RealNews

Warlords and drug lords

Europe, from France to Russia, Central Asia, including all the former Soviet Muslim republics, the Middle East and South Asia are awash in Afghan heroin. The 13 warlords who now control Afghanistan have divvied up the moolah from a bumper crop of some 5,000 tons of opium that generates almost $100 million a year. Opium becomes heroin in purification labs in neighboring Iran, Turkey and Eastern Europe. Street value at the final point of sale is worth several billion dollars. President Hamid Karzai’s writ does not extend much beyond Kabul. His directives to the warlord-governors are promptly ignored. International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops are confined to the capital and U.S. Special Forces are too busy chasing Taliban and al Qaeda operatives who have reinfiltrated from Pakistan to worry about warlords feeding expensive drug habits in other parts of the world. Under the medieval Taliban regime of flat-Earth clerics, an Afghan family in opium poppy cultivation averaged $750. For its first four years in power, Taliban used the poppy to buy the allegiance of warlords and fund its own activities as well as al Qaeda’s. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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