Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

Heroin, a key “achievement” of the Afghanistan War

The key question is this: what are our servicemen dying for? There are glib answers to that: bringing democracy and development to Afghanistan, supporting the government of President Hamid Karzai in its attempt to establish order in the country, fighting the Taliban and preventing the further spread of radical Islam into Pakistan.

But do these answers stand up to close analysis? There was a logic to attacking Afghanistan after 9/11. Afghanistan was indeed the headquarters of Osama Bin Laden and his organization, who had been installed and financed there by the CIA to fight the Soviets from 1979 until 1989.

The operation to remove Bin Laden was one thing. Six years of occupation are clearly another.

In six years, the occupation has wrought one massive transformation in Afghanistan, a development so huge that it has increased Afghan GDP by 66 per cent and constitutes 40 per cent of the entire economy. That is a startling achievement, by any standards.

The achievement is the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.

The Taliban had reduced the opium crop to precisely nil. I would not advocate their methods for doing this, which involved lopping bits, often vital bits, off people. But one of the things they were vehemently against was opium.

Now we are occupying the country, that has changed. According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger.

Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It now exports heroin.

How can this have happened, and on this scale? The answer is simple. The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government, the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect.

[Excerpts of an article by a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan]

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4 Responses to “Heroin, a key “achievement” of the Afghanistan War”

  1. Heroin is not a key to anything. It seriously kills people!

  2. […] to restore and control the world’s largest supply of opium for the world heroin markets, and to use the drugs as a geopolitical weapon against opponents, […]

  3. […] Western diplomats often accuse Ahmad Wali Karzai of having links to Afghanistan’s booming opium industry, charges Karzai routinely […]

  4. […] three, we might as well have put the Taliban–who’d had some success in getting rid of opium–back in […]


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