Saturday, October 30, 2010

Afghanistan Has Drugs?

According to the Associated Press, President Hamid Karzi is complaining about Russian counter-narcotic agents participating in a US led NATO drug bust that also included Afghan troops. $56 million worth of heroin and morphine were seized in the raids on four drug labs. Intelligence for the bust was supplied by agents that report to Russian Drug Czar Viktor Ivanov, who is tasked with the interdiction of illegal drugs into the Russian Federation.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai

Karzai complained that the bust breached Afghanistan’s sovereignty because Russia participated in the raids. In truth Russia only provided two observers and the intel for the raids. Could it be that Karzai was miffed because the NATO raids likely encroached upon his brother’s illegal drug profits? He was clearly upset that the raids were conducted without informing the Afghanistan Government, saying:

"While Afghanistan remains committed to its joint efforts with (the) international community against narcotics, it also makes it clear that no organization or institution shall have the right to carry out such a military operation without prior authorization and consent of the government of Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan is the largest producer of heroin of the world, and narcotics are a big issue for Russia which has 2 million addicts. The Russians have been urging the U.S. to take action against Afghanistan drug labs, which process unrefined opium into heroin or morphine, and have taken their complaint public in recent weeks.
DEA Agents, NATO troops, a few Russian observers and three branches of Afghan Law Enforcement were included in the raids. Only the national government under Karzai was not briefed before the raids. Knowledgeable readers are aware of allegations against the President’s brother of being a major player in the Afghanistan drug trade and widespread complaints of corruption in the Karzai government. 

It is likely that his office was deliberately excluded from the intelligence loop.

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