicts in the country. The number keeps on growing from year to year, the affected become younger. The official December 2012 data says 60-70% of 15-35 year old Russian people die being victims of drug addiction. The Afghan «dushman» and their Western protectors continue to wage wars against the nations of former Soviet Union. It’s only change of ways and methods that we witness, but the nefarious activities never stop.