View Full Version : The Afghan War: "No Blood for Opium" The Hidden Military Agenda is to Protect the Drug Trade

Magda Hassan
04-23-2010, 06:40 AM
The Afghan War: "No Blood for Opium"
The Hidden Military Agenda is to Protect the Drug Trade

By Dr. John Jiggens

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18768 (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103333283646&s=793&e=001E_VbvuO9bRIp_LRjsFuiDO_KVOatlIU16I4BAQz6lZpju bYFtYPAOaL6ewgGC2N9FVjIZIKK2mmWaDS2ub_3fMI4cnhndHO e8_Ax8Pd2iO003NC15twpsC2-ab25IIrDh0IesSpDjUvQcuQlwLvVOKTW583pD-D43M5p_KZJ0G4=)

Global Research (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103333283646&s=793&e=001E_VbvuO9bRI3v76mcQU5a5Nw_ckadK3iQKsf8Wem7iwG9 Mq1y9tmYG1llfUDa6qtl44ipLUi-V1ySjWw09kx-pmpE4GbhGv9vIvhs7JEhBprLWM7F2TyVQ==), April 21, 2010

It was common during the opening of the Iraq war to see slogans proclaiming No blood for oil! The cover story for the war Saddams links with Al Qaida and his weapons of mass destruction were obvious mass deceptions, hiding a far less palatable imperial agenda. The truth was that Iraq was a major producer of oil and, in our age, the Age of Oil, oil is the most strategic resource of all. For many it was obvious that the real agenda of the war was an imperialistic grab for Iraqi oil. This was confirmed when Iraqs state-owned oil company was privatised to western interests in the aftermath of the invasion.

Why then are there no slogans saying No blood for opium!? Afghanistans major product is opium and opium production has increased remarkably during the present war. The current NATO action around Marjah is clearly motivated by opium. It is reported to be Afghanistans main opium-producing area. Why then wont people consider that the real agenda of the Afghan war has been control of the opium trade?

The weapons of mass deception tell us that the opium belongs to the Taliban and that the US is fighting a war on drugs as well as terror. Yet it remains a curious fact that the opium trade has tracked across Southern Asia for the past five decades from east to west, following US wars, and always under the control of US assets.

In the 1960s, when the US fought a secret war in Laos using the Hmong opium army of Vang Pao as its proxy, Southeast Asia produced 70% of the worlds illicit opium. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Afghanistan production, controlled by US-backed drug lords, took off, till it rivalled Southeast Asian production. Since 2002, Afghan opium production, encouraged by both the Taliban and US-backed drug lords, has reached 93% of world illicit production, an unparalleled performance.

The graph below from the UN World Drug Report 2008 shows the astonishing increase in Afghan opium production that followed the US invasion.


In the 1980s the US supported Islamic fundamentalists, the Mujahideen, against the Soviets in Afghanistan. To pay for their war, the Mujahideen ordered peasants to grow opium as a revolutionary tax. Across the border in Pakistan, Afghan leaders and local syndicates, under the protection of Pakistani Intelligence, operated hundreds of heroin labs. As the Golden Crescent in Southwest Asia eclipsed the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia as the centre of the heroin trade, it sent rates of addiction spiralling in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and the Soviet Union.

To hide US complicity in the drug trade, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers were required to look away from the drug-dealing intrigues of the US allies and the support they received from Pakistans Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) and the services of Pakistani banks. The CIAs mission was to destabilise the Soviet Union through the promotion of militant Islam inside the Central Asian Republics and they sacrificed the drug war to fight the Cold War. Their mission was to do as much damage as possible to the Soviets. Knowing the drug war would hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union, the CIA facilitated the operation of anti-Soviet rebels in the provinces of Uzbekistan, Chechnya and Georgia. Drugs were used to finance terrorism and western intelligence agencies used their control of drugs to influence political factions in Central Asia.

The Soviet army withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, leaving a civil war between the US-funded mujahideen and the Soviet-supported government that raged until 1992. In the chaos that followed the mujahideen victory, Afghanistan lapsed into a period of warlordism in which opium growing thrived.

The Taliban emerged from the chaos, dedicated to removing the war lords and applying a strict interpretation of Sharia law. They captured Kandahar in 1994, and expanded their control throughout Afghanistan, capturing Kabul in 1996, and declaring the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Under the policies of the Taliban government, opium production in Afghanistan was curbed. In September 1999, the Taliban authorities issued a decree, requiring all opium-growers in Afghanistan to reduce output by one-third. A second decree, issued in July 2000, required farmers to completely stop opium cultivation. Ordering the ban on opium growing, Taliban leader Mullah Omar called the drug trade un-Islamic.

As a result, 2001 was the worst year for global opium production in the period between 1990 and 2007. During the 1990s, global opium production averaged over 4000 tonnes. In 2001, opium production fell to less than 200 tonnes. Although it was not admitted by the Howard government, which claimed the credit itself, Australias 2001 heroin shortage was due to the Taliban.

Following the attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001, the armies of the northern alliance, led by US Special Forces, supported by daisy cutters, cluster bombs and bunker-busting missiles, shattered the Taliban forces in Afghanistan. The opium ban was lifted and, with CIA-backed warlords back in control, Afghanistan again became the major producer of opium. Despite the official denials, Hillary Mann Leverett, a former US National Security Council official for Afghanistan, confirmed that the US knew that government ministers in Afghanistan, including the minister of defence in 2002, were involved in drug trafficking.

After 2002 Afghan opium production rose to unheard of levels. By 2007, Afghanistan was producing enough heroin to supply the entire world. In 2009, Thomas Schweich, who served as US state department co-ordinator for counter-narcotics and justice reform for Afghanistan, accused President Hamid Karzai of impeding the war on drugs. Schweich also accused the Pentagon of obstructing attempts to get military forces to assist and protect opium crop eradication drives.

Schweich wrote in the New York Times that "narco-corruption went to the top of the Afghan government". He said Karzai was reluctant to move against big drug lords in his political power base in the south, where most of the country's opium and heroin is produced.

The most prominent of these suspected drug lords was Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of President Hamid Karzai. Ahmed Wali Karzai was said to have orchestrated the manufacture of hundreds of thousands of phony ballots for his brothers re-election effort in August 2009. He was also believed to have been responsible for setting up dozens of so-called ghost polling stations existing only on paper that were used to manufacture tens of thousands of phony ballots. US officials have criticised his mafia-like control of southern Afghanistan. The New York Times reported that the Obama administration had vowed to crack down on the drug lords who permeate the highest levels of President Karzais administration, and they pressed President Karzai to move his brother out of southern Afghanistan, but he refused to do so.

"Karzai was playing us like a fiddle," Schweich wrote. "The US would spend billions of dollars on infrastructure development; the US and its allies would fight the Taliban; Karzai's friends could get richer off the drug trade. Karzai had Taliban enemies who profited from drugs but he had even more supporters who did."

But who was playing who like a fiddle?

Was it the puppet President or the puppet masters who installed him?

As Douglas Valentine shows in his history of the War on Drugs, The Strength of the Pack, this never-ending war has been a phony contest, an arm wrestle between two arms of the US state, the DEA and the CIA; with the DEA vainly attempting to prosecute the war, while the CIA protects its drug-dealing assets.

During the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, European powers (chiefly the UK) and Japan used the opium trade to weaken and subjugate China. During the Twenty-First century, it seems that the opium weapon is being used against Iran, Russia and the former Soviet republics, which all face spiralling rate of addiction and covert US penetration as the Afghan War fuels central Asias heroin plague.

Magda Hassan
04-23-2010, 07:49 AM
All the recent BS about how they don't want to cause ruin to the poor Afghan farmers if they destroy their opium crop boo hoo. As if they are not destrying their lives and country by blowing them and it to smithereens. If they cared so much for the Afghani opium growers they could pay them not to grow anything for a year, just like the EU and US farmers subsidy, and put the lot of them and their associated business partner up at the Hilton for a year including 3 meals a day room service and massages and hair doos and still be economically way ahead than the cost of occupation. Of course it is all about the drugs and the black money and getting the Iranians and Russians addicted and and in chaos.

Jan Klimkowski
04-15-2013, 09:25 PM
Whoops - this wasn't meant to be disclosed until the "Coalition of the Willing" had left and handed Afghanistan back to the Taliban...

Afghanistan: high expectations of record opium crop

UN report reveals rapid growth of poppy farming as western troops get ready to withdraw, which reflects badly on Britain

Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/15/afghanistan-expectations-record-opium-crop), Monday 15 April 2013 09.00 BST
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An Afghan policeman destroying a poppy field in Kunar province, east of Kabul
An Afghan policeman destroys a poppy field in Kunar province: just 14 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces are 'poppy free'. Photograph: Rahmat Gul/AP

Twelve years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan is heading for a near-record opium crop as instability pushes up the amount of land planted with illegal but lucrative poppies, according to a bleak UN report.

The rapid growth of poppy farming as western troops head home reflects particularly badly on Britain, which was designated "lead nation" for counter-narcotics work over a decade ago.

"Poppy cultivation is not only expected to expand in areas where it already existed in 2012 … but also in new areas or areas where poppy cultivation was stopped," the Afghanistan Opium Winter Risk Assessment found.

The growth in opium cultivation reflects both spreading instability and concerns about the future. Farmers are more likely to plant the deadly crop in areas of high violence or where they have not received any agricultural aid, the report said.

Opium traders are often happy to provide seeds, fertilisers and even advance payments to encourage crops, leaving farmers who do not have western or government agricultural help very vulnerable to their inducements.

At the same time the more powerful figures in the drugs trade, from traffickers to corrupt government officials, who take over half the profit from each kilo of opium, have shrinking opportunities to earn money from Nato or international aid contracts – and may be preparing a war chest for upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

"Opium cultivation is up for the third successive year, and production is heading towards record levels," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Afghanistan head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. "People are hedging against an insecure future both politically and economically."

Just 14 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces are now "poppy free", down from 20 in 2010. In three provinces, the spring sowing was the first time this decade that farmers had risked an attempt at growing opium.

The only figures showing a fall in cultivation, for western Herat province, may actually be due to a statistics blip. The UN was forced to use external data last year instead of the satellite images that are usually the basis of poppy growing calculations, and local officials protested heavily that the opium crop there had been overestimated.

If this year's poppy fields are harvested without disruption, the country would likely regain its status as producer of 90% of the world's opium. Afghanistan's share of the deadly market slipped to around 75% after bad weather and a blight slashed production over the past two years.

But the decline in opium production also drove up prices, to a record $300 a kilogramme. Prices have now slipped by over $100 but are still far above historic levels, helping tempt more farmers to turn land over to poppy.

It seems unlikely that the poor harvests of the last year will be repeated; there have been no reports of blight and the exceptionally bitter winter of 2011-12 was followed this year by a milder one, creating expectations of a large crop.

The increase has come despite a marked improvement in Afghanistan's specialised counter-narcotics units, Lemahieu said. Fear of eradication has become a far more significant reason for farmers to stick to legal crops than in the past, the report found.

But overall the government and aid community has not prioritised efforts to cut back a crop and trade that feeds global markets for heroin, Lemahieu said, despite its corrosive effect on security, corruption and trust in Kabul.

Typical of the official neglect are the 22 "national priority programmes" drawn up by Kabul to focus aid money and diplomatic efforts on its key development concerns including justice and education. Counter-narcotics was not one of them, nor has it been put at the heart of the other programmes.

"We need to have counter-narcotics dealt with seriously by the entire government as well as the aid community," Lemahieu said. "One of the big missing links here is providing for the communities themselves."

Eradication programmes that do not provide farmers with benefits such as healthcare and education, and support growing other crops will just push the Taliban or other insurgent groups that do tolerate or encourage poppy production, he added.

David Guyatt
04-16-2013, 08:30 AM
Isn't it strange that those places the US choses to go to war, most often see a huge upsurge in the production and shipping of drugs?

Must just be coincidence I suppose.

Magda Hassan
07-12-2013, 03:19 AM
‘The finest poppy storage warehouse ever built for the Afghan army’By Max Fisher (http://www.washingtonpost.com/max-fisher/2012/10/10/9d0a891e-12e7-11e2-a16b-2c110031514a_page.html), Published: July 10 at 4:05 pm

U.S. Marines prepare to leave for operations from Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in June 2009. (Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. military has just finished construction on a state-of-the-art, $34 million military complex in southern Afghanistan that it will never use because it’s winding down operations in the country.
Maybe most amazing is the fact that the facility did not become suddenly useless; it’s been a boondoggle pretty much since the beginning. According to Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s story on the project at Camp Leatherneck (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/a-brand-new-us-military-headquarters-in-afghanistan-and-nobody-to-use-it/2013/07/09/2bb73728-e8cd-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211_story.html), local commanders objected back when it was first announced in 2009, saying they did not need or want the fancy upgrade.

Just this spring, months after it had become obvious that the facility would serve no purpose, the team working on it spent millions of dollars ordering crates of furniture to fill it. The project has been canceled, and now the Pentagon is trying to decide between bulldozing the complex to the ground or handing it over to Afghan forces, which have been troubled by accusations of corruption, including collusion in the country’s vast opium trade (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2010-01-31/opinions/36778718_1_afghan-corruption-afghan-border-police-fight-corruption). Military officials are currently leaning toward the former option. “It’s terribly embarrassing,” Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills said.You might say, well, the Obama administration had just announced its “surge” into southern Afghanistan, so maybe military planners thought they would eventually need it. But that would not explain why, after the surge ended in 2011, and even when the U.S. began drawing down last year, dramatically reversing Obama’s earlier plan for a lengthy engagement, the military continued to go forward with a facility to serve a policy that no longer existed. Even after the U.S. withdrew many thousands of troops from the region last year, seemingly obviating the need for a complex meant to house 1,500 troops who aren’t there and oversee tens of thousands more, construction and development continued.
Many of us outside the military are just now learning about the money-losing debacle so slow-motion it took four years to unfold. But at Camp Leatherneck – where, recall, the commanders had tried to refuse the facility – it was well-known enough that people developed jokes about it. A commenter passes one along (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/a-brand-new-us-military-headquarters-in-afghanistan-and-nobody-to-use-it/2013/07/09/2bb73728-e8cd-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211_comment.html?commentID=washingtonpost .com/7aa34ad4-0285-4eaa-a13d-2543569b45eb/), a reference to the lucrative plant used to produce opium: “That is the finest poppy storage warehouse ever built for the Afghan army.”
If you’re American, then I hope you enjoyed that joke, because it cost your country $34 million.

Jan Klimkowski
07-12-2013, 06:37 PM
‘The finest poppy storage warehouse ever built for the Afghan army’

Western "Nation building" in its purest expression.

Dawn Meredith
06-05-2014, 04:28 PM
Isn't it strange that those places the US choses to go to war, most often see a huge upsurge in the production and shipping of drugs?

Must just be coincidence I suppose.

Of course David. If it were true you'd see it all over the news.
Actually I have never heard a thing about this on mainstream news.
Another coincidence?

But it's allover the net.
I found some articles I wanted to post to fb but there was no share button.
Lots of links here. Pulled this one up on my first search.


Tracy Riddle
06-07-2014, 11:53 AM
They've got ways to market the war to any target audience. For liberals, tell them it's about "women's rights" - as if we can't leave Afghanistan until they have a League of Women Voters established in every town. For the conservatives, it's about "terrorism" or "winning the war and preserving our credibility."