Accession Number : ADA501583
Title : Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy
Descriptive Note : Congressional rept.
Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Personal Author(s) : Blanchard, Christopher M
Report Date : 24 Jan 2008
Pagination or Media Count : 52
Abstract : Opium poppy cultivation and drug trafficking have become significant negative factors in Afghanistan's fragile political and economic order over the last 25 years. Afghan, U.S., and coalition efforts to provide viable economic alternatives to poppy cultivation and to disrupt corruption and narco-terrorist linkages succeeded in reducing opium poppy cultivation in some areas during 2004 and 2005. However, escalating violence, particularly in Helmand, and widespread corruption fueled a surge in cultivation in 2006 and 2007, pushing opium output to all-time highs. Cultivation has decreased in north-central Afghanistan and skyrocketed in the southwest. In spite of ongoing efforts by the Afghan government, the United States, and their partners, Afghanistan is now the source of 93% of the world's illicit opium. Across Afghanistan, militia commanders, criminal organizations, and corrupt officials have exploited narcotics as a reliable source of revenue and patronage, which has perpetuated the threat these groups pose to the country's fragile internal security and the legitimacy of its embryonic democratic government. U.N. officials estimated that in-country illicit revenue from the 2006 opium poppy crop reached over $3 billion, sustaining fears that Afghanistan's economic recovery continues to be underwritten by drug profits. The trafficking of Afghan drugs also appears to provide financial and logistical support to a range of extremist groups that continue to operate in and around Afghanistan, including the resurgent remnants of the Taliban and some Al Qaeda operatives. Although coalition forces may be less frequently relying on figures involved with narcotics for intelligence and security support, many observers have warned that drug-related corruption among appointed and elected Afghan officials may create new political obstacles to further progress.
Descriptors : *FOREIGN POLICY , *INSURGENCY , *OPIUM ALKALOIDS , *DRUG SMUGGLING , *AFGHANISTAN , *FINANCE , *TERRORISM , *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , CENTRAL ASIA , FOREIGN AID , POPPY PLANTS , COUNTERINSURGENCY , DRUG INTERDICTION , IRAN , MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES) , STATISTICS , GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , NARCOTICS , PAKISTAN , CRIMINAL CORRUPTION , COUNTERTERRORISM
Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
Sociology and Law
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE