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It had to be one of the weirdest displays the Russian president had ever seen. Laid out on a table were a mound of walnuts, a chess set, an old tire and an anatomically correct dummy - all stuffed with little baggies of imitation heroin. Titled "The Deadly Harvest," the exhibit was meant to show the clever ways smugglers have of getting Afghan heroin into Russia, which has become the world's largest consumer of opiates from Afghanistan since the U.S. began its war there in 2001. President Dmitry Medvedev stared at the objects and shook his head grimly. Behind him, wearing equally somber expressions, stood a group of Russian officials who would spend the day, June 9, lambasting the U.S. and NATO for not doing more to stop these little baggies from getting into the hands of Russia's youth.
“It’s near-impossible to find anyone in Afghanistan who doesn’t believe the US are funding the Taliban: and it’s the highly educated Afghan professionals, those employed by ISAF, USAID, international media organizations – and even advising US diplomats – who seem the most convinced,” reports the Guardian today. “The US has an interest in prolonging the conflict so as to stay in Afghanistan for the long term,” said one Afghan.
Since the US led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, the Golden Crescent opium trade has soared.
Opium Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan
2001 185 Tons
2002 3400 Tons
2003 3600 Tons
Afghanistan now supplies over 90 percent of the world’s heroin, generating nearly $200 billion in revenue. Since the U.S. invasion on Oct. 7, 2001, opium output has increased 33-fold (to over 8,250 metric tons a year).
I went to Paris and interviewed retired general Maurice Belleux, the former head of the French equivalent of the CIA, an organization called SDECE [Service de Documentation Exterieure et du Contre-Espionage]. In an amazing interview he told me that French military intelligence had financed all their covert operations from the control of the Indochina drug trade. [The French protected opium trafficking in Laos and northern Vietnam during the colonial war that raged from 1946 to the French defeat in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu.]
The French paratroopers fighting with hill tribes collected the opium and French aircraft would fly the opium down to Saigon and the Sino-Vietnamese mafia that was the instrument of French intelligence would then distribute the opium. The central bank accounts, the sharing of the profits, was all controlled by French military intelligence.
Common sense suggests that such prolific trade over an extended period of time is no accident, especially when the history of what has transpired in that region is considered.
The U.S. has been in Afghanistan for over seven years, has spent $177 billion in that country alone, and has the most powerful and technologically advanced military on Earth. GPS tracking devices can locate any spot imaginable by simply pushing a few buttons.
Still, bumper crops keep flourishing year after year, even though heroin production is a laborious, intricate process. The poppies must be planted, grown and harvested; then after the morphine is extracted it has to be cooked, refined, packaged into bricks and transported from rural locales across national borders. To make heroin from morphine requires another 12-14 hours of laborious chemical reactions. Thousands of people are involved, yet—despite the massive resources at our disposal—heroin keeps flowing at record levels.
Originally posted by Exuberant1
Drugs can be used as a weapon.
By controlling the supply, you also get to control where the weapon (drug) winds up being deployed and to what extent.