I received the following email communication on October 21, 2014 from Alex Bronstein-Moffly
the Acting Director of Public Affairs Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). It highlights the abysmal failure of the more than $7billion dollar US counter narcotics efforts in Afghanistan that has resulted not only in an increase of poppy production in that country but an explosion in the production of marijuana and hashish.
Afghanistan is recognized as the largest producer of poppy in the entire world. Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2011 there has been a ten fold increase of poppy production. According to EU agencies, Afghanistan has been Europe’s main heroin supplier for more than 10 years.
Presently with the resurgence of high output production of opium and heroin in post-Taliban Afghanistan, there is an ongoing heroin addiction epidemic in Russia which is claiming 30,000 lives each year, mostly among young people. As you can image the Russian’s are particularly pissed about this situation and see the US as a major problem because of their failed efforts to stem the flow of illegal heroin into their country from Afghanistan.
In the US, there are around 800,000 heroin addicts. In the UK, between 200,000 and 300,000.
In Russia, there are now more than two and a half million heroin addicts. *In addition heroin is one of the largest funding sources for the Taliban. They use the proceed from heroin to purchase weapons and ammunition in the war against the US led coalition in Afghanistan as well to pay their fighters in cash.
The email read as follows:
Today, SIGAR released two reports. The first is an analysis of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. The report notes:
–United States has spent approximately $7.6 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan.
–Poppy-growing provinces that were once declared ‘poppy free’ have seen a resurgence in cultivation.
–Affordable deep-well technology has turned 200,000 hectares of desert in southwestern Afghanistan into arable land over the past decade.
The second report is an inquiry letter raising concerns regarding USAID/Afghanistan’s recent decisions not to collect from implementing partners all of the costs questioned in SIGAR’s financial audits. The report notes:
–SIGAR has issued 25 financial audits questioning $74,555,813 in incurred costs.
–USAID gave undue consideration to its implementing partners and did not notify SIGAR about revised decisions to recover questioned costs until after they were made.
–It is unclear how a USAID contracting and agreement officer revised a decision, that $588,092 should be returned to the U.S. government, based on the same set of circumstances.
Inquiry Letter: http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/Special%20Projects/SIGAR-15-05-SP.pdf
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need any additional information.
Acting Director of Public Affairs
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
* Note: “The Taliban are more involved than ever in systematically promoting, financing, organizing, and protecting the drug trade,” Ahmad Woror, the director of narcotics control in Helmand province, recently told Newsweek. “Drugs are ultimately providing the money, food, weapons, and suicide bombers to the insurgency and the good life to Taliban leaders in Quetta, Karachi, and across Afghanistan.” Source: http://www.newsweek.com/…/talibans-new-role-afghanistans-dr…