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?
It does mak ye wonder dis it no, aboot oor real motivation fer bein in Afghanistan. The Taliban did indeed near eradicate poppy-cultivation, then we go in an' it's back bigger than before. Was it a worry tae oor leaders whit wid happen if aw thae drug-addled youngsters woke up an' got angry?
Ah'm no sure aboot the 'mineral finds' tho, it disnae seem promisin territory fer that, an' the extraction costs, startin fae scratch in sic a mountainous area wid be huge. There's nae tradition o' minin, which there wid be tae at least some extent if there were indeed 'gold in them thar hills'
It sounds tae me like another bogus justification fer a pointless an' unwinnable adventure.
Sophia, I'm still researching the business of the minerals etc in Afghanistan but should have something ready soon.
It'll be interesting to hear your take on it. You're right, it would be a massive undertaking, but let me say the global players are already planning it.
The drug cash is regarded as having done more to bail out the banks than public IOUs!
I have long held the belief that the rise in drug production has been deliberately engineered by the Americans.
Their intention was to flood Russia with heroin in order to destabilise the country and its economy.
If their should be some co-lateral damage and heroin leaks out into some western European countries, like Britain, then the USA have factored that into their strategy as an acceptable level of risk.
After all, in the USA the major drug problem is with cocaine emanating from the south, not heroin from Afghanistan.
Good piece Rosa, have blogged this and put a link in to your posting!
Opium isn't the only way to make a living, otherwise everybody would be doing it. They used to grow cotton in Afghanistan.
I still think the way forward, wrt drugs, is legalisation and a controlled market.
As for the mineral finds - what a surprise!
Central bankers are on record as saying that during the financial crisis of 2008 the only liquidity in the system came from Afghan drugs. The soldiers are there to protect it and protect the minerals which have been discovered´ such as lithium. We can´t let the Chinese mine it..
This any use SB The Pentagon's Afghan Minerals Hype
Yet we're still 'protecting our streets' OR.
John, you have been proved right if my sources are to be believed and I consider them worthy.
A very observant comment indeed John. I think the main source of my next post on Afghanistan thinks along your lines.
Thanks you Indyan. That's kind of you.
The mineral find isn't such a surprise as you know Mrs R. I've been doing a wee bit of revision about it.
That doesn't surprise me in the least Alex. Somehow I think the Chinese are involved already, but you can decide when I post the links.
Super link CH, haven't come across that one. I think the truth is somewhere in between as usual.
Its only right and proper to give credit where its due Rosa, I try to make sure that I link to all the places I recieve inspiration/information from.
Though I am not sure I 'get' this backlinking thig properly yet but I'm studying up on it!
And another Afghan Minerals -- Cure, Curse, or Hype?
It’s far too early to reach any conclusions about economic recoverability, but the huge investment requirements and highly unstable security environment means that the risk premium paid to investors (or accepted by national resource companies) will be extremely high.
Thats the conundrum out of reach maybe.
For me Indyan the linking is a courtesy really. I'm still studying it too!
That appears to be the main deterrent CH, the highly insecure environment. I'm sure the big boys are still assessing it though.
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