Western organized wars are good for business and organized crime like for example Afghanistan’s multi-billion opium trade, all the oil wars in the Middle East and the mining wars in Asia, Africa or Latin America.
Despite president Trump’s announced US troop withdrawal, the Afghan opium trade continues to flourish. It is protected by US-NATO occupation forces on behalf of a nexus of powerful financial and criminal interests.
In 2004, the proceeds of the Afghan heroin trade yielded an estimated global revenue of the order of $90 billion. This estimate was based on retail sales corresponding to a total supply of the order of 340,000 kg of pure heroin.
Today a rough estimate based on US retail prices suggests that the global heroin market is above the $500 billion mark, which has a direct impact on the surge of heroin addiction in the USA.
With the surge in US heroin addiction since 2001, the retail price of heroin has increased. According to DEA intelligence, one gram of pure heroin was selling in 2016 in the domestic US market for $902 per gram.
The Heroin trade is colossal: one gram of pure heroin selling at $902 is equivalent to almost a million US dollars a kilo @ $902,000.
In 2000, the Taliban government with the support of the UN implemented a successful drug eradication program, which was presented to the UN General Assembly in 2001, barely a week after on the onset of US-NATO invasion. Opium production had collapsed by 94%.
The Afghan government’s drug eradication program was repealed. The 2001 war on Afghanistan served to restore as well as boost the multi-billion dollar drug trade. It has also contributed to the surge in heroin addiction in the USA.
Immediately following the invasion (October 7, 2001) and the occupation of Afghanistan by US-NATO troops, the production of opium regained its historical levels.
In fact the surge in opium cultivation production coincided with the onslaught of the US-led military operation and the downfall of the Taliban regime. From October through December 2001, farmers started to replant poppy on an extensive basis.
Since 2001, the production of opium increased 50 times, while it almost tripled in relation to its historical levels.
Since 2001, the use of heroin in the USA has increased more than 20 times. Media reports rarely report how the dramatic increase in the global “supply of heroin” has contributed to “demand” at the retail level.
There were 189,000 heroin users in the USA in 2001, before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan. By 2012-13, there were 3.8 million heroin users in the USA according to a study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
The number of heroin users today (including addicts and casual users) is well in excess of four million.
In 2001, 1,779 Americans were killed as a result of heroin overdose. By 2016, the number of Americans killed as a result of heroin addiction shot up to 15,446.
All those lives would have been saved had the USA and its NATO allies NOT invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 2001.
However, the first thing Washington and the Pentagon did was to undermine the drug eradication program, restore the opium economy and the related drug trade.
The 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey (released in May 2018) by UNODC confirms that the farm areas allocated to opium are of the order of 328,000 hectares with opium production in excess of 9,000 tons.
War is good for business. It contributed to spearheading heroin use. The Afghan opium economy feeds into a lucrative trade in narcotics and money laundering.
The profits are largely reaped at the level of the international wholesale and retail markets of heroin as well as in the process of money laundering in Western banking institutions, an issue which is not addressed by the Vienna based UNODC.
The global monetary value of the heroin market is of the same order of magnitude as the $717 billion defense budget of the USA.
Needless to say, the Pentagon not to mention the CIA which launched the opium economy in Afghanistan in the late 1970’s are intent upon protecting this multi-billion dollar industry.
The proceeds of the Afghan drug trade were initially used to finance the recruitment of Al Qaeda Mujahideen mercenaries to fight in the Soviet-Afghan war.
Global Research California / ABC Flash Point Opium News 2019.