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Our view on drugs and terror: A better way to deal with Afghanistan's poppy crop

Localização: 
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
USA Today
URL: 
http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2007/05/our_view_on_dru.html

If Only Afghanistan Were More Like Colombia…

Colombian narcs who haven't been killed yet are holding police training seminars in Afghanistan. From The International Herald Tribune:
It is a measure of Afghanistan's virulent opium trade, which has helped revive the Taliban while corroding the credibility of the government, that U.S. officials now hope that Afghanistan's drug problem will someday be only as bad as that of Colombia.


"I wanted the Colombians to come here to give the Afghans something to aspire to," [DEA Kabul Chief Vincent] Balbo said. "To instill the fact that they have been doing this for years, and it has worked."
They're unearthing mass graves in Colombia. Cocaine is cheaper than ever. The president is embroiled in a massive corruption scandal. You can’t even grow bananas there without becoming a pawn in a paramilitary extortion scandal. Yet American drug warriors talk about Colombia like it's a shining beacon of justice and democracy.

Afghan narcs-in-training will learn what a joke this is when their Colombian instructors request asylum.

Localização: 
United States

"Cannabis Cash 'Funds Islamist Terrorism'"--Here we go again.

The old "drug users fund terrorism" canard is getting new play in Europe this week, where French and Spanish intelligence agencies reported that, as the Guardian (UK) put it, "Cannabis cash 'funds Islamist terrorism'". The report was the result of an investigation launched after the 2004 Madrid train bombings that found the bomb plotters bought their explosives from former miners and paid them in hashish. The intelligence agencies also claimed that the Al Qaeda-linked Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat is using hash sales as part of "a complex network" of financing its terrorist operations. I don't doubt that. People who need money for nefarious schemes typically resort to the black market economy, whether it is drugs, diamonds, oil, or whatever commodity. It is so screamingly obvious that I hesitate to point it out, but pot smokers don't fund terrorism—prohibition does. You don't hear of barley or grapevines or tobacco leaves funding terrorism because they are used to make non-prohibited psychoactive drugs that are integrated into the legal, aboveground economy. If you want to stop Islamic terrorists from using the black market profits from the hash trade to buy bombs, the solution is clear: End the prohibition regime that creates the black market.
Localização: 

In the opium capital of the world, very late lessons in drug enforcement

Localização: 
Kabul
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
International Herald Tribune (France)
URL: 
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/15/asia/opium.php

Afghan fighters processing opium to boost drug profits: US official

Localização: 
Brussels
Belgium
Publication/Source: 
EUbusiness (UK)
URL: 
http://www.eubusiness.com/news_live/1178636419.5

Americans losing the war on Afghan opium

Localização: 
HEL
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
The Hamilton Spectator (Canada)
URL: 
http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=hamilton/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1178081118833&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1112188062581

NATO pulls ad after Afghans say it endorsed poppy farms

Localização: 
Kabul
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
Chicago Tribune
URL: 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0704270792apr27,1,4013755.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

Southwest Asia: Drug Trade a Pillar of the Afghan Economy

The opium trade generates $6.7 billion a year, with much of that money staying in the hands of farmers and local traffickers, Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Mohammed Daud Daud told reporters at a Kabul press conference last Friday.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/poppy2.jpg
opium poppies
The opium trade also generates jobs, creating posts for some 110,000 Afghans involved in the traffic, Daud said, citing figures from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). That's not including the two million people involved in poppy production across the country. Daud estimated that farmers garner about 20% of the money generated, or about $1.4 billion last year, making opium far and away the country's top cash crop.

The division of proceeds between Afghan and foreign traffickers is unknown. Also unknown is just how much of the profits are ending up in the coffers of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, although all observers conclude they, too, are profiting from the trade.

They're not the only ones. Daud told the press conference anti-drug forces had arrested more than a thousand people in the past three years, including government officials.

Afghanistan provides more than 90% of the global opium supply, from which heroin is derived. According to the UNODC, this year's harvest will be another record-breaker, despite the limited eradication efforts of the Afghan government and its Western backers.

Afghanistan, Plan Colombia and Drug Eradication: Problems and Solutions

Recent increases in opium production in Afghanistan presents a Catch-22 to U.S. policymakers. On the one hand, a November 2006 United Nations and World Bank report found that forced eradication of opium crops is driving poor Afghans into the hands of the Taliban, empowering crime syndicates and destabilizing the country. On the other hand, doing nothing about the heroin trade allows major drug traffickers to enrich themselves unfettered. Is there a third option? Rep. Carnahan has suggested licensing Afghan farmers to grow opium for legal pain medications, the way the international community diminished the drug trafficking problem in India and Turkey. Senator Sununu has suggested the U.S. buy the opium crops from the farmers and destroy them. Senator Biden has suggested switching the focus away from poor farmers towards disrupting the drug cartels that are moving the drugs. Some experts suggest building roads and schools and providing alternative employment to poor Afghans. Others suggest ending drug prohibition all together. This panel explores the problems posed by both opium production and opium eradication and offers possible solutions. It looks at not only what is going on in Afghanistan right now, but lessons that can be learned from eradication policies in Latin America and elsewhere. Speakers include: Vanda Felbab-Brown, Ph.D. - Research Fellow at the the Brookings Institution Ted Galen Carpenter - Vice President for Foreign Policy and Defense Studies at the Cato Institute Ethan Nadelmann – Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance Sanho Tree – Director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Please RSVP to Grant Smith at [email protected] or 202-216-0035. Space is Limited. Snacks and beverages provided
Data: 
Tue, 04/24/2007 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Localização: 
Washington, DC
United States

The List: The Drug War’s New Battlegrounds

Localização: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
Foreign Policy (DC)
URL: 
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3767

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