Taliban did in one year what Washington couldn’t in 20, sparking new panic — RT World News

It has been nearly a year since the Taliban banned the cultivation of Afghan poppy used for the production of opioids. The impact of this decision should soon hit global markets, given the lead time from farm to customer.

You’d think that would bring a welcome sigh of relief. Apparently not. reports now suggest that a lack of Afghan heroin on the global market and a reduction in available natural opioids like heroin could lead to increased use of synthetic opioids like fentanyl. If that’s the case, it’s only because Washington and the West are about as good at curbing skyrocketing drug overdose deaths as they were at tackling Afghan opioid cultivation in when they controlled the country. Synthetic opioids from China and Mexico are increasingly usedjust like those obtained by prescription within the American healthcare system.

During the US-led global war on terrorism that began in Afghanistan in 2001, heroin overdoses in the United States and elsewhere increased. Despite controlling the country and its government for two decades, Washington has not only managed to reduce agriculture and exports from opiumbut has overseen an increase.

In February 2004, Robert Charles, then U.S. Undersecretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, introduced a new policy to counter “narco-terrorism” in Afghanistan before Congress. He cited a desire to help the US-backed Afghan government achieve its goal “Eliminate opium poppy cultivation and trade in 10 years. The project would involve the deployment of CIA-linked USAID to poppy-growing areas to help find alternative agriculture solutions. But there have always been strong doubts about the sincerity of these efforts. A 1991 US Department of Justice policy document accuses the CIA of “complicity in drug trafficking” in Afghanistan, pointing out that “CIA coverage operations in Afghanistan, for example, have transformed South Asia from a self-sufficient opium zone into a major supplier of heroin to the global market.

The CIA would certainly be able to find out, having backed Mujahideen jihadist fighters against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan during the Cold War as trafficking occurred right under his nose. Apparently, old habits die hard.

In 2010, former director of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov, met with NATO officials to seek a warrant to destroy poppy fields, citing 30,000 opium-related deaths in Russia. . “We cannot be in a situation where we are taking away the only source of income for people who live in the second poorest country in the world without being able to provide them with an alternative,” NATO spokesman James Appathurai responded, according to Reuters.

Obviously, they just weren’t interested. It now appears that the US-NATO counter-insurgency mission served partly as a cover to safeguard and protect the opium fields from destruction – something the Taliban had already done before the US invasion of 2001. Supporting Western proxies doesn’t come cheap, and some things just don’t fit on our books. It’s no secret that the CIA has a history of using smuggling narcotics to support American interests abroad while accusing the local opposition of doing just that – from Nicaragua and Haiti to Southeast Asia, Indochina and even France.

According to a pre-2001 State Department fact sheet archivesProhibition of poppy cultivation by the Talibanlacked credibility. Yet it was Washington’s public proclamations of eradication that never materialized. Similarly, Washington has ridiculously accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of “narco-terrorism Partnership with the FARC for 20 years”, in March 2020. This was despite Washington’s unconditional support for South American ally Colombia – a veritable narco-state whose cocaine production boomed under the leadership of former President Ivan Duque even as the President Joe Biden introduced him to the White House in 2022 as “my friend.Biden added: “We have known each other for a long time and remember how far we have come… I have been deeply involved in the relationship with Colombia for a long time, going back more than 20 years with this old Plan Colombia. ”

It’s funny that Biden mentions Plan Colombia – a multi-billion dollar US-backed program to fight drugs and the insurgency in the country, which is widely seen as a counter-narcos failure. . It didn’t even really provide lasting counter-insurgency results, according to members of former President Barack Obama’s own administration, final This”our collective failure to control drug abuse or trafficking has taken a heavy human toll.

Washington has always been both dishonest and incompetent when it comes to cracking down on illicit drug use. The fact that the Taliban finally have the opportunity to do what Washington has never been able or willing to do – despite claims to the contrary – is turning off a tap. However, that will not save Washington from its own failures on the drug front.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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