Europe, Russia and Iran absorb some 80% of the drugs produced in Afghanistan which is responsible for 90% of the global heroin output.
The US-led invasion of Afghanistan has bred unprecedentedly favourable conditions for the country's drug business which is presently flourishing in the NATO-controlled oasis. While the Taliban banned opium cultivation, the Western coalition brought unchecked freedom to Afghanistan, the result being that that opium production in the country has grown more than 40 times over since 2001.
To justify this, the US claims that for the Afghan farmers poppy cultivation is the only way to make a living.
Currently Afghanistan supplies twice the amount of drugs the whole world produced a decade ago. Most of the cultivation takes place in the Kandahar and Helmand provinces. In 2010, Afghanistan also became a leading producer of hashish - with this year's crop totalling some 3,000 tons. It's easy to guest where the drugs will land as the shortest supply routes run north, via Central Asia to Russia.
At most 8% of the drug business revenues settle down in Afghanistan and the Afghan farmers receive around $200 each annually.
Very recently reports have been publicised which mention the discoveries of minerals in the country. That is for another post, but do consider this - the drug gangs make fortunes selling heroin and hashish with little physical effort. Would these same people be prepared to work in the mining industry, where the work is physically hard, discipline is essential and the financial rewards may never compare with those achieved in the drug trade?