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Russia Alleges that NATO Aiding Afghan Heroin Production

Comment: the refusal by the Marines to destroy the crop should not be surprising in and of itself. The impoverished Afghan farmers depend on it for income and in the “battle for hearts and minds,” that is an important consideration. Considering that other options are available, such as purchasing the opium to make medical morphine, and that evidence exists that President Karzai’s cabinet are involved with the trade, the NATO denial is to be taken with a grain of salt.

In addition, the heroic work of Daniel Hopsicker has indicated that elements of U.S. and Western intelligence continue to profit from the drug trade.

“Russia: U.S. Aiding Afghan Drug Trade”; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; 4/5/2010.

Russia has accused the United States of “conniving” with Afghan drug producers by not destroying opium crops as U.S. troops advance in Helmand Province, one of the major opium growing regions.

The allegation, which came in a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, was the second time this week that Moscow has criticized the West over the opium issue. NATO rejected the charge and said Russia could help by providing more troops to combat the insurgency.

U.S. Marines in Helmand Province have told villagers that they will not destroy this year’s crops. In the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, which was captured by U.S. troops last month, the U.S. offered to pay poppy farmers to destroy their own crops and provide seed for them to plant other crops next year.

Afghanistan produces over 90 percent of the world’s opium.

Discussion

One comment for “Russia Alleges that NATO Aiding Afghan Heroin Production”

  1. Context for this page:

    From May 2001:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/20/world/taliban-s-ban-on-poppy-a-success-us-aides-say.html

    Taliban’s Ban On Poppy A Success, U.S. Aides Say
    By BARBARA CROSSETTE
    Published: May 20, 2001

    The first American narcotics experts to go to Afghanistan under Taliban rule have concluded that the movement’s ban on opium-poppy cultivation appears to have wiped out the world’s largest crop in less than a year, officials said today.

    The American findings confirm earlier reports from the United Nations drug control program that Afghanistan, which supplied about three-quarters of the world’s opium and most of the heroin reaching Europe, had ended poppy planting in one season.

    But the eradication of poppies has come at a terrible cost to farming families, and experts say it will not be known until the fall planting season begins whether the Taliban can continue to enforce it.

    ”It appears that the ban has taken effect,” said Steven Casteel, assistant administrator for intelligence at the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington.

    The findings came in part from a Pakistan-based agent of the administration who was one of the two Americans on the team just returned from eight days in the poppy-growing areas of Afghanistan.

    Posted by R. Wilson | July 7, 2012, 6:49 pm

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