UN Report on Narcotics

Jon Kofas writes: The UN report on the global narcotics trade notes that drug trade in Afghanistan and Iraq has risen sharply to the degree that it may be destabilizing to both countries. In the case of Afghanistan, the cultivation of puppies has risen from a few thousand acres under the Taliban to more than 15% of the total farm land, and it represents between 40 and 60 percent of the country’s DGP. Unable to sustain their families, especially in the winter months, Afghan farmers have turned to poppy cultivation.  The drug trade has also increased sharply in Iraq since the U.S. invasion. The cocaine drug trade, of course, remains prominent in Colombia where the U.S. has poured a great deal of military aid to combat it. Naturally, those who will read the UN report have the right to ask what is the difference between the “war on drugs” in Colombia on the one hand where the drug trade is linked to leftist rebels, and the thriving drug trade in Afghanistan and Iraq one the other where “Democracy” is being spread far and wide by the U.S. troops?  More significant, Turkey remains a conduit for the drug trade, despite warning from the EU. Like human rights, the hollow rhetoric about the “war on drugs” U.S. and EU policy is applied selectively.  

RH: When the drug trade was suppressed by the Taliban, how did the farmers support themselves?

Ronald Hilton 2005


last updated: April 16, 2005