To Moscow: Pentagon «saddled» Afghan heroin traffic Criminal schemes can be part of the senior officers of the U.S. air force

To Moscow: Pentagon «saddled» Afghan heroin traffic Criminal schemes can be part of the senior officers of the U.S. air force

The London School of Economics and political science published a report «Denying income or spending money? Assessment of the impact of the air campaign against «drug laboratories» in Afghanistan». The author of the report is senior researcher David Mansfield, who studied rural life and poppy cultivation in the country of Pashtuns for 23 years.

The scientist made surprising conclusions: the US air force, having carried out in 2018 operation «Iron storm» to destroy opium fields from the air, deliberately did not achieve the goal. At the same time, Americans had accurate information at the expense of advanced cartographic technologies, geospatial analysis of satellite images and analytical reports of specialists.

«It was weird, — says Mansfield. — I was in the UK, more than three and a half thousand miles from Afghanistan and watched these incredible attacks. The technology that the Americans used was amazing. These bombs seemed to go with absolute precision, but I just thought, «are these targets?». According to him, the US air force destroyed anything, but not opium fields and laboratories for the production of drugs, although the first and second was known to the Central Command.

The scientist was shocked: despite the money spent — $ 1.5 million a day, the US air force bombed mud huts that have nothing to do with the opium business. However, the Americans said that their aircraft destroyed drug production centers, whose revenues were estimated at $ 200 million. As you know, the proceeds from Afghan heroin go to direct financing of terrorist groups such as the Taliban*, «Islamic state» ** and al-Qaeda ***. On the other hand, farmers who grow poppy and cannabis****, as well as village craftsmen for their processing, openly go to contact and do not hide what they do. Going to any village in Eastern Afghanistan, you can quite openly buy chakay (cake) of dried opium, weighing about 1.2 kg, and in the South — opium in plastic bags weighing 12 kg.

«I stopped at the road only half an hour drive from the international airport of Mazar-e-Sharif, and saw the field on thousands of puffy heads of opium poppy, says Mansfield. The farmer, calling himself TASA Meer, felt at ease under the protection of the sinister man with the AK-47. He told me: don’t be afraid, this is our policeman».

According to the UN Office on Drug and dullness, in Afghanistan, there is a total replacement of cannabis with poppy, especially in the provinces of Helmand, daikon, Zabul, Kandahar, and Uruzgan, although there is no obvious benefit in this. Thus, the income from cannabis resin is about $ 8,100 per hectare, which is slightly less than the income from opium production — $ 10,700 per hectare.

It seems that someone from above is letting down tough plans for the volume of the Afghan deadly drug. In just a few years, opium poppy production increased by 63 percent.

Starting operation Iron storm, the Americans said that this situation can not be tolerated, and their attacks will deprive the Taliban, ISIS, and al-Qaeda of illegal income, as was done in Syria, where militants sold oil. The paradox, however, is that the illegal trade in hydrocarbons in the SAR flourished before the Russian operation, and only the strikes of the Russian aerospace forces aircraft put an end to the financing of terrorists.

Nevertheless, reports were regularly sent to Washington that the US air force was destroying channels for the sale of oil. On the papers, everything was smooth: interviews with pilots, video evidence, pictures before and after the bombing. And that’s almost the same report on the results of «Iron storm» was laid on the table the Pentagon superiors, which did not even bother to check it.

It should be noted that on the eve of this operation in November 2017, the UN Office on drugs and crime reported shocking figures: for 15 years of the American occupation of Afghanistan, opium production increased more than fourfold. If in October 2001, the poppy was grown on an area of about 74,000 hectares, today — on 328,000 hectares. Before Uncle Sam’s arrival, opium latex was dried and smuggled out of Afghanistan in the form of adhesive paste for purification in other countries, but today more than half of Afghan opium is processed either into morphine or heroin directly at the place of cultivation.

«This facilitated smuggling, as well as significantly increased the profits of drug traffickers and the Taliban, who are believed to take a «tax» of about 20% of the profits,» the BBC notes.

What is interesting: operation Iron storm started in parallel with the introduction of the US public health emergency due to the fact that 2 million Americans have become heroin addicts, and the death from overdose exceeded the loss of the population from road accidents and gun violence.

Despite the fact that Afghan heroes account for a significant share of the world’s production of «heavy drugs», in the United States it is quite a bit — a few percents. Law enforcement agencies estimate that heroin and morphine from Latin America are mainly sold in the United States. However, the deadly potion from Kandahar and Uruzgan is in the «good country of the world», although it is meaningless logistically. Means, someone carries «dope» planes, without paying actual money for delivery.

Moreover, Afghan opiates are holding back heroin and morphine prices in the United States when supplies from Colombia and Mexico are disrupted. It seems very likely that in these cases, someone quickly reacts to the deficit, and this «someone» has not only transport aircraft, but also a «green corridor» at the border.

However, the main flow of Afghan drugs goes to Europe, Russia (mainly to Moscow) and Canada. The share of these countries accounts for 95% of the produced under the control of the Taliban opiates.

The answers to the questions — why did operation iron storm fail and who is behind the growth of the world drug trade, of course, have a common answer.

If you look at what aircraft and equipment used by senior officers of the US air force, much becomes clear. On bomb strikes on empty targets in a country where there is no air defense, sent strategic bombers B-52 and stealth fighters F-22 Raptor. Attacks were also made from rocket launchers M142. For information, one hour of flight on the F-22 is $ 35 thousand, which is almost 70 times more expensive than the operation of the a-10 Thunderbolt II, and the effectiveness of the second to destroy opium fields 5-7 times higher than the «invisible».There is no doubt that the money «burned» is intended to choose the entire budget for operation «Iron storm», so not reaching the goal.

All this together gives reason to believe that today a new mafia has formed in Afghanistan, which is included in the highest offices of the Pentagon and whose main goal is not the destruction of opium fields, but the supply of deadly «dope», including in our country.

*»Taliban movement» by the decision of the Supreme court of the Russian Federation of 14.02.2003 is recognized as extremist, its activity in Russia is forbidden.

** The Islamic State (ISIS) was declared a terrorist organization by a decision of the Supreme court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014, and its activities in Russia are prohibited.

*** Al-Qaida was declared a terrorist organization by a decision of the Supreme court of the Russian Federation of 14 February 2003, and its activities in Russia are prohibited.

**** Cannabis — marijuana.

Dana Tessen

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