Friday, October 23, 2009

High and Mighty, The Internal Threat of Afghanistan's Opium

Besides inspiring a slew of drug fueled Vietnam melodramas, which every baby boomer mentions when they talk about how "bad" war is, China white heroin undermined the élan and fighting effectiveness of US forces. Drugs may help you deal with the burden that is the duality of man, but they also make you a piss poor soldier. Why is this relevant?
During the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent occupation, statistics reveal that more that 20 percent of the Soviet army became dependent on Heroin. What a grunge rockstart might spend thousands on, the laws of supply and demand make a day's supply of herion availible to US soldiers in Afghanistan for less than a few dollars. Though I have absolute faith in our fighting men, Patriotism has been known to bend to opportunity.

Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UNODC, follows a common strain of thought as he remarked, "The Taliban's direct involvement in the opium trade allows them to fund a war machine that is becoming technologically more complex "

Everyone knows that 92%, or some huge percentage whatever it be, of the world's opiates come from Afghanistan and that money and drugs pose significant external threats. The untold time bomb is this plentiful drug's internal danger to US fighting forces. Its not the guns that the taleban gets from drug money that may be the most dangerous to US interests, but the drugs that make our guns less effective. Statistics point to a relatively, and suspiciously low number of US troops testing positive for drug use. Numbers in this case are not as important in their volume as they are in their trends. And the Trend is this: According to the VA’s 2008 report on substance abuse, 22,024 veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) sought treatment for substance abuse of all kinds at the VA. That was double the number of just two years earlier. Double trouble. Rates will rise and will potentially mushroom depending on a potential deployment increase. That being so, George Wight, a Pentagon spokesman said, "“Through September 2006, [there were] no positive urinalysis results among deployed soldiers for heroin,”. Really, no one? Even if the Vatican deployed 10,000 saints to Afghanistan, I have no doubt that at least one would succumb, divine as they are.
If we wish to take care of our soldiers and win wars, perhaps the pentagon should reconcile their treatment of symptoms with a denial of its cause. A taste for heroin followed the Red Army soldiers home, thanks to deployment a drug that had little presence in Russia has made it the world's number one consumer. Consequently,today Russia's HIV rates are off the charts also, $1a gram heroin has far reaching ramifications that even the atlantic may not isolate. Remember American Gangster and those cargo planes, that was a true story: "In 2005 an Air National Guard pilot and a sergeant used a C-5 Galaxy military transport plane to sneak nearly 300,000 Ecstasy pills from Germany into New York".

And we are not talking about the hopelessly hashish smoking Afghan national army, that is another story in itself.

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