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The Drug-Terrorist Link Means Wars can Last Indefinitely
By Douglas Farah
The Brits are finally willing to lay out some of the truths about the war in Afghanistan, truths that apply in many other parts of the world, in a pattern that we continue to see growing.
According to the Daily Telegraph, a confidential report to the prime minister concludes that the drug trade will prolong the Taliban insurgency idenfinitely:
"Growing links between the drugs trade and the insurgency in the South will provide longevity to the Taliban," the UK document says. "In the south, the drugs trade is fuelling the insurgency."
It adds: "This is compounded by government corruption. Karzai chooses to avoid rocking the boat with powerful narco figures and has not blocked their appointment as governors or other senior officials."
In turn, Mr Karzai's failure to tackle corruption and the drug lords "only increases popular disillusion," further boosting the insurgency, the paper says.
In fact, almost half (19 of 43) foreign terrorist organizations designated by the United States have clear ties to drug trafficking networks, according to law enforcement studies.
Once the initial ideological or theological obstacles have been overcome in participating in the drug trade, terrorist organizations tend to dominate the structure in short order. This is true with the FARC in Colombia, the Taliban in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Hezbollah in the heroin trade when it was massively involved there in the last decade, and elsewhere.
The reason is that the terrorist/military organization usually brings muscle that the traditional organizations can't dispute, and a clandestine, compartmentalized structure suited to moving the product successfully.
In the short term, the alliances tend to work well because, as the case with the Karzai government, the government corruption due to drug traffickers erodes faith in the government, while the money the terrorist/criminal organizations accrue can be use for social services, weapons, trainers and winning hearts and minds.
In addition, the terrorist/insurgent groups lose their dependency on outside forces. They generate their own money, rather than relying on donations from Saudi Arabia, the former Soviet bloc, Venezuela etc., freeing them from the constraints that having to factor in the effect of their actions on their patrons. My full blog is here.June 11, 2008 10:00 AM Link
Lets look at all the options. Outside the BOX.
OK supply/demand & risk/reward raitos, are only laws the narco boys live by.
The supply of drugs out of Afghan is at a record level and that translates
into cheaper prices in Afghan than S. America.
Risk/reward ratios, South America or Afghan?
About the same legal risks, and Afghan has some security benefits with
heavily armed terrorists.
So supply/demand & risk/reward ratios, are more favorable in Afghan for drug traffickers vs
How can that be reversed?
USA is the biggest consumer of these drugs, USA is funding the terrorism thru criminal
channels in the purchase if illegal drugs. The war on drugs has had little effect and cost
billions of dollars.
A change of drug laws could bring the terrorist funding to a DEAD stop.
So Reversing the supply demand paradigm, Legalizing drugs
would end the profits in drug trafficking and funding of terrorism.
The war on drugs increases the profits for drug dealers, and thereby the motivation.
If drugs were legal and whiskey was illegal in USA the taliban would have huge stills operating in Afghan.
CIA wet ops against drug cartels dealing with Afghan narco terrorist will increase the risk in the risk reward ratio, making buying drugs in South America safer, thereby cutting off the terrorist funding ( Cartels would quit buying drugs in Afghan, it would be safer to buy from S America. ).
By defining drug cartels dealing with the Taliban as terrorists, we would have legal precedent
to use military force and WAR "rules of engagement " against those drug cartels.
ie Kill the drug cartel heads on sight.
That would rebalance the risk/reward ratio.
Shift production, keep drugs illegal but making growing poppies legal in USA.
That would shift poppy production form Afghan to USA, and cut off terrorist funding
USA does have options, I don't know what the correct balance is.
But the current drug paradigm works in favor of the drug cartels and terrorists.
Record drug haul unearthed in Taliban trenches