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  • The U.S. has allegedly helped Afghan drug traffickers increase their production and to traffic heroin.

    The U.S. has allegedly helped Afghan drug traffickers increase their production and to traffic heroin. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 April 2015

The production of opium increased 40-fold in the 13 years of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and thanks to CIA covert aid.

U.S. security and intelligence agencies have frequently been accused of aiding drug traffickers around the world and also of exacerbating the crime through intervention. Such is the case in Afghanistan, were the production of opium has increased “forty-fold” in the 13 years of the U.S. intervention in the Asian country.

“Unfortunately, the failed policy of Washington did not solve, but on the contrary exacerbated, the existing problems,” Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council, said while addressing the heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Security Council.

The Russian official also said that Washington's objective of destroying al-Qaida was not accomplished.

The U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, also known as Operation Enduring Freedom, lasted for over 13 years and officially ended in December 2014, although currently thousands of NATO troops are still in Afghanistan as part of a peacekeeping mission. Also, recently, the United States and Afghanistan signed a long-delayed security deal that will allow nearly 10,000 American troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond the final withdrawal of U.S. and international soldiers.

Extremist organizations in Afghanistan benefit from lax law enforcement and take advantage of their locations in northern Afghanistan to enter neighboring central Asian countries, he added.

Afghanistan is the largest opium poppy production and distribution country in the world, supplying more than 90 percent of the global crop.

The United Nations recently reported that opium cultivation in Afghanistan had increased by 7 percent in 2014, hitting a record high, despite the costly U.S.-led efforts to battle the production.

The head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov, said the area of poppy plantations in Afghanistan has grown at levels that pose a threat worldwide.

"The transit of heroin from Afghanistan though the Islamic State-controlled territory is huge financial sponsorship. According to our estimates, the IS makes up to US$1 billion on Afghan heroin trafficked through its territory," Ivanov said.

(Photo: Reuters)

CIA Involvement

“Of course, the CIA’s connections to the drug trade in Afghanistan go back a long way, so it’s no surprise that the U.S. war in Afghanistan has facilitated and expanded opium-poppy production,” wrote author and reporter Jon Rappoport on Global Research April 7.

“The CIA was arming and advising heroin-trafficking guerrillas in Afghanistan. Its preferred leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, became for a period one of the leading heroin suppliers in the world,” Rappoport added. His article also cites the essay, “Drugs, Contras, and the CIA,” by Peter Dale Scott:

“In 1979, when the U.S. first established contact with heroin-trafficking guerrillas in Afghanistan, no heroin from the so-called Golden Crescent on the Afghan-Pakistan border was known to reach the United States. By 1984, according to the Reagan Administration, 54 percent of the heroin reaching this country came from the Afghan-Pakistan border.”

Peter Dale Scott’s essay mentions the fact the a former CIA officer, John Millis, was in charge of supplying cover CIA aid to the heroin-trafficking guerrillas in Afghanistan.

“At least one of the airlines involved in the Afghan support operation, Global International Airways, was also named in connection with the (U.S.) Iran-Contra scandal.” Rappoport concludes: “The war against drugs? A towering joke.”

A UN Report

According to United Nations report, 2014 was a banner year for Afghanistan’s booming opium industry, as production increased 7 percent. Production was up 50 percent from 2012.

Author Mike Whitney wrote an article for Counterpunch in November 2014, stating that Taliban had virtually eradicated poppy production before the United States launched the intervention in 2001.

“The Pentagon reversed that achievement by installing the same bloodthirsty warlords who had been in power before the Taliban. Naturally, this collection of psychopaths–who the western media lauded as the 'Northern Alliance' –picked up where they left off and resumed their drug operations boosting their own wealth and power by many orders of magnitude while meeting the near-insatiable demand for heroin in capitals across Europe and America,” he wrote.

Afghan President

Afghanistan's president, Ashraf Ghani, who is said to be a puppet of the White House, will more than likely refrain from waging a drug war against poppy growers or drug traffickers, Washington-based writer Mike Whitney wrote.

“There’s no reason to think that Ghani is going to be any tougher on poppy growers or drug traffickers than (his predecessor Hamid) Karzai. The whole thing is a joke,” he criticized. “Besides, Ghani doesn’t have the resources to wage that kind of war.”

He also assured that the United States has no interest in a drug war in Afghanistan, because the production and trafficking of narcotics helps the U.S. achieve its strategic goals in that country, which is “to pacify the public, to maintain the loyalty of the warlords, and to open the country to resource extraction and military bases. As long as the warlords get their payola, the U.S. is able to maintain some control over the hinterland beyond Kabul, which is a big part of the gameplan.”

The CIA Connection

The extent of CIA and French intelligence (SDECE) collusion with the French Connection and with the Chinese drugs lords of southeast Asia was exposed in 1972 by U.S. historian Alfred W. McCoy in his book “The Politics of Heroin: CIA involvement in the Global Drug Trade.”

The CIA has frequently been connected with the rise or even the origin of drug production and trafficking in many countries.

Whitney wrote that due to the CIA's involvement in trafficking sent production and smuggling through the roof. This is what happened in southeast Asia in the 1960s and in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It is also what caused the Latin American cocaine trade to explode.

The CIA allied itself with Colombian drug traffickers to support the right-wing Contra war in Nicaragua to overthrow the left-wing Sandinista government.

Thanks to the CIA, the Contras also became heavily involved in cocaine trade, as did various Salvadoran right-wing paramilitary groups.

The CIA turned Mexico into the main corridor of cocaine from Colombia to the United States. And in fact, according to Whitney, the CIA worked with Mexican drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, helping him become one of the country's most powerful drug traffickers.

U.S. prize-winning investigative journalist Gary Webb, who killed himself in 2004 after his life was destroyed by U.S. intelligence agencies, also widely and conclusively exposed the CIA's involvement in drug trade.

What's worse, the CIA knew and most probably helped plan, the the cocaine that was being sold in the United States was also being converted into crack or smokeable rock, which addicted many black communities in the Los Angeles area to begin with and then spread across the U.S.

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