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International | Drug War

The U.S. Alliance with Afghanistan and Pakistan has stimulated the Drug Trade worldwide
by Michael Webster Investigative Reporter
Monday Aug 25th, 2008 3:38 PM
Critic’s of both of the Bush administrations claim that the U.S., may have directly or indirectly, helped to fund the WTC attacks. George Bush, Sr. was in charge of all U.S. intelligence and narcotics operations from 1981 through 1989. It was Bush (the elder) who directly nourished and nurtured bin Laden's evolution.
By Michael Webster: Investigative
Reporter Aug 25, 2008 at 12:30 PM PDT

The U.S. alliance with Afghanistan and Pakistan has brought huge revenues to drug formers, drug dealers, insurgences and terrorist in the entire region.

According to news reports in the past financial connections between Bush Republicans and Osama bin Laden go way back and the political and economic connections have remained unbroken for 25 years. And what appears to be a "new" alliance with Pakistan is merely a new manifestation of a decades-long partnership in the drug trade.

As reported last year in the Laguna Journal, the drugs raised in Afghanistan finds its way via smuggling routes into markets in both Europe and the United States where they are sold. In turn millions of dollars and Eros are used to fund terrorist and their terror, not only in Afghanistan but around the world. Most of these same terrorist drug organizations that fuel the terror network also help to fund the current Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Part of this illicit cash provides operating capital for international terrorist Osama Bin Laden and others. Much of those profits also line the pockets of corrupt government officials in both countries.
 Google or click on: Global Terrorist And Drug Trafficking Cartels

Drug czar John Walters has acknowledged that “the struggle between narco-trafficking has to be linked with the fight against terrorism” because “drug-trafficking groups contribute to the financing of corruption and terrorism.”
The Mexican drug cartels now believed to be working with international terrorist is the most pervasive organizational threat to the United States.

These new combined international drug trafficking organizations are complex organizations with highly defined command-and-control structures that produce, transport, and/or distribute large quantities of Afghanistan illicit drugs to U.S. cities.

Along with forecasting another near-record opium harvest in Afghanistan this year, the United Nations says that cultivation of cannabis, or marijuana, is also on the rise.
Afghanistan was already one of the world's leading marijuana producers, and farmers in 2007 are estimated to have expanded their cannabis crops by almost 30 percent over 2006. In its latest report, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime warns that even more marijuana will likely be grown in 2008.

Meanwhile, the opium news remains grim. While opium production in 2008 might decline slightly from 2007's records levels, the output continues to rise steeply in the southern provinces, which account for 69 percent of the country's total crop. Most of the heroin made from Afghanistan's opium poppies eventually makes it way to Europe and the western hemisphere, and is fueling the rise in heroin addiction worldwide.  

AP reported just today that over 1.2 tons of opium was seized in Afghanistan. Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says its troops have confiscated 1.3 tons of opium in southern Afghanistan. In the statement the ministry said its counter-narcotics force seized the drugs during a raid in Marjah district of Helmand province last week. Three smugglers were detained.

Helmand is the world's largest producer of opium, the main ingredient in the production of heroin. Afghanistan last year accounted for 93 percent of the world's opium supply. In 2007 it produced 9,920 tons of opium.

According to Maseh Zarif for Diplomatic Courier points out that “legal prosecution of narcotic traffickers in both countries is wholly dependent on competent judicial systems including incorruptible police, lawyers, and judges.”  The amount of drug cash flowing into Wall Street and U.S. banks was estimated to be around $250-$300 billion a year. The history of the drug trade in Central Asia is intimately related to the CIA's covert operations.

Critic’s of both of the Bush administrations claim that the U.S., may have directly or indirectly, helped to fund the WTC attacks. George Bush, Sr. was in charge of all U.S. intelligence and narcotics operations from 1981 through 1989. It was Bush (the elder) who directly nourished and nurtured bin Laden's evolution.

The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Afghanistan last month spoke of criminal networks that maneuver for the release of drug trafficking suspects from pre-trial detention with a single cell phone call. With a process that painless, it is not difficult to assume that these are the same networks with political connections up to the highest level of government in Kabul.

According to the State Department's former coordinator for counter-narcotic strategy in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai instructed the attorney general to refrain from prosecuting senior government officials accused of corruption, and in some cases collusion in the drug trade, "for political reasons."
 
Recent developments give hope to the prospect of cooperation in combating the flow of narcotics across Asia and the Middle East. Coalition warships in the Arabian Gulf, consisting of the US and British navies, seized over 30 tons of narcotics in the past few months according to a recent US Navy statement. In the United Arab Emirates this week, police seized nearly US$11 million worth of heroin and arrested 19 Afghan suspects in connection with the seizure. Even the military dictatorship regime in Burma got into the act, claiming the arrest of over 300 traffickers and multiple opium seizures during the month of July.

European nations with diplomatic contact in Tehran, some whose troops in NATO are fighting the very same Taliban financed in part by the drug trade, would do well to openly raise their concerns over regional narcotic trafficking with the Iranians. Another immediate neighbor, Pakistan, also needs to take ownership of its complicity in the regional drug trade. As a Brookings Institution senior expert on the Middle East and South Asia recently noted, "If 90 percent of the world's heroin is grown in Afghanistan, almost all of it is shipped through the Port of Karachi."

US pressure on Pakistan to chase drug trafficking within its borders and on its shores is imperative. The billions of dollars being wired through the US Defense Department to the government in Islamabad for anti-terrorist assistance can be leveraged for greater cooperation on this front.

The Taliban and affiliated insurgents, who roam freely in the tribal border areas in western Pakistan, directly profit from the opium trade. These groups may be able to eventually recover from the financial repercussions of a disrupted drug trade, but it would nonetheless knock them off balance and debilitate their ability to readily procure the resources necessary to inflict the kind of damage witnessed at the Indian Embassy bombing in Kabul or the recent bridge bombing in Peshawar. Indeed, Pakistan must remain an ally and conducive to US interests in the region.

However, a little tough love diplomacy with Islamabad in the context of counter-narcotic strategy is warranted under the circumstances.

For Related articles by Michael Webster click on or Google: http://www.lagunajournal.com  

Sources:
U.S. State Department
Drug czar John Walters
DEA
United Nations
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Maseh Zarif for Diplomatic Courier
Brookings Institution
Afghanistan's Interior Ministry
US Defense Department
AP
Indian Embassy