DRUG –TRAFFICKING IN CENTRAL ASIA
Posted on March 1st, 2012

PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER

US Department of State says in one of its recent reports regarding drug trafficking in the Central Asian states, “The Central Asian states that border Afghanistan are facing a significant threat from illicit narcotic drugs transiting from Afghanistan. Violent extremist groups from Afghanistan and Pakistan threaten stability in the region, with drug trafficking providing a significant source of their funding.

The United States Government is committed to partnering with Central Asia to counter these threats.” To put a check on drug-trafficking the US authorities have introduced a program with the title “ƒ”¹…”The Central Asia Counter-narcotics Initiative CACI’. The basic objective behind this  program is to promote regional cooperation in countering drug trafficking by setting up task forces in all five Central Asian countries and hooking them up with similar task force in Afghanistan and Russia.

A   spokeswoman   for   the   US   State   Department’s   Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs said commenting the CACI program that US would continue bilateral consultations with the Central Asian states to make this program successful. But Russia has expressed her own apprehensions and reservation regarding the CACI program and has asked its allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization CSTO neither to participate nor to cooperate in the US counter-drug program in Central Asia.

The Russian authorities are of the opinion that this program would provide more probabilities to the USA to interfere into the affairs of the regional countries. Russia is convinced that the main objective of this initiative is strengthening the military and political presence in a region that Moscow regards as its area of special interests.

 The Russian hi-ups are very much true in their fears and apprehensions regarding the working of proposed CACI in the Central Asian Region. If the CACI program gets started, the US task forces shall no doubt have very wide powers and above all a full access to secret operational information supplied to law enforcement agencies and intelligence services of the Central Asia countries. US would be in a stronger position to gather sensitive information and then use the data to exploit and blackmail the governments in the region.

 In other words the CACI program would prove itself another successful attempt of weakening the Central Asian region in near future. If USA is really sincere in its desire to put a check on drug-trafficking, it must begin with Afghanistan which has simply become a hub of all production, trade and use of narcotics particularly in the last three decades

A former commander during the USSR’s operations in Afghanistan in 2009 General Mahmut Gareev once said in a statement that the US is not going to stop the production of drugs in Afghanistan as it covers the costs of their military presence there. This statement must also be an eye-opener to the planners of the Central Asia Counter-narcotics Initiative program.

 US’s inability and unwillingness to involve it self in combating drugs and narcotics in Afghanistan has always been an important topic of discussion. Drug trafficking is one of the major sources of funding for the terrorists in Afghanistan. In the early days of its occupation in Afghanistan, USA showed a very strong emphatic urge and will to put a check on the production and trade of narcotics in Afghanistan but with the passage of time all these efforts fell a prey to hidden conspiracies.

 Even the western media called in question US silence over the matter. Latter on there were news that even the US troops themselves were found involved in cooperation with the growers, producers and the traders of narcotics in Afghanistan. Without their assistance and co-operation the situation regarding drug-trafficking could have never been such horrible as it is today.

 The Editor of The Global Research says in one of his write-ups published in 2008, “The global proceed of the Afghan drug trade is in excess of 150 billion dollars a year. There is mounting evidence that this illicit trade is protected by the US military. Historically, starting in the early 1980s, the Afghan drug trade was used to finance CIA covert support of the Islamic brigades.

The 2003 war on Afghanistan was launched following the Taliban government’s 2000-2001 drug eradication program which led to a collapse in opium production in excess of 90 percent.” Vladimir Radyuhin, a renowned analyst says in his article, Narco Aggression, “ƒ”¹…”The disintegration of the Soviet Union in December 1991 threw open the floodgates of drug trafficking from Afghanistan across Central Asia to Russia and further west to Europe.

Afghanistan’s narcotics struck Russia like a tsunami, threatening to decimate its already shrinking population. According to the Federal Drug Control Service, 90 per cent of all heroin sold in Russia comes from Afghanistan. Russia today has about six million drug-users “”…” a 20-fold increase since the collapse of the Soviet Union and a huge figure for a country of 142 million people.’

 The crux of the matter is that the US authorities must not waste their efforts and resources in worrying about the influx of drugs and narcotics in the Central Asian states; they must concentrate upon the origin and the actual source of production not on the market where these drugs find their buyers.

Production, demand and supply of anything are closely related terms. The demand automatically dies away when a strict and stern check is put on the supply. However, we can say nothing if the motives behind the CACI program are other than putting a check on drug-trafficking in the Central Asia. In that case the Russian government will have to be more vigilant and careful because at this stage Russia cannot afford any kind of destabilization leading to further disintegration.

 The writer is a Pakistan based analyst on defence and strategic affairs.

One Response to “DRUG –TRAFFICKING IN CENTRAL ASIA”

  1. Christie Says:

    While Afganistan is the producer of drugs when it come sto Sri lanka Indians are the suppliers. Now they have gone from Natural Narcotics to selling artificial narcotics to coumtries like Sri Lanka.

    Shame on Indians.

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