According to the United States Center for Disease Control, heroin related deaths in the United States have increased 500% since the start of 2001. Ironically, 2001 also marks the first year of the US invasion of Afghanistan, a War we currently fight to this day. Additionally, as reported by CNBC, Afghanistan also produces 92% of the worlds total supply of opium poppy plants, the main ingredient necessary to produce heroin and other opiates.
It just so happens that the United States Department of Defense is also responsible for the invention of the DarkNet, one of the primary mediums through which these drugs are distributed throughout society. For years I have pleaded with American politicians, advising them that if they ever want to solve the “opioid/heroin epidemic” currently gripping our country, for all the reasons listed above, the United States DoD would need to take a serious look in the mirror.
Unfortunately though, the more the years go by, the worse the problem gets. Only it’s not just me anymore, others around the world are also starting to take notice….
The Taliban is now a fully-fledged drug cartel https://t.co/ea2VxAJ1cq
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) April 15, 2017
Conspiracy theorists and critics of the US War effort have maintained for years that the US is not fighting for “freedom” in all of these countries, we are fighting for “G.O.D.” – Gold, Oil and Drugs. While I would not go this far, a recent investigation by the United Nations has me seriously questioning the US War effort in Afghanistan and what we have been “accomplishing” there for the last 16 years.
According to a 2016 report released by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in the calendar year 2016 alone, “opium poppy cultivation increased by 10%” from the previous year. Moreover, according to the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics, “Opium production in Afghanistan rose by 43 per cent to 4,800 metric tons in 2016 compared with 2015 levels.” 2015/2016 was also by no means a statistical anomaly.
Further statistics from the United Nations illustrate that at the start of 2001 the Taliban owned 82,000 hectares of territory in Afghanistan, designated specifically for opium cultivation/production. By the year 2016 this figure jumped to 201,000 hectares, a statistical increase of 244%.
Read The Full Report Here: http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/AfghanistanOpiumSurvey2016_ExSum.pdf#yuiHis=1%7Cuploads%7Cdocuments%7C/crop-monitoring%7C/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan%7C/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/AfghanistanOpiumSurvey2016_ExSum.pdf
For all you Republicans out there whom might try to blame President Obama and his “weak use of the US military” over the course of the last 8 years, the Taliban increased their territory 191% under George Bush. They simply added to this figure even more under Obama.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the number of foreign terrorist organizations involved in the global drug trade also jumped from 14 groups in 2003 to 18 in 2008.
In a recent speech given by Michael Braun, former Chief of Operations at the DEA, “The nexus between drugs and terror is growing at light speed.” Adding that none of this is “a new trend, there have been numerous links identified between drugs and terror over the last 25 years.” According to Braun’s estimations “the DEA believes that up to 60 percent of terror organizations are connected with the illegal drug trade” in some way, shape or form.
How Much Is The Opium Trade Worth?
It is hard to say, but according to a separate report released by the United Nations General Security Council in 2014, the Taliban was capable of generating at least “$7 million – $8 million per month from Kandahar Province” in drug sales alone.
According to yet another report by the Russian Federal Drug Control Service, the Islamic State “makes up to $1 billion annually on Afghan heroin.” The report goes on to explain that the IS makes this money by distributing heroin within the territories they control throughout the Middle East. It goes on to specify that other terrorist organizations, such as the Taliban, which grow the product from inside Afghanistan, pay the IS to do this. Keep in mind that billion dollar figure is only reflective of the Middle Eastern market, never mind Europe, Asia and the America’s.
Two days ago the United States military dropped the largest nonnuclear bomb we have in our arsenal to blow up tunnels in Afghanistan, allegedly used by the Islamic State to travel across the Afghanistan border. There is a very large probability that these same tunnels were being used to transport heroin out of Afghanistan and into the open market.