Afghanistan supplies about 90 per cent of the world’s opium. Opium is the substance from which heroin is derived. Corruption also infects many aspects of life in Afghanistan and the buoyant drug trade there flourishes, under the protection afforded by the U.S. military forces – at considerable taxpayer expense I might add.
In fact hundreds of millions are being spent to help support poppy cultivation.
The poppy economy in Afghanistan provides an steady income source for insurgents and terrorists – which use that revenue source to buy bullets and bombs – grew significantly in 2011-2012 with soaring prices and expanded cultivation, according to one damning UN report.
“In 2011, the farm-gate value of opium production more than doubled from the year previously to $1.4 billion and now accounts for 15 per cent of the economy”, the UNODC report said.
The U.S. is actually helping opium farmers in Afghanistan by providing direct aid to help improve the building of dams, canals, and other water work projects, without which it would more difficult to grow so much poppy.
The U.S. government has focused on building sustainability into water projects in Afghanistan. Recent U.S. strategies have emphasized the importance of project sustainability for building of the agricultural base in that country.
GAO has identified two key elements to ensuring water project sustainability: 1) enhancing technical and 2) managerial capacity to maintain projects within the institutions with water-sector responsibilities, and ensuring funding is available to keep projects operational after they have been completed.
Ongoing USAID water projects included in this review have incorporated sustainability initiatives. DOD guidance also emphasizes sustainability. However, DOD officials have acknowledged the difficulties of sustaining water projects in Afghanistan.
The United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan have identified water as critical for the “long-term stability of
Years of war and conflict, coupled with persistent drought, have had a devastating impact on the water sector of
Afghanistan, according to a National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment for Afghanistan, published in 2010 – only about 27 percent of the Afghan population has access to safe drinking water and just 5 percent has access to improved sanitation.
These are among the lowest rates in the world, the report noted.
Agriculture, the source of livelihood for almost 80 percent of the population, accounts for up to 93 percent of Afghanistan’s total water usage through irrigation. Yet, only about 30 percent of Afghanistan’s agricultural land receives adequate water. Between 2002 and the second quarter of 2010, the U.S. government has awarded about $250 million for water development efforts in Afghanistan and, in March 2010, estimated it would need an additional $2.1 billion in funding to achieve U.S. development efforts in Afghanistan’s water sector from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2014”, according to a GAO document, dated November 15, 2010.
The cultivation of opium in Afghanistan has grown rapidly over the last ten years, since the American military invasion and occupation of that country, and now occurs in all 34 provinces. In part due to direct and indirect U.S. aid funds and agricultural improvement projects.
Today Afghanistan has become the world’s leading source of opiates, supplying three quarters of the global market in 2003, reaching ten million abusers worldwide, of these some 10,000 die each year from opiates produced in Afghanistan. Including the United States, which has seen a rise in heroin imports from Afghanistan and Mexico.
Opium farm-gate income, which was only 3% of Afghanistan’s GDP as recently as 1990, in 2003 was one-seventh of total GDP. The US military presence and infusion of agricultural aid and water projects were contributing factors in that.
According to various sources most opium is now processed into heroin (and morphine) within Afghanistan, and the trafficking and trade accounted for an even greater proportion of the country’s GDP than ever before.
All told, the opium economy comprised roughly one-third of total (drug-inclusive) national income in 2003. That figure rose in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010…
Recently, more drug money generated in Afghanistan has been leaving the country.
The opium market more closely resembles a competitive market than a “cartelized business”, says Matt Durham of Charlotte, N.C.
“The irresponsible policy of the Administration is mostly to blame. If the situation is broken you don’t continue to pour money at it, but the US has just increased funding and then wonders why the problem is getting worse. Since the military invasion of Afghanistan poppy has increased not decreased. In some instances you have US soldiers paying farmers to grow it. It makes no sense, unless the intent is to create a narco-state in Afghanistan”, he said.
See Youtube video: US Military Helping Afghan Farmers Grow Opium Poppies!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR3EZq1TKU8
See also: U.S. Soldiers Grow Opium/Heroin Poppy in Afganistan – Fox News http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj-b3pB6M7s
The most disturbing video is one entitled: US Soldiers guarding opium in Afghanistanhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChIF6yvTL6k&feature=related
The failure of US policy in Afghanistan – which has no clue how to win the war in that country helped create the largest heroin trafficking narco-state in the world.
Is this is our legacy in Afghanistan?
“Funding drug addicts in Afghanistan and around the world – is something we do”, said one PFC serving in the U.S. Army who can’t wait to get the hell out! Out of fear of retaliation by commanders in the field the soldier would not allow us to use his name, rank or unit location in this report.
The U.S. is also funding the Afghan Army who go around and get stoned all the time. In some cases smoking hash, pot and opium…These are not professionals.
American service members are not allowed to discuss this, but British soldiers have (see: Fighting Alongside Stoned Afghan Soldiers Inside Afghanistan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-_hqig-TK8&feature=related ).
One American soldier, who wished not to be identified (out of fear of being reprimanded and busted out of the service) filmed U.S. combat troops smoking hash in Afghanistan.
While the soldiers were smoking the hashish they were laughing about it? “Hit it man, Take it all in…” said one soldier (See: U.S. Soldiers smoking Hash? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bu248f3Th8&feature=related
Unconfirmed reports suggest some US service members are trading illegally in hash and trading US equipment for it in trade to Afghans.
In other cases they are just buying it off the street or in the villages.
This is an aspect of the narco-state you often don’t often see.
In another video posting on youtube, US soldiers take a break while on patrol and film a huge Marijuana field in Afghanistan (see: Giant Afghanistan marijuana field http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tEQI5n6mn8&feature=fvwrel ).
In that video US engineers where working nearby building canals to bring water to this and other grow fields…
The US won’t admit it but US aid is being used to support the production of illegal drugs in Afghanistan…
You should know, because it is your money (hundreds of millions of dollars in some cases ) is being squandered and used to support it.