The Problem with the Drug War

This story about Afghanistan and the opium harvest, which has reached a record high this year reminded me of one of the problems with reporting the drug war.

We tend to report on the huge amounts of drugs that are stopped. What we don’t comment on so much is how many drugs are getting through. It’s a bit like Vietnam when we reported body counts but paid much less attention to the new live bodies that were replacing the dead ones. It’s time to do some rethinking, both in Afghanistan and here at home.

As long as there’s demand for drugs, there will be supply.

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One Comment

  1. The drug war is the greatest national security threat that America faces today.

    The Afghan opium crop could and should be bought at the grower level. The farmers in Afghanistan will make maybe $ 2.5-3 billion for their crop selling to gangsters and terrorists. We could easily buy it from the farmers at a competitive premium and divert it to the poorest countries in the world that are are under-served in pain medication today.

    A European drug policy/human rights group, the Senlis Council, that had offices in Kabul, proposed this in the spring. In September the U.S. drug warriors had the Afghans kick Senlis Council out of the country.

    But there is a lot more to the national security disaster caused by the war on drugs. From al Qaida’s silent jihad, (Sen. John Kerry spoke to this issue as the World Trade Center still smoldered in September 2001: “That’s part of their revenge on the world,” Kerry said. “Get as many people drugged out and screwed up as you can.”), to the Justice Department assertions that the heroin black markets promise to bring together the Afghan producers with the Colombian gangster who control U.S. distribution. As NYU Professor Barnett Rubin told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September, “Our drug policy grants huge subsidies to our enemies”.

    I have written extensively on the fact that the growth of stateless terrorist armies in the world has happened concurrently with the growth of the global black market for drugs. A black market that the U.N. estimates is worth $ 322 billion annually. $ 144 for the U.S. market which is why we can never hope to control our borders. the drug market is so lucrative that entire industries have grown up dedicated to subverting our best border security efforts. SEE: Afghanistan Opium Crop Sets Record Bush failure

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