29 Aug '16 23:29>1 edit
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2009, 605,000 Americans ages 12 or older had abused heroin at least once a year — 0.8 percent of all eighth graders, 0.8 percent of all 10th graders and 0.9 percent of all 12th graders have used heroin at least once a year.
Prior to NATO and the United States invading Afghanistan, opium production was banned by the Taliban, who saw it as anti-Islam and disruptive. Since the invasion, however, Afghanistan produces 90 percent of the world’s opium, most of it ending up in Western Europe or Russia. The West is forced to either allow the Afghani to continue growing opium, which is the core of their local economy and livelihood, or stop opium production, as the Taliban receives a percentage of the international proceeds. About $2.4 billion is earned from drug exports, or 15 percent of Afghanistan’s gross national product (GNP).
The U.S. and NATO have no intentions of cutting off this flow of money all at once. According to Ivanov, only 1/100th of the total opium yield in Afghanistan has been destroyed, compared with sweeping eradications of coca bushes each year in Colombia....
In 1997, Alfred McCoy testified before a special seminar focused on linking the CIA to drug-trafficking: “Under CIA and Pakistani protection, Pakistan military and Afghan resistance opened heroin labs on the Afghan and Pakistani border. According to The Washington Post of May 1990, among the leading heroin manufacturers were Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan leader who received about half of the covert arms that the U.S. shipped to Pakistan … Once the heroin left these labs in Pakistan’s northwest frontier, the Sicilian Mafia imported the drugs into the U.S., where they soon captured sixty percent of the U.S. heroin market. That is to say, sixty percent of the U.S. heroin supply came indirectly from a CIA operation.”
“Former CIA operatives have admitted that this operation led to an expansion of the Pakistan-Afghanistan heroin trade. In 1995 the former CIA Director of this Afghan operation, Mr. Charles Cogan, admitted sacrificing the drug war to fight the Cold War. ‘Our main mission was to do as much damage to the Soviets. We didn’t really have the resources or the time to devote to an investigation of the drug trade,’ he told Australian television. ‘I don’t think that we need to apologize for this. Every situation has its fallout. There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes, but the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan.’”
Besides being a major cash crop, heroin offered routes for the West to support various organizations privately, offered capital and profits to banks that laundered and handled the cash flows and offered cooperation and coverage toward various intelligence community operations. Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray wrote in a 2007 article for the Daily Mail that “our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and ‘value-added’ operations.”
He elaborated that Afghanistan “now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with NATO troops.”