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):

Report Date:

2008-01-24

Pagination or Media Count:

52.0

Abstract:

Opium poppy cultivation and drug trafficking have become significant negative factors in Afghanistans 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 worlds 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 countrys 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 Afghanistans 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.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Pharmacology
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE