The US military says it is using a new approach to fight drug production in Afghanistan, but Julian Mercille, lecturer at University College, Dublin, believes both they and NATO have in fact been supporting the industry.
“The bulk of the income from drugs is captured by other players like traffickers and the police and people in the government. So the problem is that the US and NATO have empowered a lot of people who are involved in drugs in government and the police forces,” says Mercille. “That is one reason why the US and NATO have directly caused the drastic increases in drug production in Afghanistan.”
Control of the drug trade means controlling where the drugs ultimately wind up, like the cheap heroin to which many young Russian people have become addicted.