Opium and the CIA: Can the US Triumph in the Drug-Addicted War in Afghanistan?

Alfred McCoy’s important new article (TomDispatch, posted on Global Research, April 5, 2010) deserves to mobilize Congress for a serious revaluation of America’s ill-considered military venture in Afghanistan. The answer to the question he poses in his title – “Can Anyone Pacify the World's Number One Narco-State? – is amply shown by his impressive essay to be a resounding “No!” . . . not until there is fundamental change in the goals and strategies both of Washington and of Kabul.

He amply documents that

• the Afghan state of Hamid Karzai is a corrupt narco-state, to which Afghans are forced to pay bribes each year $2.5 billion, a quarter of the nation’s economy;

• the Afghan economy is a narco-economy: in 2007 Afghanistan produced 8,200 tons of opium, a remarkable 53% of the country's GDP and 93% of global heroin supply.

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