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Novak on Afghanistan and the heroin trade
I can remember back at DEA when the topic of spraying the poppy fields shortly after the October invasion came up. Golden opportunity was the buzz, and we had a perfect chance to knock out a good portion of the heroin trade in one shot.
DOD and DOS didn’t think it was such a good idea, and now the pundits are chiming in:
Afghanistan, portrayed as a victory in the U.S. war against terror, is a disaster in the war against drugs. Its production of heroin has soared over the last year, with the country becoming the world’s top supplier. Faced with this looming catastrophe, the Bush administration is deeply divided.
Almost everybody familiar with the drug war believes aerial spraying to kill the poppy plant must be instituted sooner or later in Afghanistan, but it surely will be later. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ruled out eradication by air. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld agrees with Karzai and opposes expanding the U.S. military’s role in Afghanistan.
Maybe my loyalties are with my former masters at DEA, but I tend to think they were right. We should have knocked them out when we had the chance.
This having been said, Novak does bring up an excellent point regarding the parallels between the war on terrorism and the war on drugs. It’s a valid comparison IMHO.